Talal Safar is the U23 Head Coach at Monaro Panthers FC in Canberra Australia.
Here Talal talks about his experiences participating on all the IPSO workshops & courses.
Back in January 2020 (just before the whole world was struck by the COVID curse), I ran a search for overseas based providers of Scouting and Talent Identification Education, due to the lack of any structured system in Australia where I live and subsequently the nonexistence of local specialist organisations in this super important domain of football in scouting & analysis, which I was very keen to get into.
Following a first unpleasant experience with another provider, which turned to be a complete waste of time and money (a few power-point slides to read on your own, self-paced in your own time etc.), I was fortunate enough to run into IPSO.
While exploring the various levels of the IPSO courses, I couldn’t help it (like any other coach) but to maintain that very common notion of “I’m a qualified coach, I played the game, so I can scout and identify talent” the reality was anything but. As a genuine student of the game, I decided to jump in with an open mind to learn and explore what IPSO had to offer. I did the workshops then the TID & Level 1 and I was very impressed as it was completely different from my previous experiences, in fact I was really impressed with the material and the methodology they used.
It was when I did the IPSO Level 2 in match reporting, I quickly discovered that, while there are certain overlaps, coaching and scouting are two different fields. However, the very interesting thing for me was that what I learned on the courses actually helped me to become a better coach.
I coach a semi-professional U23 team at a club that competes in NPL1 in Australia (the level right below the A League) and we had our eyes set on the title this season. Following the knowledge I gained on the IPSO courses, I started to see the game with different eyes and my stats actually improved. I’m not a stats fanatic, but I like to keep an eye on important figures. I noticed that my ratio of influencing the game in the second half had become much higher. There’s a saying that first half is the players half and the second is the coaches half. But because of the new perspectives of analysing the game and the ability to zoom in on players and the details of the game while being played and I knew that I had learned this while on the IPSO courses, my potential to improve my team’s performance has been increased significantly.
I’m also pleased that I now have a mentor in Colin Chambers one of the tutors from whom I’ve learnt invaluable insights on the beautiful game, with our ongoing football conversations and aftercare.
As coaches we will always remain students of the game and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to learn from the best in the scouting industry, while I continue my pathway along my football journey.
IPSO really is an eye opener and I would advise any coach at any level to participate and not only learn about scouting & analysis but embrace IPSO to improve as a coach as these courses will surprisingly improve you dramatically.