Most parents with children already know how popular YouTube is, if they didn’t already through personal use. My kids will sometimes sit for hours watching comedy clips, sports highlights, etc. instead of watching the likes of SpongeBob – sweet!

As a soccer coach, I’ve often tried to find decent YouTube videos to demonstrate soccer techniques to my own children and more recently my girl’s travel team. But the sheer number of videos can make it hard to find good ones without spending forever looking for them. So I got to thinking that maybe some of you all had suggestions for good videos and, well, the idea grew from there.

Over the past year, I’ve really wanted to turn On The Pitch into more of a youth soccer resource. The forums haven’t taken off, but I hope someday they will as parents look for more online information and coaches look for more ways to share it beyond current regional forums. The Youth Soccer FAQ is still young, but as time allows I’m trying to add more to it and recently we’ve begun to get question submissions which will help it grow. I have some other neat ideas as well, but they require some coding, something I haven’t had time to do – but hope to soon. But the video idea got me motivated, so here we go…

What I’ve decided to try is use YouTube’s excellent video sharing and cataloging features to try and develop a useful collection of videos for youth soccer parents, coaches, and players alike. Using features such as playlists, groups, comments, and more – it seems like we could really do something cool here.

So what I have so far is the basic organization. I’ve created a YouTube Channel for On The Pitch, which will be where things can easily be accessed. I’ve created a few playlists already to try and start to collect some videos I already had links to. I may create some more like one with videos I highlight on the blog, etc. I’ve also created a group called ‘Youth Soccer’ which might be a neat place for any of you who create videos to share them. US Youth Soccer had uploaded a few videos from their excellent DVD series and I’ve got those collected into a Coaching Tip Playlist:

Now, the trick to making something like this really work is community interaction. If you use YouTube a lot and come across a really cool video that demonstrates soccer moves, shows how to run a drill, gives solid coaching tips, etc., send it to me. Just click the Share button that is all over YouTube. My username is OTPSoccerDad (yes OnThePitch was already taken :( ). I think if you make me a friend you can share things even easier. Right now we only have a few playlists, but if we all start to find lots of content, I may split the playlists up to make them more manageable. Too bad they aren’t hierarchical.

As the title says – this is an experiment. I think online video may become an excellent coaching resource, but until coaches have an easier way to find the ‘good stuff’, it’s hard to do. So let’s see if we can pull that off together.

What do you think? Worth the time and effort? I’m excited about it. The limiting facto, as always, is time. Like everythign else with this site, I’m open to ideas, suggestions, criticisms, etc. so comment away. I think if this succeeds, it’ll be an excellent addition to On The Pitch.