Helping grassroot soccer coaches make data informed decisions to improve their teams
I co-founded Go Coach It with a friend back in 2016 and decided to bootstrap the business with a simple mission; create digital resources and tools that help grassroot soccer coaches manage and develop their teams. We started by creating a blog and published articles, news stories, sessions plans and drills.
We experienced relative success and within 8 months had acquired 7,000+ followers on Twitter and saw 2,500 unique visitors engaging with our content monthly. We dissolved the business in late 2018 but the project still remained something I’m passionate about. So in 2020, I began exploring how jobs-to-be-done theory could be applied to this space to discover value and drive innovation.
Combining my own experiences of being a coach, advice from domain experts and conducting generative research with grassroot coaches I was able to uncover foundational jobs-to-be-done and customer needs.
I started by producing a Job actors map, which is similar to a stakeholder map but describes inputs/outputs in relation to the main job performer and job actors. It’s important to note that these aren’t explicitly job titles but rather ‘hats’ that people wear. For example, see how a Coaching Director might wear the hat of Manager, Buyer, and Approver.
A critical exercise in JTBD is mapping the job. Below are 2 abstract artifacts that express the main job and zoom levels that allow me to work through Jobs' thinking process and identify areas to innovate.
A coaches primary job is to simply improve their team, but if we were to ask ‘How?’, then we move down the zoom level and uncover a set of secondary jobs such as; Develop self, Prepare team for season, Coach training session, Coach game etc.
Working through each of these jobs I identified a set of job steps (yellow blocks) organised by before, during, and after completing the job. These job steps describe a functional job (e.g. Decide starting 11) and contain a set of customer needs. Continuing with the ‘Decide starting 11’ example job, related customers needs could be the following:
- Increase the likelihood of picking players that performed well in the previous match
- Increase the likelihood of picking players that performed well in training
- Increase the likelihood of making sure players get equal playing time
- Increase the likelihood of picking players that match up well against the opponent
- Increase the likelihood of picking players that perform better in our formation
- Increase the likelihood of picking players that perform better with our tactics
To complete the map I added social and emotional jobs (red/navy blocks) that relate the job to be done. Examples of these are:
- Feel like the team is improving
- Earn the trust of players
Performing this exercise provided me with a clearly articulated and solution agnostic lens at which to see the progress coaches are trying to make. It formed the foundation of my jobs thinking and allowed me to deeper understand the target customer. Another benefit of the job map is that it’s stable over time, unlike other research methods, the jobs and needs customers use to reach their goals very rarely change.
The rest of this case study is private. If you would like to learn more about Go Coach It please DM me on Twitter @lapontin.