Systems Thinking in Football Webinar

Webinar aims

The notion that football matches, teams, clubs, and leagues are complex systems is now widely recognised. Systems thinking provides useful approaches for understanding this complexity. The inaugural Systems Thinking in Football Webinar aims to engage a broad audience on the value and benefit of applying systems thinking in football. The webinar will include presentations from world leading systems thinking researchers in sport, and experienced international football coaches.  Attendees will be exposed to state-of-the-art research and practice which aims help optimise football performance through translation of core systems thinking principles.


This free webinar includes presentations that will be of interest to coaches, club stakeholders, and researchers. In particular, the webinar will focus on translating systems thinking in practice and so will be useful to sports practitioners at all levels.


Professor Paul Salmon is the founder and director of the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Paul is a world leading systems thinking researcher, and has authored 21 books, over 230 journal papers and has been awarded over $10 million research funding. His recent research has focused on applying systems thinking in sport. Paul will introduce core principles of systems thinking and how they can be applied in football for performance evaluation and optimisation.

Dr Scott McLean is a Research Fellow at Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Scott’s work focuses on understanding sport as a complex system, and his research involves applying systems thinking to football and sport in general. Scott has worked with multiple professional sporting clubs to design and redesign processes and optimise club and team performance. Scott will present some recent real-world applications of systems thinking to professional sport.

Karl Dodd is a professional football coach and former professional football player. Karl holds an Asian Football Confederation professional coaching license and is currently the National team head coach of Guam. Karl has extensive experience working with multiple professional and semi-professional football clubs as a head coach, high-performance coach, and as Director of football. Karl will share his experiences of how systems thinking has enhanced his perspective on coaching, youth development, program implementation among others.

Kelly Cross is the Technical Director – Youth at Sydney FC, having previously served as Assistant National Technical Director at FFA. He has been a FIFA Technical Expert since 2007 and was recently appointed as a FIFA High Performance Expert in its global Talent Development project. He has been working full-time at State and National level for twenty-eight years, including roles as NSW Institute of Sport Head Coach and inaugural Director of the Football Program at Westfields Sports High School. In 1999, Kelly was Assistant Coach of the Australian National Team that reached the U17 World Cup Final (the only Aussie team to have done so) where they narrowly lost to Brazil 8-7 on penalties. He was Head Coach of four NSW U15 State Teams, three of which won the National Championships.

Register for the webinar here!

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