Dean Atkins is a youth soccer coach for the New York Red Bulls, currently coaching in the Regional Development Schools, preparing players for the Academy. In addition to coaching, Dean works with the NYRB Academy utilising video for the U14, U16 and U18 teams.

Outside of his full time duties, Dean is committed to professional development as a coach and educator and is fascinated by the evolution of technology and it’s potential impact on soccer.




Current Role:

RDS Coach for the New York Red Bulls.

Team Supported:  

Wycombe Wanderers FC.



One Word That Describes How You Work

Methodical. Everything is done for a reason.


How do you plan/deliver your sessions? OR What does a typical gameday look like for you?

My sessions are typically planned using Sports Session Planner though I also have a notebook and pen handy so that I can jot down ideas or draft a session plan when I have a new idea for one.

I also find it helpful to have it hand written and on hand during a session (especially when doing a session for the first time).

SSP offers state of the art 3D session planning software which coaches use to generate quick sport session plans with outstanding visuals...


What apps, tools or software can’t you live without and why?

As mentioned above, I use Sports Session Planner for my sessions and am still learning everyday about the ins and outs of Gamebreaker from Sportstec, which I use to code the NYRB Academy games. 

Gamebreaker. Designed for coaches with a passion for unearthing talent. Sportstec has created a coaching tool that is reliable, powerful and very simple to use. See performance. See change. See results...

There are so many resources available to coaches nowadays that the amount of information is overwhelming. Instapaper is a god send in this regard as it allows me to save articles and videos for later so that I can come back to the best stuff when I have more time to read/watch/take notes. 

Instapaper. Save all of the interesting articles, videos, cooking recipes, song lyrics, or whatever else you come across while browsing. With one click, Instapaper lets you save, read, and among the things you find on the Internet...



What’s your best time saving shortcut or life hack?

I save all of my session plans as a PDF on Dropbox which I can access anywhere on my phone. It saves me printing them out and I can jog my memory right before the session begins.


Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?

I bought the Apple Watch recently and I’ve found that I time sections of my practices more accurately and it’s helped me to try and space out my coaching points rather than overcoach.

I guess a regular watch could also do this, so the ability to pause and play music whilst doing ball mastery is a nifty trick my old dumb-watch couldn’t do.


What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Waking up. I can be up and ready to go straight away each day without a groggy period in between. 


What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Living on the Volcano: The Secrets of Surviving as a Football Manager by Michael Calvin. It’s an excellent read with great and up-to-date insights on the world of English football. It’s particularly interesting to me just how intertwined Football Managers lives are.


Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ____________ answer these same questions.

Eddie Howe or Alex Neil. I’d really like to get an insight into the newer generation of coaches and managers coming through.


What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. 


Inspired by one of my favourite sites, Lifehacker, the How I Work series asks coaches, analysts, and people of the soccer world to share their insights, shortcuts, routines and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Dean or mention me on Twitter.