Meet David Copeland-Smith, the Brilliant Mind Behind Beast Mode Soccer

All you need is an old pair of socks. It’s a peculiar phrase, one you probably would not expect to hear from anyone let alone an elite soccer coach who trains the likes of Alex Morgan and Rachel Daly.  For Beast Mode Soccer founder, David Copeland-Smith, it is this basic concept that’s at the core of his wildly popular and unique personal training brand.

Beast Mode Soccer (BMS) is all about owning your development. It is one of the pervasive hashtags on Beast Mode’s social media platforms (along with the more recent #flicktheswitch).

These are not phrases Copeland-Smith seeks to merely throw in empty fashion at the end of his posts. Owning your development is about a player taking the reins and deciding how good they want to be. It is just as much about, as Copeland-Smith explains, “taking power away from everyone else: your club coach, the voice of doubt in your head, everyone”.

BMS encourages its players to take the time outside of regular training to make themselves better, to do the movements that make them uncomfortable, to do the things their competitors do not prioritize, and to overload their brain and feet in ways that they are not in an average practice. You can be on this path and smash your soccer goals with as little equipment as a ball…and an old pair of socks.

Copeland-Smith is originally from England, moving to the U.S. in 2005 to pursue his coaching career. He initially got his start in Florida and then moved to Los Angeles where he coached high school soccer at Harvard-Westlake. A few years later, he shifted his focus to individual training, an opportunity he relished because “you see results quicker and you get to know the player better”. Beastmode Soccer was born in 2011.

Over the years, Copeland-Smith has devised hundreds of out-of-the-box drills to help players improve their first touch, footwork, passing accuracy, and various other soccer-specific abilities. Learning and finding the motivation to get out there to do extra work is a bit (ok, really a lot) more compelling when Allie Long, Morgan Brian, and other stars are shown doing it.

Beast Mode’s list of clients is a who’s who in the women’s soccer game. And for good reason. These players’ training relationship with Beast Mode Soccer is not a false or contrived image. They work with Copeland-Smith because his training works. He has helped them develop their all-around game. Some of them have been training with him anywhere from a handful of years to nearly a decade.

Copeland-Smith is quick to point out that he is not necessarily the reason that these top players get to where they are. Many of them have one-of-a-kind attitude and obsessive discipline towards their profession that makes them rise above. Put players with this kind of head on their shoulders and the coach who preaches “own your development”? This is where the magic has happened. BMS has helped the best of the best refine their talents and push themselves just that much more with his Avante-Garde approach to training.

While famous faces frequently light up the Beast Mode brand, Copeland-Smith and the other BMS trainers sprinkled around the country work with boys and girls of all ages and levels. They run individual and small group sessions nearly most days of the week everywhere from Los Angeles to Orlando to Vancouver. BMS also works with clubs to fly out and organize four-day training camps throughout the year.

However, there is an alternative for those who cannot make it in person to work with a BMS trainer. One of the incredible and most popular elements of the Beast Mode brand that really set it apart early on is the depth and quality of the social media content. Copeland-Smith says, “Not everyone can make it out to training or can afford it so with social we can put ideas out there for players to do on their own”.

Beast Mode’s social media accounts have hundreds of thousands of followers and his videos of drills and player highlights have garnered millions of views. Every day, followers are greeted with engaging and fun ideas for how they can become a better player right now and how little room and equipment it takes.

During my time as a college soccer player, I fondly recall propping up my phone in the field house and my house in the offseason to practice Beast Mode footwork with my teammates. Soon, BMS will help players take owning their development at the gym, at home, at wherever to the next level.

This month, Beast Mode Soccer will release My Soccer Training, touted as “the world’s most complete soccer training app”. It will allow players and teams to have a wealth of BMS resources in the palm of their hand along with a ton of cool features. Perhaps most importantly, “it saves time”. The drills “are organized for you so you do not have to scroll through dozens of videos to find what can help you”. Copeland-Smith believes they can reach around “50,000 players a year” with this tool.

Today, it seems as if the online world of soccer trainers is over-saturated and there are so many virtual coaching options for players to consume, scroll through and from which to choose. BMS has some similarities to others. Indeed, part of what makes the BMS brand different is Alex Morgan’s face, David’s amusing British accent, and the funny Instagram stories.

However, what has allowed it to stand alone and continue to grow so much over the year goes further than that. The popularity and growth are about the quality, creativity, and effectiveness of the drills.

The testament to Beast Mode is that Alex Morgan can practice finishing from Zone 2 (a BMS term to the describe side space in between the 6 and the 18) for a week in training and then score a goal from there against Germany. It is also the belief the BMS trainers and its clients have in the power of “owning your development”. Those that have bought into the Beastmode way want to get out there when others do not want to and do not make excuses, even if all they have to work with is an old pair of socks.


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