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Soccer Awareness Paperback – 16 Jul 2012
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From the Back Cover
This program develops players soccer instinct and imagination and hones the awareness of where other players are on the field. Chock full of exercises with clear illustrations, coaching points and progressions, this is a very "usable" coaching book. Also includes Wayne's revolutionary Continuums of Development Model of player assessment, which will help you identify your players' strengths and weaknesses and target problem areas in your training sessions.
About the Author
Wayne Harrison is the author of 9 soccer coaching books and is a frequent contributor to coaching journals and magazines worldwide. He is a former professional player in England and Finland and has coached professionally in England, the US and most recently as the Director of Coaching for the Youth Academy of Al Ain Football Club in the United Arab Emirates, one of the most famous and successful football clubs in the Middle East and Asian regions of the world.
Top customer reviews
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There is a nice introduction and explanation/guide on awareness training. Please note that for this book to work you must have good knowledge of coaching and your own players. I have seen a great improvement in my under 10's team and this is evident on recent performances. We have had praise from rival managers in the passing style we have now adapted to, after using this book.
Wayne Harrison is a great author and the way he explains and details his coaching methods are a pleasure to read. This book will give you great information regarding awareness play and it will also inspire you and your players in training. I feel this book can be used from 6 year olds up to adult (depending on technical ability)
I have tried some of the suggestions on the under 7s team and they are slowly picking up how to work things out themselves.
I would seriously recommend this book to anyone who is serious about coaching, is ready to move their team onto a more attractive style of play and to push their players to the best of their abilities.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Don't be so hasty to find the drills that you skim through the "continuums" part and the first few chapters. His theories are spot on in my opinion. If you want to train kids how to play the game, you have to spend some time on this section. Kids need to learn to look around before they play the ball. These drills teach that.
This book details drills that get the kids' heads up and checking out the game. I have run my practices the entire year with stuff from this book and little more. Before long, the kids start to "get it" if you will. They start to think a play ahead of the game and are looking around for options. Players start to make runs to get the ball from a teammate. They are making back passes and switching the ball to the other side of the field. Before this I had a kid with the ball and the rest were watching the game. It was dribble until they lose it.
There are a lot of one touch passing drills so kids make decisions before they get the ball. All the drills are geared toward kids looking around the field. I recommend this book very highly. He has the best stuff out there in my opinion. The drills are difficult at first, but you can see improvement every practice. Don't give up on it.
When I played as a kid, long-ago, most "American" teams played a poor version of English "kick and chase" soccer. There were fast forwards and every time a team got the ball you'd hear cries of "kick it." Long, aimless kicks to nowhere were greeted with cheers, despite the fact that they accomplished nothing.
More recently, many teams have begun to emphasize footskills (a/k/a the "Coerver method"). So now some teams that aren't playing "kick and chase" are churning out kids who dribble with their heads down and use fancy moves all the time, sometimes at the wrong time. The idea is once the kids learn the footskills you can begin teaching them about the larger game. There is some merit to that position; however, when a kid's mechanics are such that he/she has his/her head down all the time, and she's not taught other aspects of the game until older, he/she might not make the leap to becoming a more complete player.
Harrison's book represent, to me, the next step in American soccer. Rather than teaching simple footskills and repetitive drills, he emphasizes awareness of the game in the context of both on the ball and off the ball movements. His theory (one that I agree with) is that without understanding the bigger picture, players won't reach their peak development. As such, the book represents the next step from kick and chase and Coerver-type play.
I still believe that footskills are important to teach, and there's room in any program for Coerver type exercises, particularly when kids are trying to master a new skill. The merit to Harrison's book is that, after the initial skill is learned, he layers on awareness exercises.
This is not a program for coaches looking to win immediately. In fact, it's probably the worst of the 3 programs mentioned above if a team wants to win NOW (you'd be better of sticking with kick and chase). However, if you're looking to target complete 14 or 15 year old players, starting at U-10 or earlier, this book merits a long look.
If you are looking at this book, I would also recommend Horst Wein's "Game Intelligence" and "Developing Youth Soccer Players" and Schreiner's "Perfect Ball Control." The "Perfect Ball Control" exercises complement many of the exercises in this book quite well, and Horst Wein is known as the "Coach of Coaches" for a very good reason.
In all, if you are concerned about long-term player development, this is a GREAT book.
This is one of the best soccer books I have ever read. I coach club, school and travel players, and can use this information at all levels.