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Fundamentals of Role-based Youth Soccer cover


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Soccer, coaching, youth, technique, tactics, small-sided games, role-based.

Fundamentals of Role-based Youth Soccer
by James Cork




Do you coach youth soccer? Who is the most important coach your charges will have over their career? You are! Yes, some coach who is more “qualified” than you can later teach them all about the defensive aspect of the game. Players with a modicum of intelligence, good athleticism, a strong desire to win and precious little in technical and tactical expertise can easily become useful defensively. But what about offensive skills? These must be learned young or they will never be learned, therefore you must be the one to teach them. Are you a neophyte to soccer? This book will teach you all technical and tactical aspects necessary to develop skilful players. Will they be intelligent and creative? Your job is to lay the groundwork to promote creativity and, if you have players who are open-minded, they will enjoy their freedom and profit from it to be as creative and as impactful as they can possibly be. The end result will be a team that plays an intelligent and esthetically pleasing game and one that does not require cheating and gamesmanship in order to win.


The author is an experienced player and coach, primarily of youth but also of men and women. He learned his soccer in Canada which meant he had two sources for his soccer education. One was from himself and his friends as they had no formal training in the game until they were 12 years of age. The greatest blessing any kid could have! They played freely inventing skills and tactics as they played, unlike kids in soccer programs who are trained at ages under 9 to play a position, which means learning to stand in one place and eventually hoping that bothersome ball never comes near them. Being the country of immigrants that Canada is, the author acquired an amalgam of techniques, tactics and systems of play, some quite primitive and some quite enlightened. The author has witnessed the preference of soccer styles of play from the countries that colonized the country by local soccer bureaucrats at the expense of styles from elsewhere and hopes to take the reader down a different path.


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