Training Soccer Champions

Anson Dorrance, Tim Nash, 1996, Echo Point Books & Media

Anson Dorrance is the most successful college soccer coach in US women’s soccer. In this book he describes how he did set up the soccer program at the University of North Carolina and what made them successful. This is not a training or coaching book that explains tactics or techniques, it talks about how to set up and run a team in general. The chapters of the books are focusing on different aspects of the organization of a sports team. One chapter will dicuss how to create an positive competitive environment in training, another one how to make sure everybody is able to learn and improve even if not playing regularly. It is also covered how to get good players beyond good, by making them understand the why of decisions taken in training but also on the field. Dorrance also talks about how to make sure, that the preparation for soccer doesn’t end when leaving the training court, especially focusing on how to keep player’s fit during vacation and how to make the off-season challenging for everyone. Furthermore Dorrance highlights the value of statistics, so that players get constant feedback. The statistics do not only provide that, they also make the player’s feel that the feedback is less subjective, because it is not directly coming from the coach.
Another important point the author points out are the differences between men and women. That starts with what type of relationships is required to get respected to them but also how they react to criticism. Finally he also describes how to provide the best players with enough space for creativity and how to create acceptance for their unique skills.
The only part of the book which is a bit outdated is the tactics part, simply because it is from 1996 and at that time the 4-4-2 was dominant and a attack line with 3 forwards was new. Today that is probably not the case anymore.
All in all the book is not so much a soccer coaching book but a book about leadership and how to organize a team with a soccer team as an example. Competition without hostility and creating a learning environment which provides everybody constantly with feedback and makes them able to improve no matter on which level they are, are just two aspects of that. Others are providing the space for independent decision making for the people who have the skills to do so but also to treat everybody with respect even if they will never will be your top performers. All these topics are discussed in the book and therefore it is not only a good read for soccer fans but also for managers who look for some insights in team management.

Biography: 0/3
History: 0/3
Background: 3/3
Tactics & Game philosophy: 1/3

Dutch Soccer Secrets

Peter Hyballa, Hans-Dieter te Poel, 2013, Meyer & Meyer Verlag

Peter Hyballa is one of the most successful youth coaches in Germany, how has worked for the U19 teams of VfL Wolfsburg, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen. He was also head coach of Alemannia Aachen and Sturm Graz and was known for his very aggressive attacking soccer. Along his coaching responsibilities he is also a very active author and wrote several books, together with Hans-Dieter te Poel. In his first book he investigates the dutch youth soccer system, which is one of the best in the world, and what makes it successful. The authors describe the philosophy of the national association KNVB (“Zeister vision”) but also in which aspects the work in the clubs is differing from the associations guidelines and which alternative concepts (e.g. the Coerver method) are used. During the course of the book several club representatives are interviewed, including now famous coaches like Louis van Gaal or Huub Stevens, to find commonalities in their approaches. Especially the focus on independent decision-making, exploratory problem-solving and the training of all aspects of education (Fitness, Tactics, Technique, Mentality) with exercises using the ball is a recurring theme, as well as, that the improvement of the players is more important than the success of the team. In every chapter of the book one can find descriptions of exercises, which show and support the discussed topics. However the book is less focused on the details of how to train a youth team every day, but more on the philosophy, how soccer education should be set up in general and how a youth organization of a club should work to provide the best learning experience for young soccer players.
All in all Peter Hyballa’s book is one of the best books on the market explaining youth player training and education. It would be great if one could find more of these books about other youth soccer academies, as I mentioned before, when The Blizzard discussed the french youth system. Furthermore the structure and the descriptions in the book, especially when it comes to training exercises and tactical aspects, are excellent and much better than most of the books we had before in the blog.

Biography: 0/3
History: 1/3
Background: 2/3
Tactics & Game philosophy: 3/3

Next book: The Blizzard Issue Eight (July 7th)

Mythos Niederländischer Nachwuchsfussball

Peter Hyballa, Hans-Dieter te Poel, 2011, Meyer & Meyer Verlag

Wir hatten erst vor kurzem das Buch “Modernes Passspiel” von den gleichen Autorenpaar hier im Blog vorgestellt, deswegen ist es natürlich notwendig auch mal auf das erste Buch der beiden Fußballlehrer einzugehen. In diesem beschäftigt sich Peter Hyballa mit dem holländischen Nachwuchsfussball, der als bestes Ausbildungsprogramm der Welt für Fußballspieler gilt. In dem Buch beschreiben die Autoren die Philosophie des niederländischen Verbandes KNVB (“Zeister Vision”) aber auch, wo die Ausbildung in den Vereinen von der Verbandsstrategie abweicht und welche alternativen Ausbildungssysteme erfolgreich sind (z.B. die Coerver-Methode, zu diser siehe auch in The Blizzard und auf Spielverlagerung). Dabei werden die Nachwuchskoordinaoren zahlreicher niederländischer Vereine interviewt, inklusive jetzt berühmter Trainer wie Louis van Gaal oder Huub Stevens, und die Gemeinsamkeiten der Ausbildung herausgearbeitet. Vor allem der Fokus auf Selbständigkeit, explorativer Problemlösung und dem Trainieren aller Aspekte (Konditions, Taktik, Technik, Mentaliät) durch Spielformen mit dem Ball ist in allen Antworten präsent, ebenso die Philosophie das Lernen der jungen Spieler über den Erfolg des Teams zu stellen. In den verschiedenen Abschnitten findet man auch Traingsformen, die die angesprochenen Aspekte zeigen oder unterstützen sollen, aber dieses Buch ist kein Trainingsbuch, sondern eher ein Trainingsphilosophiebuch, d.h. es stellt die übergeordnete Vision und Koordination der Ausbildung von Nachwuchsspielern in den Vordergrund und nicht die Details des Trainings.
Alles in allem ist Peter Hyballa’s Buch eines der besten Bücher, welches ein System der Nachwuchsausbildung erklärt. Es wäre schön, wenn man ähnliche Bücher auch für andere erfolgreiche Nachwuchszentren finden könnte, wie ich schonmal erwähnte, als das französische Ausbildungssystem in The Blizzard näher untersucht wurde.Auch zu Erklärungen von Taktik und Training setzten Hyballa und te Poel Maßstäbe, wie ich schon früher erwähnte.

Biographie: 0/3
Geschichte: 1/3
Hintergrund: 2/3
Taktik & Spielphilosophie: 3/3

Next book: Dutch Soccer Secrets (June 27th)