Customer Reviews: Skills & Strategies for Coaching Soccer - 2nd Edition
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars28
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on April 13, 2010
I'm your typical parent/volunteer coach with absolutely zero background in the sport. While I really enjoyed the game and enjoyed coaching, I certainly struggled at first and found it very difficult to gather information from a variety of sources. But, I stuck with it and improved as a coach and moved on to coach my younger kids, too. Then, last year, having moved up to coaching at a slightly more competitive level, I discovered this book. I've been through it several times and it is the foundation for most of my practices.
I can't recommend this book enough to a beginning or slightly experienced parent/coach. The organization of the book is first-rate. Each skill is explained in detail, with plenty of photos and diagrams to get the point across, then the authors present several drills (with progressions for better players) to reinforce the teaching of a given skill. There's information on the basic skills of the game (dribbling, shooting, receiving, etc...), as well as tactics and coaching techniques. I'm currently coaching my daughter's U8 team and son's U10 team. There's definitely a gap in skillset between the two ages, yet this book has plenty of drills for both.
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on October 29, 2009
Reviewed by Rory, UK - a PE specialist teacher and sports coach

This book is the bible of soccer coaching but it is useful to anyone involved in the game, coaches, teachers and players alike. It covers skills for beginners, intermediate and advanced players with a load of information to help coaches with the progression of their pupils.

The first edition was a best seller and this second edition has been excellently updated. I only wish I'd known of the book whilst at University as it would have been of huge benefit when writing assignments covering the techniques of soccer and how to coach effectively but now that I have found it I am looking to it for advice whenever I coach.

There is plenty of technical information eg on taking penalties and techniques for throw ins, including information covering the tactical benefits of the long throw which I found of particular use as information on this is quite rare. I particularly like the fact that the book emphasises a positive approach to coaching based on skill and fair play and also gives information on good nutrition and diet. The book is arranged in such an easy to use manner that, if my team was weak on attacking, I could easily find the chapter and read up about what was needed to correct the problem.

Hargreaves and Bate clearly have a wealth of experience in soccer coaching; their technique sessions are well illustrated and can easily be replicated on the training field and on the pitch. They don't just assume that coaches will have total obedience from their players and there is an excellent chapter in the book about how to cope with problem players and parents!

Excellent use of colour, diagrams, photographs and layout. Glossary included - so you can really prove that you know what you're talking about!

As I said, everyone involved in soccer would benfefit from this book but, for a practical handbook, as well as a great reference book for those "studying" the game or wanting to have a better understanding of what it is all about, this is a great investment. Buy it!
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on January 8, 2010
Solid Soccer Manual for Beginning to Intermediate Coaches.

Good diagrams.
Good explinations.
The coaches progressions are reasonable so that you can see how to "regress" (dumb down) or "progress" (ramp up) each of the drills.

Re-Read-ability: Has good re-readability and is useful as a reference during season and (more importantly) next season. There are some very popular Soccer coaching books that I have read once and then shelved. Skills & Strategies is a book that you can page through time and again, lift drills straight from the book or spark new ideas for training sessions -- the more one coaches the more one "sees" the idea behind a drill or the concept being taught and then creates a new one tailered to your own teams needs. Skills & Strategies has good breadth (technique/tactics/coaching philosophy/team concepts/team management)but not just latest fades.

ie. Set Pieces -- doesn't try to give you the "definitive set-up" for each player but rather tries to diagram the main lanes of attack.

Problems: As with any book w/ the word "Complete" in its title, it is not actually complete -- its more of a, "What every beginning/intermediate soccer coach should know...." But as a large part of soccer coaching is the ability to see and teach re-occuring patterns, this book is worth the money.
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on March 23, 2012
I've been coaching soccer for 8 years now, at age levels ranging from under-6 to under-16. When I was starting out I grabbed a few random soccer books but mostly learned by experimentation. I wish I'd had this book back then. In reading it since my recent purchase I've already picked up half a dozen new concepts, activities, and perspectives to add to my practices this spring. I own at least 6 soccer coaching books now but I don't think I'll rely on any of them as heavily as I will be relying on this.

The text is clear; the authors have a good perspective on fundamentals and tactics, and they have a good idea of what ordinary soccer coaches have to deal with on a regular basis. The diagrams and activities are easy to understand and have an obvious purpose.
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on February 19, 2014
I've purchased several books to assist with my coaching youth players and this is the book I keep coming back to to design my practices and for advancing my you players skills. I used to coach boys from U9-U13 and now coach girls U12. This book is clearly written and the drills take you through a progression of intro to advanced levels making this the perfect reference for any coach. Outstanding job by the authors. This book is comprehensive and well organized. I couldn't recommend it more. I don't give out 5 stars easy but since I haven't found another book that achieves what this book does, it absolutely earns this grade.
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on July 29, 2015
Great book that really shows me how little the head coach knows about coaching soccer. I bought two copies, one for him and one for me as the assistant coach. There are some great drills for all levels of player and some training plans for running practices. Using those, I try to set up practices to help work on the girl's deficiencies, but as the head coach, he just does whatever random thing he feels like that particular day. I'm not sure he's even read it. That being said, this book can be a very useful tool, if you read and apply the lessons inside.
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on October 27, 2014
Pros: The drills are arranged in order of most basic to most advanced. This keeps the drills relevant to the skill level that you are coaching. There are plenty of drills to choose from so you won't be lacking in practice prep. The language used is easy to understand so don't worry about excessive use of jargon.

Cons: I wish the diagrams were clearer/easier to follow. The photos do a fair job of illustrating the techniques and are helpful, but the diagrams do not help bring life to the drills.
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on May 2, 2013
I found this book easy to read and easy to follow practice exercises.
It is well structure and the exercise progression is well designed.
Great help for both, experience and new coaches.
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on September 13, 2012
Good balance between text and pictures. Many other books I saw in the library were too text intensive. Great for beginner coaches that is also useful as your and kids' skills advance.
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This is a good guideline book that every coach should have. The drill section of the book has some valuable drills to put to practice. But the idea here is how to coach a football team, which is accomplished by far.
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