The “Best” Myth

A swirling autumn wind ripped across the aluminum bleachers as I took a seat to watch a local high school soccer game. I generally don’t enjoy watching high school soccer because of the slovenly way the game is played at this level. I knew what I would see would be rough version of soccer fluctuating …

Training vs. Practice: A Measured Approach

The narrow footpath widens as I approach the now abandoned football pitch. At my foot is a scuffed football and in tow are my two nephews aged five and nine. My nephews have just returned from Ireland and brought with them a new love for football. The moment I show up to visit my parents …

The Allure of the Rondo

The Allure of the Rondo By: Jon Townsend @jon_townsend3   Call it “Piggy in the Middle”, 3v1, 5v2, 5v5+2 or any variation where a numerically superior group of players has the ball and a smaller group of players tries to win the ball back. Great players do this with precise and frenetic one-touch passes to …

The Game is Free

“There is a time and place for organized soccer, but if that is all players play, then enjoyment, creativity, leadership, and fun will have to be ‘coached’ into players, instead of being developed organically” I have this memory of my father showing me a clip of Pelé juggling a grapefruit when I was a boy …

The Cost of Development — Tom Byer’s Effect

What The US Can Learn From Tom Byer and Japan A hero in Japan for his profound effect on youth football coaching, we look at what US Soccer can learn from Tom Byer and how his methods have successfully developed many essential skills in young players. The Cost of Development By: Jon Townsend @jon_townsend3 Part …

The Coach’s Conundrum

The Coach’s Conundrum By: Jonathan Townsend @jon_townsend3 3/17/2014 The modern football coach is like a home builder. While not an architect, they are tasked with the construction, organization, and management of several pieces that must align to complete the overall project successfully. What’s the best way to build a house? Surely not by building the …