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#61783 - 11/05/09 01:19 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: raiderdude]
AndyBarney Offline

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1785

High schools reflect the rest of society. In society sports is probably the number one single category of "real life" entertainment.

It's my guess that of all the things kids do in high and grade it is the athlete that performs in front of the greatest number of spectators.

There may be another area of life out there that's as closely watched and criticized as sports but if there is I'm not seeing it.

If this is the case self-concept built through sports comes from an environment that is much more public than most, if not all, other child environments.

That's powerful!

smile Andy

#61787 - 11/05/09 01:25 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
aclifton Offline

Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 330
Loc: Kansas City

Forgive me, what is misspelled?

I was that student council president kicking the ball into the net. As well, I participated in collegiate theater, served on many honor roll and was voted one of the most likely to succeed in HS.

For all the accolades I received in HS, I think the most peer recognition came during my athletic endeavors.


#61789 - 11/05/09 01:33 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: aclifton]
freekick Offline

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 442
Originally Posted By: aclifton
a spelling bee acievement

Not a biggie and I will critique myself and say I should have also misspelled it since I put it in quotes, but still ironic ...

As for your peer recognition, I can understand that your greatest peer recognition came from sports ... but I'll bet that most of it came from fellow athletes/sports fans (likely where most of your close friends were). And the fact you were voted most likely to succeed came from the fact you were in multiple activities, where others recognized you for your accomplishments in those other activities, too. Doubt the masses would have given their vote if you were only in soccer.

Edited by freekick (11/05/09 01:57 PM)

#61792 - 11/05/09 02:39 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: freekick]
mude Offline

Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 387
Hmmmmmm......seems like I got more girls from playing guitar than playing sports......but, maybe it was a combination of things......man, this stuff is complicated! smile

Like many things, sports provide great opportunities for teaching and learning. Sports are probably are over-valued in our society, but there certainly can be benefits if handled appropriately.

#61912 - 11/07/09 06:01 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: mude]
AndyBarney Offline

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1785
Daniel Coyle’s book, “The Talent Code”, highlights the role of myelin in the development of any type of genius. Myelin is the critical body substance that governs ones ability to develop expertise in soccer. As Coyle states “practice makes myelin, and myelin makes perfect. Each time we deeply practice a nine-iron swing or a guitar chord or a chess opening, we are slowly installing broadband in our circuitry. We are firing a signal that tiny green myelin tentacles sense; they react by reaching toward the nerve fibers. They grasp, they squish, and they make another wrap, thickening the sheath. They build a little more insulation along the wire, which adds a bit more bandwidth and precision to the skill circuit, which translates into an infinitesimal bit more skill and speed. Struggle is not optional…it’s neurologically required: in order to get your skill circuit to fire optimally, you must by definition fire the circuit sub-optimally; you must make mistakes and pay attention to those mistakes; you must slowly teach your circuit. You must also keep firing that circuit…i.e., practicing…in order to keep myelin functioning properly.”

It has long been known that practice makes permanent; that only perfect practice makes perfect. Soccer is the most “open” of all sports. The skill repertoire required of all field players in soccer is the most varied and diverse of all sports. Because of this it is almost impossible to separately repeat all of soccer’s vital neuromuscular patterns to the necessary degree of expertise to become expert in every one. As a consequence most coaches settle for laying down only the necessary neuromuscular patterns for a simpler and less risky passing & receiving game. In Britain or the 70’s and 80’s Charles Hughes simplified this process to a greater degree by advocating that the greatest statistical success would be achieved by reducing each player’s repertoire of skills to a “route one” long ball technical tactical approach played by players with the necessary athleticism and aggression to minimize risk in the defensive half and maximize reward in the offensive half of the field.

The Legends philosophy is built around the belief that elite myelin “bandwidth” for all the skills of soccer can be trained in a fraction of the time through the Phys’ Ed’ principle of “Transfer of Training”. If the hypotheses of Daniel Coyle and the research of Anders Ericsson, Herbert Simon and Bill Chase is as credible as it seems, their findings reinforce the Legends belief that a focus on developing expertise in deceptive dribbling and finishing through “Transfer of Training” will multiply both soccer and life character benefits of players trained in this manner.

At first glance the Legends method of training only the deceptive dribbler and goal scorer seems to ignore the more common or core skills of the game, i.e. passing and finishing. However, the reality is a completely different story. Great goal scorers are always excellent passers. Great deceptive dribblers are inevitably able to beat players or create space for the pass under pressure. These two facets of the Legends approach were covered in depth in my first book but what comes next wasn’t. Over the past two years the importance of “Stance” in the development of the “open sport” athlete has become dramatically evident to me. Stance is the focus of much racquet sport coaching. I have coaching licenses in tennis, squash and badminton. All three are by comparison with soccer relatively “closed” sports. The licensing courses in all three racquet sports contained a tremendous focus on developing perfect stance at the moment of racquet and ball impact. By comparison soccer licensing courses have a much broader focus. Stance is emphasized rarely because the situations in which technical actions are performed are so varied and diverse that any discussion of the perfect “stance” is rendered useless by the massive menu of stances the game gives us to choose from. This is not surprising because soccer is the most “open” world sport. Due to the wide and ever changing nature of its demands soccer is very difficult to coach. There are thousands of different coaching theories leading to the inevitable confusion and conflicting methods that permeate the worldwide soccer coaching community. As a consequence there is possibly more disagreement and confusion between soccer coaches than any other sports coaching fraternity.

Bearing in mind that variations on technique are so incredibly numerous, it is beyond the capacity of a traditional coach to train every skill involved in the game to an elite level during a youth career. With this in mind the Legends have developed an approach that teaches the young player how to assume the thousands critical but less complicated stances needed to pass and receive, by focusing on the significantly more difficult skills of deceptive dribbling and finishing.

For over five decades the Brazilians have been hailed for their incredible passing ability. It is the Legends hypothesis that their passing excellence is built around the challenges to stance that their talented deceptive dribblers and finishers had to endure within the more difficult neuromuscular demands of those two “margin of greatness” skills.

Legends players are taught the thirteen best fakes and moves soccer. These moves give each player two options for every 1 v 1 situation they will encounter in the game. These involve some the most complicated & difficult neuromuscular patterns in soccer. Legends players are also taught to score by powering, swerving, chipping, volleying & half-volleying the ball. These teach the most difficult release skill patterns of the game; patterns many times more pressured and difficult than those of passing. Inherent within the teaching and constant escalating pressures of deceptive dribbling and goal scoring are thousands of stance points.

The wall pass is a perfect example of the practical relevance of stance to a key tactical/technical passing component of successful team play. A successful wall pass play involves the build up to the pass; the execution of the initial pass and a good return pass. Throughout the sequence there are many stance points, however, the first and crucial stance point is exactly when the initial ball carrier passes to his teammate. The dribble at the first defender must be done at optimum speed and the pass delivered exactly when the attacker is close enough to the defender to make him hesitate just enough to allow the attacker to pass and win the race into the space between him and the goal.

At the crucial moment a well trained deceptive dribbler and finisher will have the honed ability to adapt his stance to the demands of the passing situation. This ability to assume the correct stance under extreme pressure will have been honed in the more difficult dribble and shoot environment close to the opposition goal.

The “Talent Code” hypothesis is that only consistent, escalating challenges involving ever greater degrees of difficulty will lay down enough myelin insulation to guarantee exceptional mental and physical performance.

It makes perfect sense that the two most difficult and rarest of soccer’s skills i.e. deceptive dribbling and finishing, if conquered to a superior level, will carry over into a wide range of soccer’s other skills and situations and by developing the very best players help them to lead their teams in brave and creative ways. As Daniel Coyle so rightly states, “Greatness isn’t born. It’s grown!”


smile Andy

#62014 - 11/09/09 01:25 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
AndyBarney Offline

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1785
I just wrote this piece for my new book:

Feedback please?


smile Andy

In Daniel Coyle’s new book, “The Talent Code” he argues persuasively for original perspectives on why certain coaches and communities in a variety of different domains develop extremely high levels of performance. He has examined a cross section of over-achieving children with no specific genetic advantage over their less successful counterparts in other programs. After identifying and researching this phenomenon he has identified a number of key components that all of these incredibly successful programs have in common.

The book reinforces most of what Andy Barney has written in “Training Soccer Legends”. However, Coyle highlighted something that he believes to be pivotal. This vital component of elite sports and life talent is “Ignition”. Without realizing its importance at the time Andy now recognizes that “Ignition” was a pivotal part of his soccer upbringing…one that shaped his lifetime love for the sport and his unique perspective.

Ignition is the initial motivator to extra effort. It can be provided in different ways, from an external event, (e.g. Mary Lou Retton winning the gymnastics gold in the 1984 Olympics), from a positive coach that makes performance fun or from an environment that reveres the elite skills of the game. Ideally it is provided in all possible ways because different children are motivated by different things.

Effective “Ignition” relies on two essential components:

The first is challenging and meaningful fun!!

The early years of any high quality program have to be as much fun as possible. The main influence on making the experience enjoyable is the coach or teacher. However, for the maximum benefit to be harvested this fun needs to be piggy backed by meaningful, maximized soccer specific development. E.g. in HappyFeet or the earlier years of the Legends program every kid needs to have a ball at their feet for the whole of the class/practice. For the benefits of ignition to be maximized the curriculum needs to include move teaching to children of all ages including 2 & 3 yr olds in HappyFeet.

"Ignition" has always been a central focus of the Legends program. Deceptive dribbling and shooting are the most fun skills in soccer. These are the skills kids choose when alone or in small groups. Kids love to emulate the great players and make the biggest plays. Ask a group of kids if they want to shoot & dribble or pass & receive and all but the rare exception will choose the first option. With shooting and deceptive dribbling as the main focus of the Legends program there is no doubt that Coyle’s crucial “Ignition through fun” component is maximized.

The second is a motivating example or role model!

For external event stimuli parents should be encouraged to take younger children to watch the local professional or college team and to identify with the players, choose a hero or two and get autographs/get to know them.

To create an environment that reveres the elite skills of the game the Legends organization is going to provide a weekly “Ignition” presentation. This will include a positive motivational paragraph with relevance to life and soccer. It will include a clip of Legends players performing the “Training Soccer Legends” skills. It will also include links to “YouTube” clips of a top level deceptive dribbler and finishers, (e.g. Marta or Christiano Ronaldo). It will be designed so that every week all Legends players receive a healthy dose of “environmental” stimulation to enhance the positive experience they get from the highly creative Legends practice environment. This technological boost will help ignite his/her passion for the game and for working on the deceptive dribbling and shooting skills we know to be the precursor to elite neuromuscular and self-conceptual development.

This will further enhance the elite individual capability the Legends program is famous for and help every child develop brave, creative leadership character for life!

#62045 - 11/09/09 05:23 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
dadof3girls Offline

Registered: 07/06/06
Posts: 158
Loc: Lee's Summit
Who is your attended audience for this book? I frankly lose focus when I try to read any of this.

#62051 - 11/09/09 05:51 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: dadof3girls]
RafaElGaffa Offline

Registered: 06/06/06
Posts: 57
Loc: KC MO
will there be any pictures? i think it breaks up the monotony! Maybe put on tape or 8 track so can play in the car for cross country drives!

#62060 - 11/09/09 07:07 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
Kaka Offline

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 2316
Andy....it can work. You are definitely expanding on the material and putting in some of your own thoughts. But it's bloated. I am not a professional editor, but that's my gut instinct.

#62061 - 11/09/09 07:09 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
Kaka Offline

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 2316
And you need to get some narrative in your writing style. Recollections, memories, something to make it interesting. It reads like a manual.

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