Blog 2017-07-05T12:54:16+00:00
Recent history in words

Street Soccer in Match Day Program (Great Read)

Regulars to this page will know I frequently write about philosophy and the merits of the English game. Whilst there are no doubts lessons to be learned, in this article I would like to look at some of the more theoretical aspects of learning and coaching from some great innovators in the game. One thing I think we need to establish is that perhaps there are things we can learn about the past in how coaching was undertaken and the game played but also new ideas we can blend in. It is only by being totally open minded and receptive to new ideas can we truly push the boundaries of what we can teach our younger players. One thing we do here a lot about is how in the past young players would come in from school, grab a ball and play on the street. Even as recent as Wayne Rooney he describes such things and how it influenced his game. Equally we aware that the streets are different, there are more distractions for young players in the form of electronic equipment, social media and safety on the streets and in parks. BUT be under no illusion, we have to let our players play and it is only through play do they learn, adapt, make decisions and ultimately have fun. In a setting like this we can truly learn. "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up" - Pablo Picasso During this article I will be referencing a real innovator in coaching methodology Darren Laver who is a good friend of mine. He has a unique insight into learning and developing players through game related activities. Whilst he has taken the route of street soccer as his delivery method a lot of his coaching and learning ideas can be integrated into all forms of coaching with one caveat…there must be gameplay. Too often I watch coaches running highly specific drills with players required to move to one cone or another and perform a pre-directed task. Often the drill is complicated and takes the players a while to grasp where they need to pass to and where to move to. Ironically by the time they have mastered it the drill has been running a while and players boredom starts to take hold so they move onto a new drill to freshen it up. Whilst drills in a very short way can help hone a specific action they are by definition a set of repetitive actions to learn a specific task. If only the game was like that! Alas there are no cones in the game, there are players who move, the ball sometimes hits a bump or an opposition player steps in the way. By the very nature of the game it is random so we have to train in a random fashion. We need to teach players the key element that will make them great - not skill, not technique, not [...]

By | May 2nd, 2017|Categories: Soccer Stories|


Elite Training Academy – AN OFFICIAL ISSA TRAINING PROVIDER The ISSA has approved ETA for excellence in Street Soccer Coaching and Player Development.  Together it is our mission to facilitate the development of creative soccer players and to help players become better people and better learners. Message from Eric Stauffer (Director) Innovation in a reluctant culture can be difficult and downright impossible at times.  As we look at the fundamental changes happening in the world of soccer especially here in the US, we are seeing a shift in that reluctance.  The VYSA jumped into Futsal in 2017.  Some of the US Developmental Academies are now implementing Futsal training.  Futsal is something that has been but a fringe culture here in the US.  However, everyone is seeing the value in small sided controlled play that this brings.  Most of the countries that produce the top players in the world play Futsal.  Small sided games with a heavy ball on an open court.  This emphasizes skill, control and speed of play. Many players in these countries also played Street Soccer.  Street Soccer showcases ball control and skill.  Players are confident, quick thinking and can rapidly adapt to their environment.  In short, they are creative.  They understand how the ball moves, how to move in tight spaces and how to get out of those spaces.  They play small games but see the movement of everything around them.  Street Soccer is chaotic.  Out of this chaos vision is born. The qualities of this type of skill has been studied by Darren Laver and the ISSA.  It has been honed by the countless hours that Darren and everyone involved in this organization has spent learning and doing.  The ISSA has taken creativity and broken it down into small things that translate into control and vision.  Our partnership with the ISSA allows us to bring these lessons to the coaches and players involved in ETA.

By | April 7th, 2017|Categories: Soccer Stories|


The ISSA has approved Westside United FC for excellence in Street Soccer Coaching and Player Development.  Together it is our mission to facilitate the development of creative soccer players and to help players become better people and better learners. Message from Josh George (DOC) Westside United has partnered with International Street Soccer Association to help supplement our already prestigious training at WSU.  The goal of our street soccer ambition is to build creative, confident players that are willing to take chances on the field as well as become better problem solvers.  This is true in life as well.  Much of this starts at a young age but can be molded and toned the older players get as well.  We are going to begin doing some aspects of the curriculum this spring with the 3v3 inflatable fields and small sided games.  We will be in full affect for the Fall 2017-Spring 2018 season which will be communicated at a later date.  Some ideas that we have on implementing into our normal curriculum include FREE Play Saturdays with the inflatable fields during the winter, conducting of creative skills training sessions, Festivals within the club and integrating them into club cookouts, full integration in our U8-U12 age groups as a weekly event, tournaments out of state with the inflatable fields with players from other clubs, club tournaments, coach and player education, plus much, much more. We will be having a camp hosted by the ISSA this summer that is called the Creative Skills Camp.

By | April 5th, 2017|Categories: Soccer Stories|Tags: , , , |

Is Ancient Wisdom the Way Forward (Coaching Soccer)

The alternatives to the structured, curriculum-led approaches may appear to be ‘new age’, but in reality that sentiment could not be further from the truth. In recent years, some have come to appreciate the inherent value of ancient wisdom. The teachings of the great philosophers of Ancient Greece are as valid today as they were 2000 years ago. They simply have endured the tests of time. The principles behind the methods of Socrates are now being applied to education, sport psychology and sports coaching. Perhaps these methods are a way forward in our quest to help our players to learn. Read full article here by Darren Laver (Director of Coaching for the ISSA) Is ancient wisdom the way forward

By | January 26th, 2017|Categories: Soccer Stories|

Tips for 2017 – Creative Thinking: How Not to Get Boxed In (FREE Download)

Darren Laver from the ISSA has produced 6 very important topics to guide you becoming more creative and not to get boxed in.  Thinking about thinking is not something most people do very often. This is probably because we spend most of our time in our own heads, so think that the way we think is just fine. But the truth is, there are a number of other ways to go about thinking, ways we simply haven’t thought of. At least not in any structured way. This booklet is meant as a friendly guide to open up your thinking. It won’t necessarily make you smarter. But it’ll give you certain tools and present exercises that will provoke nimbleness of thought and creativity, which may lay the ground for you to become “smarter” (whatever this may mean to you). The first half includes a discussion of how we think, to how to become more aware of our assumptions, then covers lateral thinking and creativity. Because intelligence isn’t all about being able to think about thinking, the second half of the booklet covers the importance of insight and humor, with the remainder affording hands-on ways to think with more agility and daring. The final section is a reminder that we all have bodies, thinking bodies. For while intelligence (the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills) is the apparent subject of this booklet, in the final analysis, it’s the whole person that truly matters. 6 very important topics: Boxes Aplenty Awareness of Our Assumptions Lateral Thinking & Creativity Insight & Humor Using Lateral Thinking to Tell Stories Bodies, Not Boxes Download Here Creative Thinking How Not to Get Boxed In

By | January 13th, 2017|Categories: Soccer Stories|

Tips for 2017 – Connecting to Creativity: Steps Toward Reaching Your True Potential (FREE Download)

Darren Laver from the ISSA has produced 6 very important topics to guide you in living a more fulfilled and creative life. Being creative is not so much a skill one acquires, but rather an attitude that one cultivates. We all have the potential to lead more creative, richer lives. Doing so, however, takes some effort. A large part of the difficulty is our tendency to take the path of least resistance, to let obstacles and negativity drag us down. These difficulties are things we all struggle with. And more often than not, when we’re troubled, we tend to forget about the creative potential inside of us. We forget that we are all born with vast imaginations. While neither exhaustive nor strictly prescriptive, this booklet will hopefully help lead you back to your creative self. Approach it as you would a good conversation: the more intently you listen, and the more you contribute to it, the richer the conversation is, and the more you ultimately get out of it. 6 very important topics: Find Inspiration…Unless It Finds You No Such Thing as Failure Give Routine a Break, Or Spontaneous Holiday If You Think It’s Hungry, Feed Your Curiosity Stay Positive The Sudden Reward Download Here Creativity Booklet

By | January 13th, 2017|Categories: Soccer Stories|