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

Talent ID (Soccer) – Rasmus Ankersen’s Gold Mine Affect

Talent ID (Soccer) - Rasmus Ankersen’s Gold Mine Affect This article will give you a practical view of how Rasmus Ankersen’s Gold Mine Affect can be used in talent identification. In his book titled “Gold Mine Effect: Crack the Secrets of High Performance” (2013), Rasmus Ankersen sets out a rather controversial view of performance and its consequences. The most attractive aspect of the work is its ability to speak to athletes, parents, guardians, coaches, clubs and anyone else that has an interest in sports. The premise of the book is that there are many great athletes out there in some of the poorest parts of the world but they are not picked up because the talent scouts in Western developed societies tend to favor the finished products of athletes who have been given every advantage and are therefore able to perform well on cue. In many ways the book explains why backwater countries like Jamaica, Ethiopia and Kenya are beginning to dominate Olympic and other athletic events. Although the phenomenon has not yet spread to soccer, there are signs that a lot is being missed. If one was to look at the English Premier League or its French counterpart, it is quite clear that many players from these parts of the world are being recruited to bolster national teams. Basically the book talks of six gold mines which are countries that currently produce or will most likely produce some of the best athletes in the world. Interestingly the gold mines are directly linked to a specific sport rather than being generalized. This allows for specialization and could greatly help soccer scouts when looking for populations that are most likely to produce stars. The examples that Rasmus Ankersen gives include: Brazil for Soccer Ethiopia and Kenya for Long Distance Running Jamaica for Sprinting Russia for Tennis South Korea for Golf In all those countries mentioned, the USA probably has the best resources for those specific sports and has a budget that far exceeds all the nations put together. However the countries still manage to beat the USA handily. If the USA is to develop its general sporting prowess and excel in soccer then it needs to really understand how the gold mine effect works. Factors that Create Sporting Prowess There are certain specific factors that Rasmus Ankersen identifies as being critical to developing the unique capabilities of these nations. 1) Concentrated Parenting: It is very important that parents and guardians as well as the general family is involved in the talent scouting process. These are the people that are eventually going to work with the coach through final decision-making. If they are not on board then the scheme is bound to fail. Often the attitudes of parents and guardians will tell the decision-maker whether they will be committed to the requirements of the player development program. Of course we must remember that some parents are messed up but produce children who are stars. Therefore the club or institution must not drive [...]

By | January 20th, 2016|Categories: Soccer Stories|

Columbia Street Soccer Training – In association with the ISSA

By | January 19th, 2016|Categories: Soccer Stories|

Street Soccer skills sessions are coming to town

WITH his Street Soccer Akkademy (SSA) having been very successful in Canada, Ady Beasley has come back to his roots to bring a new and exciting programme to the youth of Redditch. The programme is a very unique concept and allows players to learn through playing and having fun with their friends. Director Ady has dedicated his life to learning new ways of coaching the beautiful game and now has one mission – to give youngsters their game back. Having travelled throughout Europe and Canada, Ady has also educated very bright students from Loughborough and Bournemouth University, along with working with Darren Laver and the International Street Soccer Association (ISSA) on holiday camps with Thomas Cook, and has decided to bring the game home. Ady said: “Street Soccer has many different styles played all over the world but what we consider Street Soccer to be is fluid play, faints, deception and extensive use of ground work as well as goals, nutmegs and creative moves to beat your opponent. “Technique and strategy are the key elements of playing a good game. “Anyone who watches a game will be able to see creativity in players and identify moments of creative flair. Players like Messi, Ronaldinho, Kaka and Ronaldo, to name a few, are some of the most creative and arguably the best.” The SSA will be staging evening and weekend programmes in and around Redditch to start with for youngsters between the ages of five and 15, along with a class for two-and-half-year-olds to five-year-olds. First up is a Street Soccer Festival at Woodfield Academy on Saturday and Sunday, January 23 and 24 between 10am and 2.30pm. It is open to five to 15-year-olds and will feature coach Ady, Darren ‘the Flave’ Laver (a character on the video game FIFA Street Soccer) and Mark ‘Freestyler/Street Player’ Tiernan running the show, along with local budding coaches. To sign up for one of the days, go to or e-mail for more information. There will be limited availability to ensure quality of session and players to coach ratio is kept at 8:1.

By | January 18th, 2016|Categories: Soccer Stories|

ISSA and the Indy Eleven

My name in Guy-Jo Gordon, Director of Community Relations for the Indy Eleven.  Indy Eleven is an American Professional Soccer team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Founded in 2013. As part of our community programs we were looking for a particular soccer session/event that would excite, engage and inspire young players.  We then came across the International Street Soccer Association (ISSA) and invited them to coach and perform their creative skills at some of our events including the Annual Mayor's Futsal Cup, which involved 32 teams from 32 countries.  The ISSA exhibited their street soccer skills by performing in front of crowds in excess of 5000, and competed against individual challengers, demonstrating outstanding ability to play the game of soccer in a creative, functional manner. The ISSA have a tremendous creative talent, and their abilities to inspire youth and adults is unmatched. I would like to finish by saying that the ISSA has an extremely unique concept, it is an extraordinary world-class organization, with talented coaches and players, and they are all great with young people of all ages and abilities. Comes highly recommended as the best creative Street Soccer coaching company I have ever been involved with. Guy-Jo Gordon Director, Community Relations Indy Eleven | North American Soccer League

By | November 4th, 2015|Categories: Soccer Stories|


So what makes a great coach or world class coach? Is it the people who consistently win prizes? Are they the trainers that land on talented individuals and then glory in their success? Is it those coaches that drive athletes to distraction? My experience is that the great coaches are often to be found in the most unusual places. They are the ones that have been able to withstand and survive the drudgery of the community team. They are the ones who are able to set up a competent team despite the lack of local support and the total absence of funds. These are the people that build relationships that last a lifetime. They get on with parents and athletes alike. Through this social capital and ability to relate, the world class coach is able to lay the ground for the glory of the athlete. They are an instrument in the wheel of fortune that is competitive sports. Quite often they will not be acknowledged but their satisfaction is the athlete that finally comes into their own. It is a glorious thing to get miracles from nothing. This is not to denigrate those who have been coaches and have achieved moderate or even great success. They are part of the industry but we cannot in all honesty refer to them as great coaches. That accolade is preserved for the select few that have the ambition, drive, vision and organizational skills that are required in order to deliver top grade performances. You may be reading this and wondering why so much attention is being paid to a coach that is supposed to be in the background. The truth of the matter is that we are never quite there when it comes to sporting prowess. The natural talent can only take you so far. These sports (regardless of whether it is football or not) require technical skills that will definitely be beyond those that have not bothered to hire a good coach. In this business the early bird always catches the worm and the rest are left wondering what happened. Therefore right from the outset, you as the parent or guardian should take care to select only those coaches that are going to get the best out of your child. We believe that the fundamental duty and responsibility of a world class coach is to get the best out of the person that they are looking after. They are able to make them perform regardless of the individual weaknesses and failings that this young person may display. Of course the skills of the world class coach mean that they are not hindered by age barrier. These are people who are able to explore the widest range of potential clients and cope with the unique demands that they bring to the table. They are the guys that are not held back by circumstances or the environment. Their innovation and creativity allow them to find success in the most unusual places. Coaching is not [...]

By | October 27th, 2015|Categories: Soccer Stories|

Street Skills Academy – YMCA / Eagle Express Soccer Club

“I have been around a lot of player development opportunities over the last decade, but the camps and clinics provided by Darren Laver and ISSA are second to none! Our players have come away vastly improved not only technically with touch and footskill, but more importantly far superior in creativity and composure while making decisions at game speed. The tempo and coaching methodology employed by Darren and his staff promote a fun yet productive environment for the players to thrive in and they absolutely love it. If I only had one camp or clinic to offer to our players, it would be Darren and ISSA!” Barry VonLobstein, Eagle Express Soccer Club, Director of Coaching, May 2015

By | May 21st, 2015|Categories: Soccer Stories|