________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 1 . . . . September 4, 1998

Youth Soccer Drills-- 77 Drills for Beginning to Intermediate Players.

Jim Garland.
Windsor, ON: Human Kinetics (Box 24040, Windsor, ON, N8Y 4Y9), 1997.
210 pp, paper, $20.95.
ISBN 0-88011-528-9.

Subject Heading:
Soccer for children-Training.

Review by Jo-Anne Mary Benson.

**** /4

As a parent involved in soccer over the last twelve years, I was delighted to learn about Jim Garland's book, Youth Soccer Drills. Garland is a veteran elementary physical education teacher and coach who is no stranger to working with children. He recognizes that children need to understand what is going on, and that children love to be active. In Youth Soccer Drills, he incorporates both these ideas in a variety of drills that focus mainly on skill acquisition and movement and which will enhance player development and give children a better understanding of the game.

      In many areas, house-league and competitive coaches are parent volunteers. Though coaching clinics are sometimes offered, coaches are often left to develop their own training programs, but, with few resources available, this is often a daunting task. Youth Soccer Drills fills this void and offers an ideal reference tool that will be of great use to coaches of children in the five to twelve age group. The easy-to-follow activities are fun and encourage everyone to be active. Use them independently or as a companion to other books or programs.

      All seventy-seven drills are presented in a format that conveniently outlines the purpose, equipment, time, procedure, and key points of each drill. This feature allows coaches the opportunity to select and prepare in advance the drills the team will practice. Garland has grouped the drills under specific subject areas such as dribbling, heading, passing, collecting, and shooting to help focus on certain techniques in a game. By organizing the drills in a logical progression from the least to most difficult, Garland allows youngsters who quickly master a drill to move on to a greater level of difficulty. Similarly, new players can move at their own pace and achieve a certain level of comfort with a drill. An added bonus is a "Drill Finder" chart that offers a quick and easy reference for specific activities for singles, partners, or groups. The accompanying illustrations throughout the book beautifully complement the concepts being described.

      The book concludes by examining the styles of play for different game structures from the three-versus-three to the eleven-versus-eleven. This coverage looks at many factors from defense tactics and support, to decision-making and set plays. New coaches will also be pleased to find sample practice plans for different age groups. Much of the author's philosophy is summed up when he states, "Make practices valuable, fun learning experiences that will keep kids coming back to enjoy another day of soccer with their friends." This book epitomizes what team sports are all about.

      Youth Soccer Drills is highly recommended as a worthwhile investment for any coach, parent, or teacher.

Highly recommended.

Jo-Anne Mary Benson is a writer, reviewer and mother who lives in Osgoode, Ontario.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 1998 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364