Coaching Soccer The Progressive Way
by Mike Ditchfield and Walter Bahr 

Review by Eric Blommer

This book is different from your run of the mill coaching book. This book tries to present the coaching of soccer in a unified framework. The authors call it the ripple system because it radiates out from the ball. The player on the ball is the first attacker and all ball skills are taught relative to this position. The Closest player helping out is the second attacker. He is usually behind and to the side of the first attacker. His job is called support. All the other players on the attacking team are called third attackers and their role is to create and use space. On the defensive side of the ball, the player closest to the ball is the first defender. His job is to pressure the ball handler. The defender backing him up is the second defender and his job is to provide support. All the other defenders are third defenders. Their job is to deny space to the attacking.

For each of these positions the authors provide a training progression. The progression goes from: No Opposition, Passive Opposition, Positive Opposition, Small-Sided Game to Team Tactics. For each exercise key coaching points are given. I found this book to be an excellent aid not only for developing practices but also for understanding how the game should be played. The beauty of this system is that it teaches technique within the context of tactics so that both make a lot more sense. While I think this book may be a little too deep for beginning coaches, the concepts in it are essential if you are going to advance to the next level.

Other Details

Paperback: 256 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.75 x 10.94 x 8.27 
Publisher: Prentice Hall Trade; (June 1988)
ISBN: 0131392883

› Soccer the Progressive Way

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