Book Description: Using insightful anecdotes, personal experiences, and perspectives of numerous development experts, they passionately provide the reader with a clear and compelling breakdown of critical issues involved with youth development. Holding nothing back, they unveil the damaging problems that currently exist in U.S. youth soccer due to high numbers of administrators, coaches, and parents demonstrating misguided and outdated beliefs, and/or harboring ulterior motives that are simply not beneficial for the players’ best interests. They emphasize how conventional thinking in youth soccer leads to so many youngsters encountering negative experiences during their formative years and is a major driver as to why 70-80% of young players drop out of the sport at a young age before they have even had the opportunity to unlock their true potential. In this book, Mairs and Shaw reveal how coaches and parents can positively impact young players’ involvement. They demonstrate how to ignite young players’ passion for the sport and arm players with the powerful tools which will help them become successful players in the long-term.
“Any parent whose child is playing youth soccer in the U.S. must read this book as the information is going to have a powerful impact on your child’s experiences, development, and ultimately their success in the sport. This book is an essential tool for any club, coach, or parent who is truly focusing on player development.” - Manchester United Youth Academy Coach - Dean Whitehouse
“As the Recreational Director for New York State West I truly identify how important this book is for the retention and development of youth soccer players in this country. Any club that implements this book into their parental and coaching education process will receive huge benefits. I will continue to advocate the power of this book!” - Recreational Director New York State West - Chris Pacilio
About the authors: Paul Mairs and Richard Shaw grew up in the soccer hotbed of North West England playing against the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Steven Gerrard. After they both progressed through the academy system of the professional and former English Premier League (EPL) club Blackpool FC, Richard went on to gain a National Championship and All-American honors playing college soccer in the U.S., and played professionally in the MISL (Major Indoor Soccer League). Paul continued his playing career in England and became heavily involved in youth development while gaining his Master’s degree and pursuing research in sport science. Furthermore, after developing young players both in Europe and the U.S. for over 15 years and travelling to various countries to research coaching methods and philosophies together they have collectively acquired valuable insight and knowledge.
“As Head of Youth at Blackpool Football Club, I realize how important it is to increase the coaches’ and parents’ understanding of the issues in this book. I will certainly be encouraging everyone at our club to read it.” - Blackpool FC Academy Director and former English Premier League Player - John Hills