Why You Really Need This Book
“Whatever you can do or think you can, begin it. Boldness has power, and genius and magic in it.” - Goethe
My name is Andy Barney – Founder of the “Training Soccer Legends” method of soccer coaching. In 1989 I founded the Legends Soccer club in Kansas City and began to question the conventional team oriented coaching philosophy I had adhered to for the previous 15 years. As a result of many years of study, analysis, trial and error, I have created a whole new way to coach the game and as a consequence 25 Legend club players have been drafted to play professionally.
Do you want to learn to “Be Like Mike”? Michael Jordan was the most dominant player in the history of the NBA. How about Wayne Gretzky or Magic Johnson or Pele? Each of these men had the ability to individually beat a player and score the game winning points. This “Big Play” ability was what set them apart from their peers and is what made them Legends of their sport. What you will learn from the “Training Soccer Legends” book will be a unique and vastly more beneficial way of playing or, if you are a coach, developing players. However, you will need to open your mind to a whole new way of playing or training players that conflicts with your previous perspective. Even Bill Gates had a narrow vision of the future in 1981 when he made the statement, “640K ought to be enough computer memory for anybody.” The unique approach outlined here will challenge both your open mindedness to new ideas and your ability to reason.
The “Training Soccer Legends” approach is unique and more beneficial for many reasons. Here are a few:
The “Training Soccer Legends” curriculum is truly unique because it relates soccer skill development to the Physical Education principles of transfer of training, (each skill builds upon the next), economy of training, (many things being accomplished at one time), and specificity of training, (everything relates to the sport and has a purpose). It utilizes accepted practice in childhood education and child psychology. It profits from the benefits of skill compounding. It involves the two skills that are easiest to practice at home and most motivating to players. It focuses on the skills that develop great self-belief and leadership. It emphasizes risk and the individual win instead of safety first and the team statistic. It trains the total soccer player not the limited positional player. It trains the ability vital to making big plays that guarantee selection to the higher levels of play, i.e. state select, college and professional teams. It refutes the instant gratification “win now, pay later” mentality that permeates modern society. It demands great failure on the road to great success. It creates players of amazing perception and skill. It “operant conditions” the technical and tactical habits necessary to play at the very top. It recognizes that there’s no way any human can learn all the techniques and tactics of soccer before they complete their youth career at age 18, and that attempting to do so will only result in poorly developed skills and little tactical understanding that can be used at the highest level.
The curriculum first focuses on the technical stage where all players work exclusively on the most creative and difficult skills of the game. It gradually transitions into the 1 v 1 stage where they learn to dominate the immediate opponent. It then changes slowly from the 1 v 1 into the 2 v 2 phase. This is where players are taught to combine with teammates to create, exploit or destroy goal-scoring opportunities. As a result mature Legend trained players are at home in the clutch and feel totally comfortable with making the big plays that determine the outcome of games, at both ends of the field.
“Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by high originality, overcomes everything.” - George Lois
In every practice from the 1 v 1 stage onwards players are challenged maximally in the four key developmental areas of technique, tactics, physiology and psychology so, for the first time ever, you are about to learn and understand an approach that develops all four components of soccer to the greatest degree in every single practice. When reading this book your traditional paradigms will be destroyed because the philosophy, inherent complications and structure of almost everything in this book is different from the norm.
The skills are different and they’re more fun, the training area is smaller than normally acceptable, the practices are more crowded than those recommended by more traditional coaches. We don’t use bibs, I keep stats, I demand greedy “ball hog” play and use many more methods to achieve my goal of eventually creating the truly complete player.
As you digest the unique methods described herein your current thoughts and beliefs will be questioned and challenged in ways you have never imagined and yet the confusion, chaos and creativity involved in the “Training Soccer Legends” way will turn players into creative, improvisational, tough, quick thinking, soccer geniuses.
Open your mind. Understand and recognize the truth. Read and analyze carefully because, if you adopt the original methods set out here, you’re in for the ride of your soccer life.
“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes