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Easy To Learn & Easy To Teach

Easy To Learn & Easy To Teach

Being retired with nothing better to do, I flew to Oakland from New York and was then driven to Sonoma State University to watch how coaches are trained there. I spent a few days with Karl Dewazien and his staff while they trained 52 candidates for the “D” license.

It was an invigorating experience. The staff used the 9-Step Routine and it worked well, including training goalkeepers. I was most impressed with the staff and participants. All were knowledgeable and eager to help each other in improving soccer skills. My purpose here is to review the program, rather than dwell on the technical aspects.

The 9-Step Routine uses two basic formations:

The first formation is used for warming up players. They use two cones two strides apart to dribble in a figure eight. This can be used to improve individual ball handling confidence, dribbling, stretching, fakes and feints.

The horizontal cones are again two strides apart. The back vertical cone is three strides back, and all activity begins here. It is a simple program to learn and teach to others. The participants were eager and well prepared.

I watched in fascination as each participating coach trained his colleagues in the basics of the system. It worked well for all. The participating coaches represented various age groups and that was not a problem. All learned. The core curriculum was almost 100 pages long and and was not broken down by age level. There were no age-specific drills. There were excuses for all age levels. All took away the basic knowledge. Some topics covered were:

Preparing to pass
Preparing away and checking to the ball
Wall passing
Give-and-Go passing
Passing to the third player
Consider the 9 Step Routine. There are only two forms to deal with. Two or three cones. What could be more consistent and familiar?

The FUNdamental program is the wave of the future. It is easy to learn and easy to teach. One does not have to count all the fingers or toes. Just get to nine.

Alan Maher

You may recognize Alan Maher from his many articles published by FUNdamental Soccer over the last three decades. What you may not know is that for more than a quarter of a century Alan Maher was the chairman of printed training material for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. His articles can be read not only in NCAA's own magazine, Soccer Journal, but in every soccer magazine in the country. Alan also published the extremely educational/innovative "Attacking Soccer with the Neutral Player" book as a supplement to FUNdamental SOCCERS' popular '9-Step Practice Routine'.