Recently I was given the opportunity to read Nick Webster’s RE-BOOTING Youth Soccer 2.0. At first I thought it was a book written only for coaches, but after reading it I realized that this book has great information for coaches, parents and players alike.
Nick Webster is a highly respected member of the soccer community as a coach, player and commentator. With over 30 years of experience coaching youth, high school, college and professional soccer he can definitely be considered an expert. As a commentator for Fox Soccer he covered games at the highest level including Champions League and the World Cup and was considered the “voice” for the English Premier League in the early 2000s.
With all of this experience and knowledge, I thought the book might be a bit over my head, but although geared mainly towards coaches, I learned a lot as a parent. I really appreciated his style of writing- using clear language and a lot of self-deprecating humor! Along with technical drills and advice, Webster also deals with a variety of subjects that I think many new coaches struggle with including building a team culture, cutting kids, dealing with parents, winning/losing and encouraging players. There are also sample letters for letting kids know they haven’t made a team and many more sample forms. In addition there are tips about nutrition and other practical matters.
A couple of quotes that really stood out to me…
On Core Values… “My core values that I teach and follow every day are teamwork, integrity and hard work”
On Winning and Losing… “A coach’s influence on a young child is extremely important. The effect that a coach has could last for an extended period of time, far beyond the season. Therefore your personality, action and words could have a dramatic positive- or negative- effect on each and every child. The value of understanding children, being fair and enthusiastic, as well as being a positive role model, cannot be underestimated.”
On Coaching… “Whatever happens in a game, look your players in the eye and acknowledge what they’ve done well, what they’ve done poorly, and what they need to do moving forward… but never, ever ignore them.”
I highly recommend this book for serious soccer parents and I would love for all coaches to read this while starting out. I gained a lot of respect for Nick Webster while reading this book and it has nothing to do with all of the cool anecdotes about high level teams and players. I really appreciated his attitude towards kids and his goal to truly make the game beautiful.
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