Cover image for Coaching women's soccer : a revolutionary approach to putting the play back into practice
Coaching women's soccer : a revolutionary approach to putting the play back into practice
Stokell, Ian.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : Contemporary Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
x, 182 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Electronic Access:
Publisher description
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV943.8 .S77 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
GV943.8 .S77 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The author presents the notion that women's soccer coaches spend too much time practicing drills rather than just playing the game, a philosophy carried over from long-established sports in the U.S, where drills consume most practice time. But soccer is a much different game. The coach does not call in plays from the sideline - the team must lead themselves as a cohesive group and play spontaneously on a very large field. The author contends too much drilling restricts on-the-field decision-making and results in play that is less spontaneous and all too predictable. In the first half of the book, coaches will learn the theory behind a freegame coaching philosophy, in which the game is the teacher and players learn from other players, not the coach. They gain insight into why the freegame is an important part of practice - it allows players to display their fundamentals in an unrestricted, fluid environment where all the elements of a real game come into play - pressure, vision, and decision-making. The author contends his approach is more in tune with the women's game because in his view, women embrace the spirit of teamwork more so than their male counterparts. The second half o

Reviews 1

Choice Review

A soccer player for 35 years and a coach at all levels of the game, Stokell offers a somewhat innovative approach to improving the quality of soccer play. He suggests replacing drills as the dominant component of practices in women's soccer with what he calls a "freegame" coaching philosophy. It is a method by which the game is the teacher, and the players learn from one another, not the coach. Stokell argues that placing players in game-like situations during practice helps them develop the skills needed on the soccer field, skills that cannot be acquired with repetitive drills. In an unrestricted environment, players learn how to use their vision and anticipate the ball's movements and then make decisions based on their game-play experience--as opposed to responding like robots programmed to react in a particular way based on exercises. Written more like an editorial on the game than as an instruction manual, the book is easy reading and includes some diagrams and explanations. Stokell backs his theory with suggestions of how to deal with specific situations and player response. Applicable to players at all levels, this book will be useful to coaches and players alike at high school and college levels. R. P. Meden Marymount University