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This book is designed for all (youth) soccer coaches and for those directly involved in soccer training in other ways.

It is based on the assumption that in youth teams the emphasis is more on precision and technique and less on great physical load.

The focus is neither on theoretical discussions nor on high-faluting objectives.

The objective is to develop a complete annual programme for a team in which all aspects of a soccer season are covered.

We are assuming two training sessions a week. Each training session is described in full.

In addition we directly follow the performance development of the team with regard to training preparation.

Because improvisation is the best way of driving a team to desperation within the shortest time, and in order to avoid that we as coaches ourselves no longer know how to carry on after two weeks, the following questions must be answered:

• What players are available (strengths and weaknesses)?

• What can the coach develop in the way of game-tactical options taking into consideration the level and the composition of the team?

Answering these questions creates the foundation for the structure of an annual programme and from this the topics can be extrapolated, spread over the various periods, which must be covered during training.

Of course our own personal understanding of the game also plays a role.

This book thus only provides a guideline for various situations so that every coach is placed in a position to create his own programme using many examples and diagrams.

Two general comments in closing. Firstly: Ensuring variety in training does not mean that many different types of materials and different types of exercises must be involved.

Quite the opposite is true, simple training flows much more freely. Secondly: There is a widespread but incorrect belief that training is only good when it "hurts" the players.

The result is only that they walk around with sore muscles for days afterwards.

If this happens frequently we can be sure that after a while fitness crises and injuries occur.

To prevent this we must keep to a well thought out programme in which the preparatory period plays an important role.

Only in the following championship period is it important that the available potential is expanded as effectively as possible, maintained and used.

After all, the strength must be enough for a whole season.

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