It Pays to Win on Defense: A game-based soccer approach to developing highly effective defenders

It Pays to Win on Defense: A game-based soccer approach to developing highly effective defenders

by James E Jordan


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Named to US Youth Soccer's Recommended Reading List in September, 2015 and recently updated to include ALL-NEW GRAPHICS AND DIAGRAMS, "It Pays to Win on Defense" is a book for soccer coaches who are looking for the most effective way to engage all of their players all of the time in order to teach them how to best keep the ball out of their own team's goal! The book provides an all-encompassing framework for instilling the skills and mindset necessary for highly effective defenders. By combining educational theory and making everything a competition, coaches can maximize their practice time and teach that defending concepts are not just limited to certain players (e.g. the centre backs or the defensive midfielders). As I tell my teams, when we don't have the ball, EVERYONE is a defender. Therefore, EVERY player on your team needs to know how to defend and defend well!

Still need convincing? Why choose "this" soccer book over the hundreds that are already out there? In short, this book is different because it combines insights and proven activities from a soccer perspective with an educator's detailed explanations.


For parents of soccer players, "It Pays to Win on Defense" gives you insight into what might motivate your own child at soccer practice. While this is really a coaches' book, you may find it interesting to learn about defensive principles of play and the guided discovery questions allow you to ask good questions about the defensive side of the game.

For players, "It Pays to Win on Defense" allows you to see where your coach might be coming from when he or she is teaching you defensive concepts. Each coach will have their own style of delivery, but most if not all of the general concepts in this book will hold true. Also, if your learning style is more book-oriented, you will be able to gain deeper understanding of defense and defending on your own time, so you will be more comfortable in practices and games having already been exposed to the ideas.

For inexperienced coaches, "It Pays to Win on Defense" provides you with a very detailed, easy-to-understand set of games that can be applied to ANY setting. This is primarily why the book is organized by the number of big goals you have available. ALL of the games and activities contained in this book have been field-tested and they work! Game-based Soccer (GBS) gives you a framework for practices that will transfer to match days. Because GBS is, by definition, game-oriented, it allows you to observe your players more without feeling that you have to jump in and "be a coach" - this is the number one mistake I see inexperienced coaches make (spending too much time talking with the players standing around getting bored).

For coaches who have some experience, "It Pays to Win on Defense" allows you to stay fresh and keep your players energized, especially true when you have been coaching the same group of players for an extended period of time. This framework may be useful, as it challenges some schools of soccer thought with which you may be more familiar. The package of activities, questions, and progressions can be used wholesale or picked apart, depending on your comfort/interest level.

For experienced coaches, "It Pays to Win on Defense" provides you with some new perspectives and games with which to "tweak" your own coaching philosophy and practice implementation. Some experienced coaches have told me that they use some of the games here, as they hadn't come across them before. Others have said that they really like the guided discovery questions because it gives them a new approach to try with their players. Others still have told me that they started with one game in the book and then it morphed/evolved into a different one.

All in all, this book is for anyone who is interested in helping their team concede fewer goals!

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781511812238
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/20/2015
Series: Game-based Soccer Training , #2
Pages: 186
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

James Jordan is an educator and a soccer coach. He holds the NSCAA Premier Diploma, USSF National Youth License, and a Doctorate in Education. Using Game-based Soccer techniques developed over the past decade, his teams (boys and girls) have won six high school state championships and one Classic 1 boys' club championship.

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