It's Just a Ball is a book for anyone who lives and loves soccer. Founded on the author's unique set of experiences, it is a personal exploration of the beautiful game - delivered through a series of personal accounts, broader stories, studies, and interviews - capturing the unique journeys of players, coaches, and people from around the world who have found success in unconventional ways. Throughout it all, one key message emerges: the importance of not just playing soccer, but of embracing it as a lifestyle!
From the streets and training centers of Europe and the United States to the beaches of Brazil, the book explores not only what makes soccer great, but what makes a great soccer player. Sections include deliberate practice, the value of repetition and rehearsal, 10,000 hours, the impact of culture, and development facilities. It's Just a Ball attempts to make sense of theories and concepts on how a player makes the leap from good to great, and great to elite.
Whether you are a player, coach, or a fan, each chapter explores different lessons pulled from the pitch and which can be applied to life. This book challenges traditional learning theories, and links methods used across disciplines and artforms back to soccer. It's Just a Ball is a must-read addition to any bookshelf on the world's universal sport.
About the author. Jon Townsend is a long-serving writer for These Football Times and specializes in player development writing. In addition to his writing, he is a technical coach for players ranging from the grassroots to the professional level. His written work has also been featured in The Guardian and Spartan Race Magazine, and on his personal writing website farpostfooty.com. When he's not writing or coaching, he is likely training for a marathon or ultramarathon. He resides in Illinois with his wife and sons.