1st Edition

Science and Practice of Youth Soccer

Edited By Michael Duncan, Mark Noon, Andre Seabra Copyright 2024
    294 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Soccer remains the world’s most popular sport with significant numbers of the world’s population engaged in grassroots soccer, particularly during childhood and adolescence. There is considerable scientific and practical data focused on soccer science available, most of which relates to elite performers and does not address the needs to grassroots coaches in understanding the science of soccer and translating this into practical messages and learning to help coaches maximise the experiences, enjoyment and development of the more than 250 million players who play grassroots soccer worldwide.

    Science and Practice of Youth Soccer presents a comprehensive and accessible introduction to key topics relating to effective player and team development in youth grassroots soccer. Written by international experts and practitioners in the field and with a particular emphasis on the development of children and youth, the book provides essential guidance of how science translates into practice for coaches and those working in youth grassroots soccer. Each chapter outlines the scientific research base for each topic, highlights myths and misconceptions that are commonplace in current practice of grassroots coaches and then provides practical solutions that coaches can take and use in their coaching practice.

    This book is key reading to those working in or studying sport and exercise science, sports coaching and sports development and also of interest to grassroots coaches and parents of soccer players.

    Section I: Coaching in Grassroots Soccer

    1. Pedagogical Approaches to Grassroots Coaching

    Michael Ashford

    2. The Race to 11 vs 11: Structuring of Competition Environments in Grassroots Youth Soccer

    Rus Smith and Martin Harrison

    3. Planning and Practice Design in Grassroots Coaching

    Pete Vallance and Pete Sturgess

    4. Building Creativity and Decision Making into Coaching

    Jack Brazil

    5. Working across Genders in Youth Grassroots Soccer

    Áine Macnamara and Niall O’Regan

    6. Working with Disabilities in Youth Grassroots Soccer

    David Mycock, Glyn Harding, Craig Williams, and Győző Molnár

    7. Talent Development in Grassroots Soccer

    Kevin Till, Joe Baker, Barnaby Sargent Megicks, and Sergio Lara-Bercial

    Section II: Physiology and Strength and Conditioning

    8. Growth, Development and Maturation in the Young Soccer Player

    Diogo V. Martinho, Manuel Coelho-e-Silva, and André Seabra

    9. Principles of Training

    Morten B. Randers, Adam Runacres, and Melitta A. McNarry

    10. Strength and Conditioning for Youth Grassroots Players

    Mark Lyons and Caoimhe Tiernan

    11. Motor Competency, Physical Fitness, and Skill Assessments for Grassroots Football Coaches

    Ryan S. Sacko, Rhys O. Morris, and Mark Noon

    Section III: Sports Psychology and Motor Development

    12. Effective Working with Parents

    Clare Roscoe, Jon Woodward, and Mark Roscoe

    13. Psycho-Social Development of the Grassroots Player, Including the Voice of the Child

    Tony Myers, Emma Eyre, and James Mcfarlane

    14. Effective Development of Fundamental Movement Skills as a Foundation for Soccer Performance

    Michael Duncan and David Stodden

    15. Using Principles of Nonlinear Pedagogy to Develop Soccer Skills

    Katie Fitton Davies, James Rudd, Keith Davids, and Colin Lewis


    Michael Duncan is a Professor of Sport and Exercise Science at Coventry University and a British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences accredited (BASES-accredited) Sport and Exercise Scientist with research interests in the field of children, motor competence, movement science, physical activity and exercise. He is a Fellow of the BASES, a member of the International Motor Development Research Consortium and a UEFA licensed football coach.

    Mark Noon, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science. He is a Chartered Scientist, a BASES-accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist, an accredited strength and conditioning coach, and a UEFA A licensed coach (accredited level 4 coach). Mark’s previous employment includes sport science and coaching roles in football at international, professional and semiprofessional levels.

    André Seabra, PhD, is a Professor at Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, and Director of the Portugal Football School, Portugal Football Association (PFA). He holds a PhD degree in sports science, a master’s degree in high performance training and a master’s degree in public health. In 2013, he received the sponsorship of UEFA and PFA to implement an intervention study titled "Football as Novel Therapeutic Approach to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Portugal".