"You can only coach what you learn," says Coach Ken.  Coach Ken is a guy who enjoys to learn and believes the only way to grow as a coach is to learn as much as he can to support his players.

Formal Soccer Training

Winter 2017: National Soccer Coaches Association of America 2017 Convention 

Coach Ken attended a 5-day NSCAA Convention in Los Angeles in January 2017. He earned three Diplomas:

  1. Advanced Youth Coaching Diploma
    - Advanced Youth Practice (2 Field Sessions) by Donald Park (Scottish Football Assn)
    - Development Autonomous Decision Making (Field Session) by Hugo Blanco
    - Progressions from Fitness to Functional (Field Session) by Paolo Pacione
    - Movement Off the ball and Partner Awareness (Field Session) by April Heinrichs
    - Next Level Training (Field Session) by Damon Scott

  2. Goalkeeping Level 1 Diploma
    - GK Positioning and Communication (Classroom) by Lisa Cole and Michael Crane
    - GK Basic Handling and Angle Play (Field Session) by Lisa Cole
    - GK Breakaways (Field Session) by Michael Crane
    - GK Team Games (Field Session) by Lisa Cole

  3. Technical Development of the Competitive Player Diploma
    - Defending Early, Defending Late (Classroom and Field Demo) by Dick Bate
    - 1 v 1 Attacking / Defending (Field Session) by Bernd Stober
    - Decision Making and Body Positioning (Field Session) by Romeo Jozak (Croatia Fed)
    - FC Bayern Munich Technical Differences (Classroom) by Sebastian Dremmler
    - 5v5 World's Best SSG (Field Session) by Jeff Tipping

 Coach Ken also attending the following selected individual courses:

- Modern 1 v 1 Goalkeeping (Field Session) by Phil Wheddon
- Transition: Stop the Counter Press (Field Session) by Emma Haynes

Summer / Fall 2016: Small Sided Games Diploma (National Soccer Coaches Association of America)

Coach Ken is currently working towards this Diploma.  Features of this Diploma include:

  • Highlight practical coaching methods a coach can employ to facilitate player learning.
  • How to teach attacking and defending principles with 4v4, 7v7 and 9v9.
  • How to defend without a goalkeeper in the 4v4 format.
  • Strengths and challenges of different team formations:
    4v4 – 0-2-2; 0-3-1; 0-1-2-1 etc.
    7v7 – 1-3-2-1; 1-2-3-1; 1-2-2-2 etc.
    9v9 – 1-4-3-1; 1-3-3-2; 1-2-4-2 etc.

Winter 2016: Level 1 Diploma (National Soccer Coaches Association of America)

The Level 1 Diploma contained the following eight core modules:

  1. Principles of Coaching;
  2. Coaching Methodology;
  3. Small - Sided Games;
  4. Planning for Player Devleopment;
  5. Attacking Principles of Play;
  6. Defending Principles of Play;
  7. Developmentally Appropriate Coaching; and
  8. Communicationa nd Motivation. 

In addition to the core modules above, Coach Ken participated in the five elective modules (which are based on the 5 stages of Player Development in US Soccer), and thus obtained a Diploma for each stage of player development: 3-5 years old, 6 - 8 years old,  9 - 11 years old, 12 - 14 years old, and 15 - 18 years old.

Winter 2016: Soccer for Life (Jonathan Vos) - PEI Soccer Association (Canadian Soccer Association)

Coach Ken attended this 14 hour training course in Charlottetown in February 2016. Soccer for Life is a NCCP Community Coaching Workshop.  The Canadian Soccer Association's LTPD workshops provide education on age-appropriate coaching for each level of play. 

The emphasis of this course was on technical and tactical development, specifically:

  • How to plan and deliver effective, enjoyable, age-appropriate practices and how to provide feedback to your players.
  • How to be able to better understand the role of the coach, and the developmental stage of the players.
  • How to provide a safe practice/game 

Moreover, the training illustrated the concept of G.A.G. coaching or "Game Activity Game" / "Global Analytical Global" methodology when running training sessions.   Lastly, it was during these sessions that Coach Ken's philosophy of equal playing time and giving players an opportunity to play different positions was supported through the Long Term Athlete Development model.

Spring 2015: Coerver Coaching Youth Diploma (Brett Mosen) - Weekend in Montreal

Coach Ken attended this two-day diploma training in Monteal in 2015.  Mr. Mosen is the assistant coach for Toronto Lynx of the USL Premier Development League (2014 - Present), as well as the head coach for McMaster University's Women's Team (2011 - Present).  He is also the Canadian Director of Coerver Coaching, and has coached the USA Olympic Development Program from 1990-1998.  So, needless to say, he really knows his stuff. Check out the Dec 2015 edition of Soccer Weekly to get a snapshot of the legacy of Coerver Coaching in USA and JAPAN: Both Women's World Cup finalists in 2015:

USA Coerver Coaching


Coerver Coaching Japan

National High Five Sport Certification

Aligned with the Fundamentals and Learn to Train stages of Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD), HIGH FIVE Sport focuses on the social, emotional, and cognitive development and wellbeing of athletes. The training is based in research and has been designed to help coaches with top coaching dilemmas such as dealing with parents, keeping the child's interest, ensuring fair play and an emotionally safe environment.

Spring 2012: PLAYER / COACH DEVELOPMENT (Bruce Grobbelaar, Mike Power)

Coach Ken attended this weekend Player / Coach Development Camp.  The lead trainers for this weekend were:

  • Bruce David Grobbelaar (former goalkeeper for Liverpool in the English Premier League, and 20 years as a professional level keeper)

  • Mike Power (NLSA Men's Canada Games Coach and Team Atlantic Coach)

  • Canadian National Women's Player (Unfortunately, can't remember her name - old age you know)

Spring 2011: PLAYER / COACH DEVELOPMENT (Jonathan Vos, Lewis Page)

The head coach of both post-secondary men's soccer teams: Mr. Vos (Holland College) and Mr. Page (UPEI) were the leading trainers for this Spring weekend in 2011.  At this time, Mr. Page was the Technical Director of the PEI Soccer Association.  Both Mr. Lewis' and Mr. Vos' training provided valuable lessons.


Sideline / Field Training

If you have ever attended a player development training session on PEI, you just may have witnessed Coach Ken on the sidelines, being very quiet, and writing down the drills and techniques used by PEI coaching leaders.  Many times, it is during these "informal" moments when great learning happens . . . .  

And, in the Fall of 2015 - Winter 2016, Coach Ken has been witnessing a solid team of coaches in the PEI Provincial All-Star Program.  Check it out!

Winter 2016: U13 GIRLS PROVINCIAL TEAM TRAINING and TRY-OUTS (Jonathan Vos) -  31.5 Hours (21 Sessions)

This is a continuation of the Fall 2015 Training.  Coach Ken attended four sessions per week from January - April 2016. 

Fall 2015: U13 GIRLS PROVINCIAL TEAM TRAINING and TRY-OUTS (Jonathan Vos) - 16.5 Hours (11 Sessions)

Having an opportunity to sit on the sidelines and watch 2-time CCAA Men's Soccer Coach of the Year run through try-outs for his U13 Girls Provincial team was an chance that could not be passed up on.  Mr. Vos won the Coach of the Year award in 2012 and in 2015, and is also the Technical Director of the PEI Soccer Association.  In addition to being on the sidelines to learn from Mr. Vos, Coach Ken was also learning Goalkeeping Training while observing Nathan Ford's sessions.   

Fall 2015: U10 & U12 BOYS & GIRLS FUTSAL (Graeme McDonald) - 3 Hours (3 Sessions)

Coach Ken was on the sidelines for Graeme McDonald's player development sessions in the Fall of 2015 in Summerside.  Mr. McDonald is the Head Coach of the UPEI Women's Soccer Team and also the Manager of Player Development for the PEI Soccer Association.  Mr. McDonald's approach and vision of the game adds expertise to the Island.  Mr. McDonald is also the Canada Games Girls coach.  You can listen to Mr. McDonald's 2014 CBC Radio interview for a little more info.

Fall 2015: U10 & U12 BOYS & GIRLS WINSLOE - CHARLTTETOWN (Mark Caudle and Danny Hill) - 18 Hours (12 Sessions)

Coach Ken kicked off his Fall 2015 learning in great fashion by attending Mark Caudle and Danny Hill's player training sessions in Charlottetown.  These sessions provided insight into what the provincial program is looking for in soccer players, and how as a coach we can help players be better prepared.  A great opportunity to meet two guys who know the sport and can teach the sport.  Mr Caudle is this years U15 Boys Provincial coach and Mr. Hill is the U16 Boys & Senior Boys coach.

Summer 2013: CHALLENGER SPORTS CAMP - 20 Hours (1 Week)

Coach Ken attended this week long camp with a group of soccer players.  Challenger Sports offers summer camps, academies, world tours, and tournaments.  They are currently working with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America to provide over 1,000 coach education programs throughout USA and Canada.


Video / DVD / Print Resources

The key to learning today is that everyone can learn online.  Here are "some" of the more noteworthy learning aids that Coach Ken has enjoyed (in no particular order): 

Total Goalkeeping: Buidling Blocks for Individual Training (Coach Jupp Koitka)

This video was a great find: It is the official youth goalkeeper training video for Germany.  The coach is Heinz-Josef (Jupp) Koitka, who played 20 years as a professional keeper and was an all-star keeper, and then became the.  National U-16, 17,18, and 19 keepers.

Goalkeeping Essentials (Coerver Coaching)

From the company that is celebrating 30 years of international player development from 4 year old players to professional players, the Goalkeeping Essentials DVD is a solid resource on a number of key keeping concepts.  An essential resource in understanding the Coerver Coaching Pyramid for Goalkeepers.

The Soccer Goalkeeping Handbook, by Alex Welsh, 3rd Edition

Yes, this is an actual book.  Coach Ken was amazed too that they still made these things.  :)  Mr. Welsh has coached a number of top goalkeepers of top London clubs as well as playing a key role in the development of elite young players at Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC academies.

Make Your Move (Coerver Coaching)

This 5 DVD set is worth every minute you will watch it.  An international best seller, it includes the following types of moves: Change of direction, stop and starts, and fakes.  It also provides a number of useful exercises to help incorporate these skills in a session.  In addition to the moves, it features the other key components of the Coerver Coaching Pyramid (below) and how to build each of these elements into a practice session.

The Pyramid

The 3 Part DVD on "The Art of Playing Attacking Soccer" (Coach Norbert Elgert)

This three part series looks at combination plays, combination plays with a finish, and then the final DVD on playing soccer without the ball. This video shows his U19 team which won several championships using his method.  Coach Elgert was a professional player (1975-1990) and has been a professional youth development coach from 1993 to today.  In 2013, he won the Trainer Prize of the German Football league.

Small Sided Games (SSG) Are The Key 

Coach Ken sees the value in small sided games for many obvious reasons.  A brief look at the Manchester United research study that compared 4v4 and 8v8, advocating for 4v4 for best player development highlights the rationale.  Specifically, they found:

  • 135% more passes
  • 260% more scoring chances
  • 500% more goals scored
  • 225% more 1 v 1 encounters
  • 280% more dribbling skills observed 

Some of Coach Ken's resources to support SSG include: Michael Beale's Soccer Coach Weekly's two different 64 Small Sided Games books, Coaching Through Small Sided Games, Competitive Small Group Training, and Dutch Masters.

Soccer Coach Weekly

Coach Ken is subscribed to Soccer Coach Weekly.  Soccer Coach Weekly provides (you guess it) a weekly magazine that highlights the drills used by professional coaches in current training sessions.

The Complete Guide to Coaching Advanced Players (Rob Gale)

Mr Gale is the Canadian U18 Men's National Team Head Coach.  His 10 DVD and 6 PDFs offer new insight into the fine details of touch drills, advanced possession, 1v1 technical training, and so on.  One quote that stood out for Coach Ken was that "Soccer at the highest level can be broken down into a series of 1v1 situations".

Soccer U & Blast the Ball (Coach V)

This 5 DVD package sets out youth instruction in a variety of methods that are creative and engaging for youth.  Coach V breaks down aspects the technical aspects of different skills in a manner that is easily understood.  Many reviews of coaches using Coach V's materials call them "the best on the market to TEACH the skills" and that former players in forums have said although their coaches "coached" them "the game" they never had been through true "technical" training before this series.  The 5 DVD set is very specific and very detailed.  The entire series is 10 hours long. In addition to the 5 DVDs, there is another DVD: Blast the Ball.  Blast the Ball is a single DVD training tool based on years of research on how strong and accurate soccer kicks happen.  He breaks down the steps on how to move a player from toe-kicking the ball to kicking the ball with power and accuracy.  Coach V uses real footage from school teams and Pro training sessions.

24 Dynamic Soccer Activities for a Winning Team (Coach Rick Flores)

Mr. Flores is the Director of Coaching at the La Jolla Youth Soccer League.  Always something to return to.  Have seen top level PEI coaches using some of this material.

Much Much More

Coach Ken will add more resources when he stops reading / viewing them.  :)