Coaching to Win: Soccer for the Young Player


320 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-00-217126-0






Reviewed by Glynn A. Leyshon

Glynn A. Leyshon is a professor of physical education at the University
of Western Ontario, a former weekly columnist for the London Free Press
and author of 18 Sporting Stories.


This book, by an author with a thorough-going knowledge of the game of soccer, could turn out to be the bible of the sport. Encompassing as it does all parameters and basic concepts, Coaching to Win is a tightly written and absolutely thorough treatise on every aspect of the game. Every position is dealt with; every drill ever used seems to be included; and the pictures and drawings include both males and females.

The major portion of the book, some 254 pages, covers the basic elements of passing, shooting, heading, dribbling, etc. Each of these elements constitutes a chapter. What is unique about the arrangement, however, is that each chapter is subdivided into sections: Section I describes the execution of the skill and then gives a number of drills or practices appropriate to the skill; Section II is designed to help the coach or parent organize groups of varying size to use the drills; Section III tells how to run the sessions smoothly and inject fun and enjoyment into the practices.

The remainder of the book is devoted to coaching (38 pages) and soccer-type games (15 pages). The great disparity in the size of the three main divisions of the book is not disturbing, however, because the latter two areas are rather closely tied to the “meat and potatoes” of the first part of the book.

No matter where one opens the book, one is impressed by the thoroughness and attention to detail. Tony Waiters’ success as a coach of young people must surely be a product of his meticulous attention to detail and his enormous patience. I saw only one point to criticize — Waiters’ old-fashioned “twenty push-ups for the last man in” approach. I thought using exercise for punishment was accepted as anathema by everyone concerned with good coaching.

The book should be on the shelf of every physical educator, soccer coach, or soccer parent.


Waiters, Tony, “Coaching to Win: Soccer for the Young Player,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,