Latest Book Now Available: It Pays to Win on Defense


My latest book, It Pays to Win on Defense: A Game-based Soccer Training Approach to Developing Highly Effective Defendersis now available from the Amazon Kindle Store.

In It Pays to Win on Defense, I profile new players and have added some new games to the ones I offered in It Pays to Win on Offense.

Basically, 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!

Whether you are an experienced coach or a volunteer parent just starting out, there is something for everyone in this book. “It Pays to Win on Defense” includes 50 games that bring defending situations to the fore, hundreds of guided discovery questions, and many regressions/progressions to tweak every activity to match your specific training needs.

Let me know if you have any questions.


4 thoughts on “Latest Book Now Available: It Pays to Win on Defense

  1. I recently sent out your blog to our membership and I had a response from a parent that I want to share with you and ask you help me come up with a response back to this idiot

    From parent

    So if I read you correctly, “shut up and leave it to the professionals”.
    For the record, I am not “one of those parents” who “get into it” with refs and other parents. Never have, not once, with three kids over 5 years so far. This is the first time.
    I chat with opposing teams parents and applaud when the other team pulls a slick move. My kids are not particularly great players so I have no illusions that I am nursing future pro’s.
    But if my 7 year olds attention starts to wander because a plane is flying overhead or something else trivial, I am supposed to keep my mouth shut. And not say anything. Because the coach, who is a parent of one of the players and may be on only their first season of coaching, can see everything from the other side of the field and will rectify the situation.
    But I guess you are the PhD in Education (dissertation about email and a professional administrator……. that explains much). I am just a parent sacrificing their evenings and weekends and obviously know nothing and whose opinion is unneeded and unwanted.
    Childless children’s “experts” sending out lecturing, condescending mass emails on apparently on behalf of my local soccer association does not exactly encourage me to sacrifice yet more.

    Ignorant, easily dismissed parent.

    • Hi Tina,

      Thank you for sharing my blog with your membership.

      Obviously the guy is upset!

      I wonder, did you send it to him because of an incident that occurred? If this is the case, he is probably angry about that.

      I would keep the response short and simple. I think he is making a false assumption – “shut up and leave it to the professionals” is not the message that is intended. I reread the post and thought it appropriate, not condescending. Of course, there may be a hundred good reasons for a parent to say something during a game. My goal for the post is to encourage spectators to praise effort, let the kids play, and allow the coach to coach.

      He seems to writing to me. If that is the case, and he would like to follow up with me personally, I’d be happy to have a conversation.


      • I’m not sure if he had a recent incident or not but he does have three kids playing ranging from u5-10 we have over 2500 kids in our league and our president and coaching director asked me to send that out which I think is great and needed to be read by parents.

        Here is another response I got from a different parent this morning:

        This all sounds good on paper but it’s time to take off the rose colored glasses and smell the coffee.

        How many soccer games have you attended where everyone looks and acts like they only have and say happy thoughts.

        The game is about the children and the coaches do deserve praise. It would be a great world if people all acted in a polite and professional manner.

        I the real world we have winners and losers. Second place is just the first loser. Play hard, play fair and most of all play to win.

        It’s not always about winning. If you try your best and lose then learn from the outcome. Life rewards winners.

  2. Hi Tina,

    I actually agree with this parent, which makes it necessary for more education. Players, parents, coaches (including MYSELF!) should focus on the process, not the outcome. I believe in appropriate competition that recognizes winners and losers; however, it’s the emphasis we place on the outcome and the meaning we attach to it that is hurting youth sports. Even top soccer coach Jose Mourinho recognizes the importance of praise. He refers to it as the “Emotional Bank Account” – you must make 3-4 positive deposits for every negative one.

    Please refer the parent to my books – I believe in competition 🙂

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