Inside Soccer: Educating Parents and the Volunteer Soccer Coach

Cesar Diaz@@gritwriterCorrespondent IIJuly 28, 2010

Did you know that Youth Soccer in America is a $2.2 billion annual industry? Did you also know that out of the 16 million who play soccer, four million children are registered in league and club games? Are you aware that there has been an influx of soccer facilities and fields throughout the United States over the past 20 years?

In addition, 30,000 coaches are registered with the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA). Did you also know that for every licensed coach in the United States, there are thousands of non-experienced coaches who volunteer their time?

The reality is that, despite their good intentions, these volunteers are playing a huge role in retarding an entire team’s soccer education. If the United States ever wishes to be a Soccer Powerhouse, then volunteer coaches and parents need to be properly educated.

I’m fully aware that majority of volunteer coaches have a career and a family of their own, so it maybe difficult for them to have the time to be properly trained and certified. In an era where anyone educate themselves online, there is a solution and it’s called Inside Soccer .

Inside Soccer is an online soccer learning resource site. Partnered with international soccer clubs such as Chelsea FC, Ajax, Sporting CP, Boca Juniors, River Plate, Flamenco, Santos, the New York Red Bulls, Inside Soccer offers coaches of any level the opportunity to enhance further their soccer education through the website’s features.

These features include online coaching education, player development, and team & club management. Along with the education that’s taught at these international clubs, Inside Soccer also include international players and coaches. So stars like Lionel Messi and Drogba who have taken the time to demonstrate some of the drills and provide useful advice.

The team management features of Inside Soccer are phenomenal because a coach is able to manage his/her team’s activities, schedules, fixtures, and sessions. In addition, using the animations features, one is able to create his/her tactical animations and then play it back.

Founded by Jeff Bookman and Rossano Polvara, Inside Soccer is possibly the best online soccer education website available. Currently the head of International Soccer Development for Chelsea FC, Jeff’s responsibilities include overseeing the coaching education and player development program of all partner clubs across the United States. His soccer pedigree includes being a UEFA “A” Licensed coach and being a founding coach at the David Beckham Academy.

Rossano Polvara is the CEO of Inside Soccer, and he explained the reason behind Inside Soccer:

“Inside Soccer provides coaches, parents, and players the tools necessary for having a healthy and balanced team. This is a positive experience for coaches because they’re being exposed to new techniques that are taught at the Academies of professional teams through out the World. Along with the coaches’ education, parents will learn how important their role in physically and psychologically developing their children as players is. The overall goal is to nurture the development of the children.”

One thing I will recommend to parents and coaches is to invest their day by attending  Inside Soccer International Soccer Coaches Convention . The experience was priceless because I now have a different insight to observing soccer.

The benefit of attending this Coaches Conventions is that one is able to first hand see how curriculum is implemented. Every coach who presented had a team of young players who were broken into two groups. They were 7-12 and the 13-18 groups who followed the coach’s direction.

Topics covered that day ranged from: Controlling the tempo, Developing competitive players, Rotation & Interchange of players, and Developing game awareness/decision-making.

Another plus is that there are coaches from various teams worldwide, and they were present to answer all your questions. I was able to talk with the coaches from River Plate, the Boca Juniors, Chelsea FC, and at Valencia FC. Not only were these coaches polite, but they took the time to answer any soccer related questions in depth and were kind enough to provide their contact information if I had any further questions.

By no means am I suggesting that the Soccer Education in America is behind. All I’m saying is that the best thing coaches and parents can do to enhance their soccer education is to learn from other leagues and countries around the World. For more information on Inside Soccer, please go to Inside Soccer's website at

Cesar Diaz is the Soccer Editor at Latino Sports. Feel free to e-mail him your questions and comments to