About The Author And The SoccerHelp Program and Philosophy

Dear Coach,

My name is David Huddleston and for 9 years I was a "Parent Coach", coaching my son John's recreational and travel teams. I "retired" as an active coach last year when John made his high school soccer team and I have used the extra time to finish SoccerHelp Premium. I live in Tennessee, USA.

I never played soccer as a child and was very reluctant when, in 1992, I was recruited to coach my six year old son's soccer team. I didn't want to coach, but they said they couldn't find a coach and wouldn't have a team unless I agreed to coach. I knew nothing about soccer, but assumed they would give me "How To Coach" information. Boy was I wrong! I went to the library and checked out books, but the books didn't tell me what I should do at practices and games. I kept thinking there must be a good book for Recreational coaches like me, but I couldn't find one. They were all either very basic, or very technical, and none of them told me how to coach practices and games, or answered basic questions such as how to determine a child's "soccer age", or defined the dozens of soccer words I was suddenly hearing. I wasn't trying to become a great coach, but I didn't want to be a "bad" coach.

The SoccerHelp Program got started in 1995 when I was asked to find a good coaching manual for our recreational soccer association to purchase. (This was in response to my complaints that we didn't have one). That started a long journey to find a coaching manual that would work for Recreational coaches who had limited time and limited knowledge (like me). It turned into a major research project involving reviewing over 60 coaching books, 60 coaching videos, taking classes, talking to many coaches and testing a lot of ideas on my Recreational and, later, travel teams. I wrote a coaching manual for our soccer association, became a "student of the game" and in 1999 published a coaching manual titled "Coaching Youth Soccer, Simplified". Only 350 copies were printed and it was only sold locally, but somehow the book "traveled" to California, Colorado, Canada, Florida and other places. We started to get calls from all over the country, the local soccer store wanted to buy 100 copies and we could tell it was helping Recreational coaches, which is what it was intended to do. The popularity of the book led to the idea of putting it on the Internet, and SoccerHelp came online in October, 2001. As of this writing in July, 2002, we have been visited by 84 countries and every U.S. state, and may surpass a million "hits" this year.

It was in response to repeated requests for the book (which was out of print) and for an expanded SoccerHelp program, that the idea for SoccerHelp Premium evolved. In March, 2002 we started the Premium "Testers" program, with volunteers from 20 U.S. states, Australia and the U.K. testing the Practice Games, tips, tactics, strategies, formations, styles of play and recommendations which comprise the Premium "program". The Testers program has been very successful and many of the results have been dramatic, and in some cases spectacular. The comments of some of the Testers are available at "Testimonials and Success Stories", which can be accessed from the "FAQ's" or from "SoccerHelp Premium Contents and Subscription Information". The Testers Program proved that SoccerHelp can help coaches "quickly and easily become good coaches, even those who have never before coached or played soccer".

SoccerHelp is designed to help make it easy for Recreational coaches to become better coaches so they can have more enjoyment and satisfaction from the soccer coaching experience. There is a great deal of free information at Socerhelp. If it helps you, and you want more similar information that can make your coaching experience more fun and rewarding, try SoccerHelp Premium.

SoccerHelp is designed to help coaches win more games. But I would like to share with you an important lesson I've learned: Don't sacrifice fun or good sportsmanship just to try to win. If you follow this advice you will always enjoy coaching.

I wish you many great seasons,

David Huddleston
July 2002