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Skill Factor Soccer Pro-Training DVD Review

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5+ Stars, Our Highest Recommendation
Best Advanced Attacking/Defending DVD
For Serious Coaches and Players U-13 & Older
Every Serious Player and Coach Should Own This

"Skill Factor Soccer Pro-Training" DVD
Advanced Attacking, Defending and Finishing
Narrated by Alan Shearer and Mick Wadsworth

74 Minutes
DVD Only

Region 1 DVD - Only plays in North American DVD players.

How We Rate Videos and Books: We have watched over 220 soccer coaching videos (DVD's and tapes) and read over 70 soccer coaching books. Unfortunately, most are not good, many are a complete waste of time and money, and some are actually counterproductive. We only sell videos and books that we truly believe are the best and worth buying, and that we can give 4 or 5 star ratings (on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best). Our ratings consider the quality, length and value of an item, how it compares to other similar DVD�s, and how well it meets the needs of the targeted audience. We reject about 90% of the videos we watch.

Main Topics on This Video: Topics covered include: individual defensive pressure, group defensive pressure, team defensive pressure, defensive pressure to buy time, man pressure and cover, defending from the midfield and back 4, possession and movement, possession and penetration, phase play, transition from defense to attack and from attack to defense, attacking and scoring, crossing, finishing, finishing on breakaways (when "through on goal")

Review: A better title for this excellent DVD would be: "Advanced Attacking, Defending and Finishing." This is one of the best advanced DVD's we've ever seen - it is 70 minutes of excellent, educational, entertaining material.

This is a very expensive DVD sponsored by Umbro that shows training programs used by professional teams. It is very well thought out and organized, and there are many excellent coaching tips that any serious coach can use to get quick results. It shows actual professional training sessions and the training comments by the coaches to the players. Each of the 5 "Modules" starts with an Objective and ends with a summary of the Teaching Points that were demonstrated. The Objectives and Teaching Points, and some of the coaching tips, are listed below in the Detailed Index of Contents. We suggest you print the Detailed Index and read it before watching the DVD so you can be clear about the Objectives and Teaching Points.-- a lot of information is covered.

Training footage, professional game footage, computer graphics, aerial views, interviews and narration by Alan Shearer, the coaches and Mick Wadsworth are blended in a very effective way. This is an excellent teaching and training tool that will be appreciated by serious coaches and players U-13 and older. Both coaches and players can learn a lot from watching this. It is very entertaining and educational. For serious coaches, this will be money and time well spent. Training Modules 1 and 2 deal with individual, group and team pressure and defending, Modules 3 and 4 with possession and attacking, and Module 5 is finishing, crossing, and finishing on breakaways. This DVD features Alan Shearer, the leading all-time scorer in English Premier League history, and one of the greatest scorers to ever play soccer. There's no better finisher in the world than Shearer and you get to watch him train.

Who It's Suitable For: Serious coaches and players U-13 and older, including Travel team coaches and players, High School coaches and players, and college coaches and players. Every Serious Player and Coach Should Own This.

Navigation and User Tips: Excellent organization and easy navigation. The Menu should pop up when you start the DVD. Click "Play All" and it starts at "The Importance of Warm-Ups" at minute 5:26, and you avoid the Umbro commercial and the introduction. You can also select any of the 5 training "Modules", and the "Activities" in each Module, for a total of 15 choices.

Detailed Index of Contents:


Minute Topic
0:00 - 2:30 Umbro Commercial
2:30 Introduction
3:50 Overview (Alan Shearer, Terry Venables, Eddie Niedzwiecki, Mick Wadsworth, Frank Clark)
5:26 Importance of Warming Up (Peter Shreeve, Gary Pallister, Alex Ferguson, Frank Clark)
6:25 Module 1: "Winning The Ball Back" Introduction
6:53 Activity 1: Individual Pressure 1 v 1
Objective: Attacker to receive and pass the ball. Defender to prevent the pass.
Teaching Points:
  1. Make ground up while the ball travels
  2. Force attacker to make play predictable
  3. Stop attacker from turning if possible
10:05 Activity 2: Group Pressure
Objective: Group in possession to progress the ball to far end of grid. Group defending to win the ball back.
Teaching Points:
  1. Nearest man pressure the ball
  2. All defenders deny passing opportunities
  3. As the ball moves, defenders move in chain reaction.
  4. Adjust positions by making ground up as ball travels.
14:25 Activity 3: Team Pressure
Objective: Team in possession to progress to far end and score.
Teaching Points:
  1. Defensive Pressure to prevent forward passing.
  2. A chain reaction of movement by defenders
  3. Concentrate on "squeezing" the play.
18:17 Module 2: "Defending as a Group/Team"
19:00 Activity 1: Defensive Pressure to Buy Time
Objective: Attackers to maintain possession and progress to far end. Defenders to pressure ball and win it back.
Teaching Points:
  1. Pressure the ball.
  2. 2nd defender mark 2nd attacker and offer cover and balance for 1st defender
  3. Build techniques and attitude to recovery, marking and tracking ball.
  4. Defense to push play across field and deny forward passing.
22:22 Activity 2: Man Pressure and Cover, 3 Defenders
Objective: Attackers to progress with ball to far end of grid. Defense to pressure ball and win it back.
Teaching Points:
  1. First Defender- Pressure the ball
    Second Defender- cover and mark
    Third Defender- cover, mark & balance
  2. Defenders change roles as play unfolds
  3. Recovery and tracking of attacking forward runs off the ball
25:30 Activity 3:
Objectives: Attackers to maintain possession, move forward and score. Defenders to win ball back and set up their own attack. Attackers pressure ball when they lose possession.
Teaching Points:
  1. Midfield 2v2 pressure with back four marking, cover and defensive balance
  2. When ball passes midfield, back four pressure the ball, tight marking, balance while midfield recover and mark.
30:30 Module3: Attacking Play, Possession & Movement
31:05 Activity 1: Possession & Movement
Objectives: Team in possession to run ball under control into any of the four corners.
Teaching Points:
  1. First touch under pressure
  2. Quality of passing & receiving
  3. Support play and movement
  4. Ability to play quickly
  5. Changing direction of play
35:55 Activity 2:
Objective: Attacking team to play forward and score. Defenders to win possession and become attacking team.
Teaching Points:
  1. Ability to receive ball under pressure
  2. Early and peripheral vision regarding passing opportunities
  3. Overload each area of field via support and forward runs to advance the ball
40:43 Activity 3: Phase Play (I believe this means to set up a specific type of attack)
Objectives: Team in possession to progress with good movement to opponent's penalty box and score. Defending team to win ball back and attack. (Watch the attacking movement in the aerial film and how they switch the field).
Teaching Points:
  1. Convert possession to penetration by
    1. playing through midfield
    2. playing down the line
    3. playing off a target man
  2. Overload areas down sides via runs from midfield and Fullbacks (the left and right Fullbacks).
44:20 Motivation (The coach must be motivated)
45:31 Module 4: Transition from defense to attacking to defense
45:50 Activity 1: Defense to attack to defense
Objectives: Attacking team play forward from goalkeeper and set up scoring opportunities via Target Men in 4 corners (playing for team in possession). Defending team to pressure ball, win it back, attack and score.
Teaching Points:
  1. Decision making - forward pass or forward run?
  2. Offer teammates constant support
  3. Ability to play forward and communicate as a team
  4. Scoring mentality - the finishing touch
49:28 Activity 2: Attacking after defending the penalty area
Objectives: Begin with free kick into penalty box. Defending team to win ball back, launch counter-attack with numerical advantage and score.
Teaching Points:
  1. Ability to see opportunities to play and move forward
  2. Play to be direct and precise
  3. Constant support for man in possession and good, quick, effective runs
  4. Scoring mentality - The Finishing Touch
53:45 Module 5: Attacking, Scoring, Finishing
54:29 Activity 1: Crossing & Finishing
Objectives: Two players use overlap to cross into Penalty Box for attackers to score. Progress from 2 attackers against goalkeeper to introduce one then two defenders and a third attacker. (Notice how there is one attacker running toward the Near Post and on toward the Far Post)
Coaching Tip: Tell attackers to swerve their runs so they are running at an angle toward the posts (it's easier to head the ball this way because the player is running slightly toward it and can time contact better). This is demonstrated on the DVD and you can see the improvement. Watch Alan Shearer's focus on finishing.
Teaching Points:
  1. Quality and type of cross
  2. Success of cross to target area
  3. Timing and angle of runs
  4. Attacking Far Post at all times
  5. Quality of finish
59:51 Activity 2: The crossing game
Objectives: Ball to be passed to wide players who must cross to attackers in center (in front of goal). Defenders must defend as taught previously. (the coach emphasizes crossing early and for attackers to be there).
Teaching Points:
  1. Movement and forward runs from midfield can create an extra attacker and better numbers
  2. Decision making:
    1. When to cross to near post
    2. When to cross to far post
    3. When to play back to midfield
64:48 Activity 3: Shooting
Objectives: Team in possession must create opportunities to shoot at goal.
Coaching Tips: 80% of all professional goals are one touch. A lot of goals are scored off the Far Post, so an attacker who goes to the Far Post will get chances to score on missed shots, rebounds, and crosses. Keep your shots low. Accuracy is more important than power. If a player has a good shot, he must shoot quickly. There are many good tips here.
Teaching Points:
  1. Positive attitude to shooting
  2. Shooting decisions
  3. Accuracy, not power
    1. High or low shots?
    2. Near or Far Post?
  4. Awareness of rebounds at Far Post
68:40 Activity 4: Shooting when "through on goal"
Objectives: Two attackers advance on goal to score. ("through on goal" means a breakaway where one or more attackers are past all defenders except the keeper)
Coaching Tips: In this case, the attacker should stay calm and pass the ball into the goal.
Teaching Points:
  1. Calmness, head up
  2. Decision making relative to the attitude of the Keeper
  3. Follow in by other attacker for rebound
72:24 Wrap up and comments by many coaches
74:15 END


Region 1 DVD - Only plays in North American DVD players.

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