Category: Dan Abrahams

Soccer Tough - Soccer Psychology Book

Soccer Tough by Dan Abrahams | Chapter 10: Kevin’s 10,000 Hours

It wasn’t a gift from birth that helped him score 62 goals as a youth team player in a single season. It was Acton Park, or more precisely the thousands of hours he spent there with his two brothers practicing and playing football. The park in Acton is just a stone’s throw away from Loftus Road, the home of QPR FC and whenever Kevin Gallen went out to play with his brothers Steve and Joe he could see the top of the stadium’s floodlights glistening in the sun. His motivation was visible at all times! Kevin went on to have a successful career as a Premiership striker, a career largely as a result of the amount he practiced and the manner in which he trained. Recent science is showing us that the way we practice determines how good we become at something. This chapter explores the art and science of training and how to develop the soccer game of your dreams. 10,000 hours There is one figure that lays on the lips of many of the world’s finest sports coaches right now – 10,000. It is this number that is believed to be one of the secrets to success. Practice soccer for 10,000 hours and you give yourself a great chance of becoming world class at what you do. But not all soccer fans should get too excited yet. There are, of course, rules and regulations to those 10,000 hours. Some of which I’ll talk about later. It was a…

Soccer Brain Book Cover

Soccer Brain by Dan Abrahams | Chapter 1: The Roots of Creativity

‘The Wizard’ glared at his players. This was first practice, he knew what to say: “I'm not going to like you all the same. You won't like me or each other all the same either. Nor will I treat you all the same.” At first glance this was an obvious opener. ‘The Wizard’ had a mixed set of players – two black, two white, one from a Jewish background – a diverse, All American camp who had to become a team. But these words arrived from experience. This was October 1963 and he had been head coach of the UCLA Bruins basketball programme since 1948. His self-development was in full flow and it was time for moderate success to grow. Certain barriers existed. ‘The Wizard’ lacked magical facilities. A leggy three flights of stairs to a small and squalid gym was hardly inspiring. The practice area itself was more gymnastics than basketball with chalk from the pommel horse having to be mopped up or brushed aside before training. But ‘The Wizard’, also known as Coach John Wooden, was too engrossed to notice the neglected provisions. He had a team to shape, to mould, and to introduce to excellence. As a set of individuals they weren’t fancied. None of them were over 6 foot 5 inches - short in a game of height. But, as it turns out, the opening practice session scheduled in October 1963 saw him take a first glance at what was to be his ‘Potential Team’ –…