Long clearances, aerial battles, hard tackles, 50/50 balls, all ahead forward mentality, constant changes of possession, hopeful crosses into a crowded goal area, functional players with limited skill sets... these are all 'features' of the Second Ball Game of soccer, the "kick it long and hope for the best" strategy that has permeated English football and in turn soccer in America for years. It is hard to imagine that whomever coined the phrase "The Beautiful Game" had this type of football in mind.
At the other end of the spectrum there exists a style of play that features skillful players, build up play using short accurate passes in all directions and a premium on maintaining possession. This is Possession Soccer, also known as the First Ball Game, and it has seen a resurgence in recent years due in large part to the successes of FC Barcelona and the Spanish National Team. The main deterrent for coaches looking to implement this style of play is the dearth of players with the necessary skills, as youth coaching methods in many countries have catered to the long ball game mentality, producing players with skills limited by their functional long ball game mentality, producing players with skills limited by their functional roles and thus incapable of playing possession soccer to an acceptable standard.
This book offers coaches an idea of the kind of training needed to produce skillful, first ball game players. Through the use of choreographed cone formats, players develop the first touch skills, vision and awareness required to play Possession Soccer.