Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Brain behind the Brawn

Written by Dino Lopez

Most recently, through connections developed via Apex IFC, I’ve been exposed to discussions about brain science and its influence on player development. The work of Michel Bruynincks and Jose Riga, who were integral to the revolution of Belgian Football (www.cogitraining.com), and the work of Kevin McGreskin (www.soccereyeq.com) have made me think about the brain and the science of teaching, learning and achievement as they pertain to football. The fact is coaching is teaching, playing is learning and our brain dictates how we learn best and dictates the best solutions for the problems presented in the game. There must then be a connection between brain development, the way we teach and the way players learn to play.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014


As I continue to connect with various club members and coaches, there is one thing that keeps coming up in conversation – the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL).

Unfortunately, the feedback regarding the development of OPDL teams and their structure has not always been positive, so I thought I'd take some time to list what I've heard and suggest possible solutions.

Here they are:

1. We are not getting the best players even though we're in the OPDL.

Anyone who ever thought that clubs and academies would steer players over to certain organizations just because they are part of the OPDL had their hopes set too high. That's not how it works. Even the most developed clubs in Europe fight to bring players over to their organizations, often times having to pay large sums of money in order to draw them away from the club that developed them.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Coaching Education, The Only Way Forward

There aren't any shortcuts or secret formulas that will help us progress in the world of soccer.  Canada has an obvious issue that isn't going to be fixed overnight - our coaching isn't smart enough.  I am, in no way, “taking a dig” towards those involved in the coaching community/industry, it's the simple truth of the matter.  We need to become more open to opinions, ideas, and suggestions from outside sources.  We need to have coaches engage in conversation, share views and thoughts, and do so in an ongoing and open manner.  This is not about building friendships (although that can always happen along the way), this is about becoming more open as a community and engaging with each other, whether we are part of one system or another.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

2 Themes for Curriculum Writing

Guest blog post by Chris Andrew

If coaching is like teaching, then soccer is a subject, like math, and the youth soccer system is broken, like the education system.
Is the education system broken? Sir Ken Robinson believes it is, see his Ted TalkTake some time to digest the information in his talk, when you look at it from a youth soccer perspective, you start to see some similarities, children grouped by age, working on the same activities, activities designed to win games, not much consideration of the individual. 
The phrase ‘age-appropriate’ is a term synonymous with youth soccer, but what does that actually mean, it seems impossible to build a curriculum that challenges, develops and engages all 8 year olds.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Apex IFC launches website, check it out!

The Apex International Football Consultancy website is now live! To find out what we do and how we can benefit you, check out our site at www.apexfootball.ca.

Wishing you all the best over this holiday season,

Apex IFC

“Blueprint According To…Volume 1” Launched and Available for Free

If you’re a football coach, an aspiring one or merely retain an interest in coaching there has never been as good a time as this.

Extensive television coverage of the game means that you can study, and be inspired, by what is happening all over the world. There are innumerable blogs and sites that talk about the various aspects of coaching. On social media you will find people sharing the methods used by the finest teams in the world. And it is easier than ever to find books that detail every aspect of coaching.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Part 1, The Path to Developing a Footballer - Made Simple

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of my thoughts on the requirements and needs through each step of a footballers development.  Laying out each stage in a very simple format, it will allow coaches of all levels to be reminded of some of the key areas necessary through the pathway of a young players life starting from Fundamental Stage 1 (found below) and ending with Elite Essentials Stage 6.  Feel free to share and leave your comments or questions below, here is Stage 1:

Fundamental Stage 1
Developing a love for sport – Ages 5 to 8

Fundamental Stage 1 is the introduction to sport through activity based learning. This stage is focused on developing the “foundation” of sport for the future and focuses on the following key areas: