Soccer Symposium for Player Development

On Sunday, April 29, coach Wayne Harrison of CV Manchester Soccer Club presented a coaching symposium focused on his “Thinking Process” of training. The symposium, held at Carmel Creek Elementary School, was open to all interested coaches, parents and players. Harrison shared his views on coaching players to develop “vision” and to play a thinking style of soccer.

A former professional player with Blackpool Football Club in England and Oulu Palloseura in Finland, Harrison also represented Great Britain in the World Student Games in Mexico. His coaching experience includes Youth Director at Blackpool and Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates. Harrison holds the UEFA “A” License, the NSCAA Premier Diploma and a degree in Sports Psychology and Applied Physiology.

The symposium was designed to benefit players and coaches by presenting the 4-2-3-1 style of play favored by many top professional teams, including FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Arsenal. As important was the focus on developing the thinking process of players and showing the importance of the mind in playing soccer. Harrison explained how to “train the mind” to increase “speed of thought and movement” during a game.

“I felt the clinics were successfully received,” said Harrison, “and very well performed by the players who attended. I would like to thank them for their efforts. I also want to thank Manchester Soccer club, and particularly Directors of Coaching Billy Garton and Jeff Illingworth, for supporting me on this Symposium.”

Coaches from several different clubs attended, and several shared what they had gotten from the day.

“I had a fantastic experience at the Coach Wayne’s soccer clinic,” said fellow CV Manchester coach John Matich. “Wayne Harrison presented relevant information to soccer coaches at many levels. It made me think outside the box, and gave me some great ideas to bring to my own teams, including a clinic on the 4-2-3-1 system which was brilliant.”

“I found the symposium to be very informative,” said RSF Attack Soccer Club coach Shawn Beyer. “The training sessions were clearly run and outlined. [Harrison] offered very useful techniques and tactics to read the game quicker and play the ball faster.  Also, it is clear Wayne is up to date on the modern style of play of the great Barcelona team with his understanding of their system played in the 4-2-3-1. I would attend another clinic if offered and took much away from the symposium.”

Warren Schwitkis of San Diego Soccer Club was also enthusiastic about the training from the Symposium. “Wayne Harrison is a detail-oriented guy who cares about the profession, and his coaching clinic symposium reflected this.  He does a fantastic job in preparing and delivering a training session. Wayne is clear and concise with the players during the session and also with the coaches surrounding the pitch.  I was very impressed with his knowledge.”

“The experience was worthwhile and extremely positive,” said Hector Garcia from Surf Murietta about the symposium. “Although there were many topics on the agenda, Wayne managed to cover all of them in a very organized manner. He was clear in his transmission of concepts   while keeping the environment light and the kids engaged. Wayne’s passion for the game and promoting growth is genuine and contagious. I look forward to attending future events.”

Santiago Baltazar, a coach with Olympicos Soccer Club, said, “[Wayne Harrison’s] drills will be very helpful in training our young players to be better players on the field. They will also help us to be better coaches, and we will implement all we have learned from your teaching in our own coaching.  I would like to see more clinics from him to help improve my coaching skills and learn more from one of the best.”

“I’ve always felt helping players develop a soccer brain was one of the most important and difficult tasks a coach is faced with,” said Travis Lucero of Encinitas Express. “Watching the progression of training drills Wayne presents to get the players to see the play before it happens is exciting.  I can’t wait to start applying these principals to my training sessions.”

In order to further spread the word on his training methods, Harrison had the symposium videotaped to create a DVD presentation that can be used alone or in concert with his eleven books on soccer training. The goal is to provide a better understanding of the training methods through the two mediums. Several coaches who were unable to attend have already approached Harrison about the DVD, and portions of the training will be featured on the CV Manchester website.

“Hopefully coaches and players got some new ideas from the clinics to enhance their abilities and range of knowledge in both the nature of the topics and the style of delivery,” said Harrison. “It is all about focusing on the decision making of the players and not the coaches.”

Harrison has been asked to present his symposium for several clubs in San Diego and Los Angeles and at the World Class Coaching Symposium in Nebraska in June. Later in the year he will travel to Antigua and Panama to share his knowledge and training methods in those countries as well. He is available and excited to share his clinics, and can be reached at