Kevin Sanchez Team Manager of Wayne Harrison’s U14s
My team Manager was kind enough to write this so we wanted to share to show the improvement and hard work of the players since he wrote it. Now we are ranked Number 1 in Southern California, moved up to Number 1 in the Region and we move up the National rankings with the points we gained to 5th best in the USA. It's a long process to change a philosophy of playing but the boys have worked really hard to adapt from a long ball game to playing as a team.
Exactly 1 year ago today we played in a friendly against Pats IE where Marco and I coached. Communication on the team was poor, and tensions were high. The fate of our team was unclear. We got crushed. We were hovering around 11,000 - 14,000 points and were #5 in Cal South and #50 nationally. The team had been used to enjoying success but we were clearly at a major turning point. At the time, we had no idea who Wayne Harrison was. Here we stand exactly 1 year later with 22,183 points, #1 in Cal South, #1 in Region 4, and #5 in the Nation.
"Best of all, we play a totally different game of soccer now" and the kids on this team have developed tremendously! To think we have accomplished all of this without proper training facilities. - Kevin Sanchez
Cle Kooiman: Ex- USA International player who played in the World Cup in 1994 and now DOC of Inland Empire Soccer Club on Waynes Soccer Awareness Training
Hello Wayne you came and ran one session for my club 2 years ago. You have enlightened my soccer senses in every respect. You have two thumbs up and I wish u had a twin to help up here. Your coaching style is off the charts and I appreciate all you do. ⚽😀⚽😀⚽😀⚽🎉🎉
Good luck in the sport.
Forever a fan.
Testimonial by VR for Soccer Awareness Training
"Our son Jacob has always been a hard worker, especially when it comes to soccer. He started playing a bit later than most of his friends – at U-9, and initially, was visibly behind his teammates in both skill and intellectual aspects of the game, but he never shied away from any opportunities to train and practice, and slowly but steadily started catching up. At the same time, his improvement over the last year was exponentially greater than all the progress he’s made previously, and we believe Wayne Harrison’s training made the most significant contribution to that.
Without going into specifics of Wayne’s philosophy and core tenets of his training (the numerous books he wrote, as well as all the material on his website could certainly do better job than us), the end result is quite apparent: Wayne’s constant and consistent focus on players’ soccer awareness and intellectual development and his natural ability to engage kids at a very early age certainly pays great dividends. Miraculously, Jacob is more confident on and off the ball, makes split second decisions (which predominantly are the correct ones), plays with visible poise and confidence even against older and physically more dominant players, does his best to exercise half-a touch mentality thinking about his options prior to receiving the ball.
Also worth noting, Wayne’s training does not stop with kids. He educates parents as well, recapping every training session with at least an email that details exactly what was accomplished and for what purpose. Such extensive insight into the why’s and how’s of his training makes it so much easier for parents who are interested to be in a position to help their children to excel."
Testimonials by current Soccer Awareness Parents (names available on request)
I can tell you with all honesty that Wayne is the BEST coach my children have had. He makes sense. He speaks their language. I love the way he explains. I truly think he is amazing. I'm just sad we didn't start our kids sooner. V and B feel the same way. Thanks.
We are so happy with soccer awareness. As I mentioned before, after only three sessions, her coach noticed a difference in her play and complimented her decision making and anticipation of the ball. Incredible!
The training Wayne provides is truly unique and the only coach I've see focus on "Awareness." He provides an environment where a player can develop, be creative, without the pressure of making mistakes. He has truly helped my son become a player with better awareness and confidence on the ball. His coach recently commented how he went a whole training session without giving the ball away a single time. I'm truly grateful to Wayne and Mary for the support and training they provide.
"In our very short time with Soccer Awareness I am very pleased with what my son has learned. Training with Mr. Wayne has clearly helped J my son focus and see the field with less tunnel vision. Wayne is fantastic at teaching the boys to relax and have fun which is not always possible during games and tournaments. Mr. Harrison is a gem and a major asset to the San Diego Soccer Community!
Soccer Awareness had also provided an exciting opportunity for my son to play in Spain at this year’s Iber Cup. Not many 11 year old's get this type of gift. I see many years of training with Soccer Awareness."
I have seen nothing but positive for Aidan at SA. Here are the things that I can see improved in him.
Faster decision making
Better decision making
Faster speed of play
Increased confidence, I attribute this to the positive coaching from Wayne and the team.
Much more productive activity off the ball.
Testimonial by GP for Soccer Awareness Training
Although my son has been training with Wayne for over a year and a half, the benefits of working with him were immediate. Under Wayne’s tutelage, my son continues to develop as a soccer player both technically and mentally. Wayne has a wealth of knowledge, a passion for soccer and an energetic positive coaching style that works well with young soccer players. My son is a smarter player and has more confidence under pressure because of Wayne's guidance. Wayne’s Soccer Awareness coaching philosophy has equipped my son with the ability to read the game quickly, determine his options before receiving the ball and make better choices as to dribbling or making a one-touch pass to get out of trouble. Also, my son’s decisions to make runs off the ball have improved greatly. Wayne is a fantastic coach who connects with his athletes and shares his passion for the game with his athletes through humor, high level drills and scrimmages.
This year my son tried out for the LA Galaxy SD 2005 team along 160 other kids and he made the top Pre-Academy team also being the only play a year younger to do so. I honestly feel Wayne’s training directly contributed to helping him achieve his goal of making the top LA Galaxy SD team. While I have witnessed a tremendous improvement with my own son, I have also witnessed first-hand the improvement of many of the kids that come regularly to Wayne’s training sessions. If you have a son or daughter that have a passion for soccer, I highly recommend Wayne Harrison’s Soccer Awareness training sessions!
A testimony by Ulrich Schmidt
Before Soccer Awareness
In late spring/early summer of 2014, our son Uli was a 13 year old technically gifted midfielder who wanted to play for a US professional soccer academy and had the dream to become a professional player. However the reality was that when playing against bigger players he lost challenges and despite his talent had hit a developmental road block having been placed on a second team at his current club. His club coaches advised him to get tougher and stronger or even taller, but this only frustrated him more. In early summer Uli attended an ID camp at Real Salt Lake. He was told that he had talent, but lacked positional sense and vision and was not ready for their academy. Uli really enjoyed his time at RSL but had no idea how he could ever make it on the RSL team. Parents at his current club encouraged us to consider Wayne Harrison’s Soccer Awareness concept. We went there for a look and from the first moment Uli loved it.
Footnote: Real Salt Lake Academy is the only residential professional academy affiliated with a Major League Soccer team. Over the last three years their team won one U.S. Championship and reached the finals twice, THE most successful professional club in the USA.
The value of Wayne Harrison's Soccer Awareness training
For players and parents the first thing to notice is the welcoming atmosphere. Wayne and Mary Harrison give you the feeling of a family. In many clubs the function of parents seem to be reduced to paying and driving. Interacting with the coaches seem to be frowned upon. Wayne chooses a very different approach and makes parents part of the educational process. The goal of each training session is explained beforehand. After each training, the session is summarized and Wayne emails explanatory material. I would describe Wayne’s approach rather as a Soccer University where mind and body are trained. During the session, the kids are guided to find the best solutions for different situations. Wayne constantly improves their vision of the field and their awareness. After many years I normally do not like to watch soccer practices (always similar drills and yelling coaches). However during Wayne’s practice the purpose of each exercise becomes clear and seeing the kids improve from beginning to end of each session is just fantastic. Wayne’s Soccer Awareness teams are playing in a local league. For us it is much more fun to watch the games than Uli’s club team that competes in division one of the Southern California Development league. In the Soccer Awareness team the kids despite being from different clubs string often more than 10 passes together. They play beautifully out of the back. Mistakes are made but Wayne uses these as learning points. Wayne sends E-mails after each game to help kids and parents to better understand specific learning points.
Player Uli’s Thoughts:
“I would like to start off how Soccer Awareness has improved me so much until this day with decision making, movements off the ball, knowing what you are going to do with the ball before you get it, and much more. You can’t get any training like this around in the country or even around the world. If you really want to succeed in not just soccer but anything in life you got to set your mind to it and train to the best of your ability”.
During the fall we saw Uli’s confidence improving. His vision and awareness improved significantly and he was able to “orchestrate” the game. In December he returned back to RSL for another look. This time the response was quite different. The coaches commented on his improved awareness and vastly improved decision making on and off the ball and offered him a spot on the 2016 U15 RSL team. Thanks to Wayne Harrison’s Soccer Awareness training Uli will be able to follow his dream and play for one of, if not THE best; Soccer Academies in the whole country. Wayne is a grand master in soccer education. The only regret I have is that we did not find him earlier.
The only way to help a player develop like this is if that player has the INTRINSIC DESIRE to give 1000% to training and games. This is what Uli does. Uli not only comes to every soccer awareness training session with me that he can but he also comes to my older teams practices every time he can (of which team he would have been playing for me next season if he hadn’t earned himself this wonderful opportunity); so sometimes working 4 times a week with me; as well as doing his regular team training AND playing for his current club; as well as playing with our Soccer Awareness team in the local leagues.. This is total dedication and this is why Uli is in this situation now, through his own sheer hard work and determination and of course his own ability for the game; and very importantly also the dedication of his parents in supporting him. Uli is now in the privileged position of being a part of a very small number of players selected out of many hundreds of top players from all over the USA.
Uli has developed into a very clever player, he finds space better and he thinks quicker and makes faster decisions than others; who may be bigger and stronger, he proves the game is about the MIND / BRAIN as well as the body, actually maybe more so.
Now imagine him as a player when he develops the same physical characteristics of others as he will in time, but already has now developed the SKILL FACTOR we call it.
Mary and I are so proud of this young man of 13 to already have started the first step of many steps to get to where he wants to be and we are very confident he will get there. Soccer Awareness does not discriminate against size or strength; if you are good enough then you are big enough.