I envy soccer coaches of the 2020s. They will be able to call up apps that keep the attention of their easily distracted players to show them drills. (Yes, my first practices of the season included a few reminders that the most important part of the body in soccer isn’t the foot or the head — it’s the ears.)
The one issue I see: Like a lot of “youth soccer” publications and videos, the audience isn’t defined. Is it geared toward girls who want role models, like so many Mia Hamm publications? Is it geared toward soccer coaches who need drills and a good way to demonstrate them without running all over the field and losing their players’ attention? (Please?) Or is it geared toward parents who want to show their kids a few good moves they can try on their own? It’s all three, and that’s going to make this ebook difficult to market.
But for patient consumers, the good news is that the ebook seems to satisfy a couple of those audiences. If you’ve read the stories of the 99ers and North Carolina’s dynasty a million times over, you can skip all that and check out Lilly’s nifty moves on the field. (To nit-pick: “The Lilly” seems like a slower version of “The Cruyff.” But I can’t do the Cruyff effectively, so maybe I can try the Lilly sometime when my teammates won’t scream at me.)
Ebooks and apps are only going to get better and better. I’d love to get involved with them, honestly. We need electronic media to teach kids the game so it’s not left to a coach trying to hold the attention of 14 players who see a dog walking by the woods. We need coaching guides that don’t look like Civil War battle re-enactment plans.
(And it wouldn’t hurt to market them for boys AND girls, whether it’s Kristine Lilly or Brian McBride doing the demonstrations.)