Single-Digit Soccer: Making our own “Miracle”

In the new ESPN “30 for 30” documentary Of Miracles and Men, we see footage of Anatoli Tarasov, the man given the unlikely job of starting Soviet ice hockey from scratch. In a 1992 interview, he says he was told he would have little to see of other countries’ games and would need to “work on his own hockey.” “They were right!” he exclaims.

More footage from his coaching days shows him imploring players to smile, have fun, and love each other. He borrowed more from ballet than Canadian hockey.

His daughter, Tatiana Tarasova, picks up the thread in the present day with a brilliant quote:

“If you follow someone else’s road, you will never get ahead.”

Does this apply at all to U.S. youth soccer?

(Tarasova, incidentally, coached and choreographed figure skaters such as Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen, Johnny Weir, etc.)

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