Reading scores big-time;Reviews;Books

22nd January 1999 at 00:00
THE USBORNE COMPLETE SOCCER SCHOOL. Usborne. pound;9.99

Produced in association with Bobby Charlton coaching schemes, Complete Soccer School provides comprehensive coverage of the beautiful game in 255 action-packed pages.

Its eight sections (on ball control, passing and shooting, ball skills, defending, attacking, tactics, goalkeeping, training and fitness) are subdivided into 130 or so diverse aspects of individual and team performance. It's all here, Brian: from dribbling to defence; from chipping to keeping off chips.

Design and presentation follow Hansen's dictum of "keeping it simple". The text is clear and accessible, explaining basic terms where necessary, otherwise jargon-free. It is supported by the best visual aids I've met in a coaching manual, and features both girls and boys.

Supporting the star photos, practice games and challenges is the ethos that "the play's the thing". Phrases such as "trying your best", "fair but competitive" and "good sportmanship" endorse the national curriculum's call to develop the qualities of commitment, fairness and enthusiasm.

Each section ends with a "World Soccer Quiz", capable of stumping Motson and McCoist let alone the fans in key stage 2.

Complete Soccer School is stunning value (a quarter the cost of some replica shirts). A must-have for anyone involved with soccer and young players.

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