Quick Tip: Spain and Youth Soccer – What We Can Learn

iSoccer: The Game Within the Game

Quick Tip: Spain and Youth Soccer – What We Can Learn

Spain Euro 2012

Over at the iSoccer office we enjoyed every bit of Euro 2012. Now that the dust has settled, we took a little time to reflect on what we watched, or really, what Spain showed us all. We witnessed something pretty remarkable: a smaller, less physically dominant group of players cementing their place as one of the greatest teams of all time through a commitment to their own unique playing style.

You can trace this style and ultimate success to their youth soccer culture. Among many things, they place an emphasis on technique at a young age, perfecting the simple aspects of the game, which makes up for what they lack in size and strength.

Of course, the importance of technical development at the youth level isn’t a new concept, but Spain’s success over the last few years seems to have strengthened the value of focusing on technique.

Here are a few excerpts from articles on the subject:

Total football requires technical masters, without which they could not have played this way.  Possessing the ability to receive and pass with precision, to dribble and beat players 1v1 and to continually support and move for each other, these are the requirements for excellent football. The culture of Holland and now Spain, has been on developing technical players in order to play this way. A focus on technical development became their method of coaching.

Iniesta: There are days when I’m out and about, and people say to me, congratulations: “What a good game you had!” but I missed two passes but only those two passes. That’s the responsibility of never failing.

Xavi: You are a perfectionist. You always want to improve. We know this from since we were kids. We must get it right 100 % [of the time].

“We need to start earlier,” Brooking told BBC Sport. “Anybody emerging from the 5-11 age group has to be comfortable on the ball.” – Sir Trevor Brooking, FA Director of Development

“When the kids are so young, it is not time to think about winning, to think only about winning as you do. You have to develop them, teach them how to pass a ball, how to control a ball, how to control a game, how to cross, head and shoot. It is not important to tell the kids to win – you must instead teach them the skills that will help them to become winners. Most of the time when you are young, you should be playing with a football. Give a ball to each kid, tell them to go home and look after the ball and sleep with it even!” – Carlos Alberto

The caller on Line 1 had it right. “The pundits keep saying we’re not as good technically,” he told the BBC. “Surely that means we’re just not as good at football?”


Individual coaches and players, no matter what age or level, can learn from Spain and their focus on technical skills. At iSoccer, we are excited to help make technical training more fun and rewarding!

Great example of iSoccer Featured Team in action: Younger, Smaller Team Wins Championship!

The iSoccer Team