THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO – December 4, 2009 - The Lakehead Express Soccer Club would like to announce that former head coach of the Seattle Sounders (now in Major League Soccer), and United States Soccer Federation 'A' License coach, Bobby Howe will be in Thunder Bay to host a series of workshops with the clubs
coaches and players.
Howe will be holding an educational workshop with the coaches of the Club's Rep Program on Friday, December 4th, 2009 at 7:00 p.m., while running clinics with each of the clubs Youth Rep Team's on Saturday, December 5th, beginning at 12:00 p.m. till 5:00 p.m., and again on Sunday, December 6th, at 9:00 a.m. till 12:00 p.m. All workshops and clinics will be held at The Sports Dome.
Throughout a playing and coaching career that spans over fifty years, Howe has received many individual and team honours. Howe is also a highly recognized writer on the subject of coaching, helping to write and edit "The official playing and coaching manual of the United States Soccer Federation." (For more information please see attached copy of Bobby Howe's individual biography). Howe's presence in Thunder Bay is in accordance with Lakehead Express S.C. continuing education program for all players and coaches involved with the club. With a strong tradition of sending players all over North America to further their soccer and educational careers, the Lakehead Express S.C. is always looking for innovative ways to give players of the club new opportunities to gain exposure and
increase their athletic experience.
Lakehead Express S.C. would like to invite members of the public and media to come out to The Sports Dome to see Bobby Howe work with the soccer youth of Thunder Bay.
Bobby Howe Bio – Courtesy of
"Bobby is one of the most respected figures in American soccer...," A-League Commissioner Francisco Marcos. Howe was named as the Coaching Director for Emerald City FC in November of 2005, after an exhaustive, two-year, nationwide search. He has dedicated his life to the game of soccer and the club is fortunate to have his passion, experience, and leadership to guide us on a path to excellence.
Head Coach, Portland Timbers, 2001-05. A-League coach of the year in 2004 after leading the team to a championship with a record of 18-7-3. That season, the
Timbers led the league in offense, scoring 58 goals, 14 more than
the second place team. Before coaching the Timbers, Howe spent
four years as the Director of Coaching Education for the United
States Soccer Federation. He edited the USSF's official guide for
coaches through six levels of certification combining state and
national levels. Prior to that, Howe coached the U.S. U-20 Men's
National Team in the 1993 FIFA World Youth Championships. He
led the team to a stunning 6-0 victory over European champion
Turkey in the opening round.
He came to the US in 1977 as an assistant with the Seattle Sounders.
It was ironic that he would later coach the Timbers as they had
maintained a strong rivalry with the Sounders in the days of the
NASL. Later, Bobby became the Director of Coaching for the Washington State Youth Soccer Association, which prepared him for a position with U.S. Soccer.
Howe is a prolific author on the subject of coaching and youth soccer. He edited Soccer : How to Play the Game The Official Playing and Coaching Manual of the United States Soccer Federation, by Dan Herbst, Aug. 1999.
Many coaches and parents will recognize Howe as the co-author, with Tony Waiters, of the
following two books: Coaching 9, 10 and 11 Year Olds: The Golden Age of Learning, Sept. 1989. Coaching 6, 7, and 8 Year Olds (The Coaching Series), June 1988.
These materials are widely used in coach certification and training
programs across the country.
Howe played professionally as a member of West Ham United in
the English Premier League in the 1960s and '70s. He played with
many legendary figures in English soccer, including Billy Bonds,
Trevor Brooking, Jimmy Greaves, and Bobby Moore.
I am looking forward to working with the entire constituency of Emerald City Football Club to
provide the optimum playing experience for all our players. The dedication of the members of the board, parents and coaches at all levels of play is vital to success. However, it is important that the members of the club have a consistent philosophy. The following are some of my thoughts at this time.
Philosophy is determined by a combination of experience and background. There have been several eras in my life that first created a passion and appreciation of the game, then determined a philosophy by which I believe the game should be played: playing “street soccer” post WWII, playing for the school team during adolescence and playing professionally for West Ham United under the management of Ron Greenwood provided a platform for my coaching career. Coaching professional players for fifteen years in England and the United States and coaching national youth team players in this country for seven years have created a first class learning experience. Sixteen years as a Director of Coaching for Washington State and USSF have provided an opportunity to share my philosophy with coaches and players.
Hopefully, as Director of Coaching for Emerald City, I shall continue to demonstrate that soccer is an art and not a science and that the game should be played attractively as well as effectively. Soccer is a game of skill, imagination, creativity and decision making. Coaching should not stifle but enhance those elements.
“The beauty of the game is in its simplicity. Simplicity is genius! Keep the game simple.” Those are Ron Greenwood’s statements that formed the basis of his coaching. While he encouraged players to improve technically and tactically in practice, he believed emphatically that players should play to their strengths in games. “Do the simple things well!” he would say, urging players not to complicate performance. This is excellent advice for all young players who want to achieve good playing habits and become successful in the game. Soccer has a history of many thousands of young players who did not realize their ambition because they tried to complicate their game. I hope to impress upon coaches that there is no magic formula or short cut to development, that coaching at youth levels is all about working with players to improve performance, not about recruiting players to build teams to win championships. I trust that I shall continue to demonstrate that soccer is a player’s game and that players should be considered first when political, administrative and coaching decisions are made.
Soccer is a game that mirrors life; a game with rules where all players must have an equal
opportunity to participate but an understanding that there is no such thing as total equality. While all players must have a chance to play at their own levels, some players naturally will be better than others.
It is vital that coaches have a greater respect for the roles of politics and administration in the development of our game. Rinus Michels, the late, great Dutch coach of the 1970s, often spoke to the importance of political, administrative and coaching “pipelines” as being vital to the success of the game in any country. One cannot operate without the other, therefore each should respect totally the other’s role in the game in order for the game to progress. Coaches are often impatient at the “slowly moving wheel” that is the political structure of soccer. However, coaches must understand that in the United States the wheel most definitely is moving forward.
I shall assess our current coaching staff and expand their coaching education opportunities. I shall endeavor to increase the size of the coaching staff to meet the demands of a growing club. All coaches will have an equal opportunity to participate. My only criteria are: ability, passion and teamwork.
The following is part of a speech from football coach, Joe Paterno, in 1990, to a group of sports medicine physicians. It reflects my thoughts at this time and is most appropriate for the development of our game.
SUCCESS & EXCELLENCE
There are many people, particularly in sports, who think that success and excellence are the same thing and they are not the same thing. Excellence is something that is lasting and dependable and largely within a person’s control. In contrast success is perishable and is often outside our control… If you strive for excellence, you will probably be successful eventually…people who put excellence in first place have the patience to end up with success… An additional burden for the victim of the success mentality is that he/she is threatened by the success of others and resents real excellence. In contrast, the person fascinated by quality is excited when he/she sees it in others.