Dennis Meier

Impact4Soccer Method, Player Development, Coach Education

As a Dutch trainer/coach I have worked for various professional and amateurclubs in the Netherlands, United States, Japan and Romania. Currently I am also involved in INTER (Milan) Camps in Belgium. 

I am specialized in developing and organizing cognitive training sessions within specific styles of play. In my webshop you will also find an eBook about cognitive training which has been tested by Bayner Munich

Regardless of the level, helping players with their individual development, is what I do best. 

My Philosophy

The quality of the (youth) coach is decisive: my philosophy how to help players with their development in the best way is based on my half Dutch/ half German roots in which the coach inspires and motivates. As soon as a player loses his/her passion for the game, the foundation for optimum Player Development is gone. The content (knowledge) that you have and your social competencies determine to what extent you can develop players. NOT just your reputation or certain diploma’s. Of course it can be helpfull if you played at a certain level, but as we say in the Netherlands “a good horse doesn’t make a good rider”. In an ideal Youth Academy you have a mix of good ex-pro’s and pedagogically trained youth coaches. In general, the first group will be more effective to work with older age groups and the second group with younger players. A combination is also possible of course, everyone is unique. 

Ajax Coaching Academy
Coaching Staff Dayton Dutch Lions 2010: Sonny Silooy (Ajax Amsterdam), Dennis Meier and Ivar van Dinteren (FC Cincinatti/  MLS)

The quality of Training Sessions: in my opinion, players must be challenged continuously and age-specific, to find solutions themselves. This in exercises that contain many variations. This to prevent boredom and therefore a stagnant development. There must be a balance between offering structure and variation, because it’s important for a player to see and feel his/her progression in order to build self-confidence. Players with good cognivite skills and playing intelligence can anticipate (cope) faster and better (decision making) to changing situations. That way you can make the difference in terms of time and space, which are crucial in modern soccer. Of course you also have to have good technical and mental skills, and a good soccer (physical) condition, but these skills must be functional. To execute a move just to move is meaningless!  A move has to be based on moment, pace, direction, and position. A lot of books and training sessions do not teach that. Players cannot make the transfer to the game and it costs a lot of energy. 

Coach Education in Romania: Training Youth coaches at Universitatea Craiova, the club is now playing again in Liga 1 and Europe. 

The goal of soccer is not ball possesion or making certain moves, but to win games by scoring more goals than the opponent. This is only possible if you start to train and coach on direction as well, not just moment, pace and position. 

Too much talent is lost, due to too early scouting; studies, by among others, of the German FA (DFB) show that most “top talents” drop-out prematurely. The percentage of players (< 12 yrs) is no less than 99%. Too much attention is paid on how youth players are currently performing “high performers” and not on potential “high potentials”. Scouting for potential is extremely difficult. Up till 13 yrs of age it is almost unpredictable! Fact is that too much talent is lost. Players who are not noticed, for example due to “Birth Month Effect (BME)” and “Late Maturity” are often coached by less qualitative coaches. Their trainings sessions are less good, resulting in lesser development. As a result they can no longer catch up.