Philosophy | Dennis Meier

As a native Dutch/German Trainer/Coach I have worked at various professional and amateur clubs in the Netherlands, United States, Romania, and Japan. Since July 2019 I am also a Academy Coach for INTER Milan in Antwerp (Belgium). My philosophy originates from these experiences. Using this Philosophy I am convinced that the Impact4Soccer Method will yield more results in the Talent Development of youth players. 

Impact4Soccer Philosophy

  1. The quality of the youth coach; As soon as a player loses his passion for the game, the foundation for optimum talent development is gone. The content (knowledge) that you have as a coach, and your social competencies determine to what extent you can develop better players. Thus, not only your reputation or diplomas obtained! Of course it is nice if you’ve played at a certain level, but as we say in the Netherlands “A good horse doesn’t make a good jockey”. 
philosophy impact4soccer method ajax coaching academy

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

2. The quality of training sessions; players must be challenged, age-specifically and continuously, to find solutions themselves. Training sessions should contain a lot of 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 cognitive skills and game intelligence can anticipate (cope) faster and better (decision making) to changing situations.  That way players can make the difference in terms of time and space, which are crucial in modern soccer. LOf course you also need to have good technical and mental skills, and a good physical (soccer) condition, but the skills must be functional. To execute a move just to move in meaningless! A move has to be executed based on moment, speed, direction and position. A lot of books and training sessions do not teach that. Player therefore cannot make the transfer to the game and it costs a lot of energy. 

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. 

philosophy ovidiu stinga psv eindhoven

Picture: Coaching Staff Clubul Sportiv Universitatea Craiova. Ovidiu Stinga (PSV Eindhoven), Lau (Ajax) and Dennis Meier. The Championship season and promotion to Liga 1. 

3. 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. 

objectives impact4soccer method club development

Picture: As a coach for INTER Academy in Antwerp is a great learning environment. Working together with top class Italian and Belgium coaches.