Book Review: Playing With Our Hearts. Excellence Is Not Enough – Written By Xesco Espar, Brought By The Coaching Education Department
June 29, 2019
There are an almost infinite number of soccer books. Books about technique, tactics, games, drills, players, and coaches etc.
Just like you, I’ve read hundreds, I liked some better than others, and I’ve surely learned at least one thing from all of them.
The curious part of this story is that when asked about my favorites, I normally call as one this book from Xesco Espar, who’s actually not a soccer coach, but a handball coach.
Francesc “Xesco” Espar Moya was born in January 4, 1963 in Barcelona. Once his playing days were over and after receiving his Baccalaureate in Sports Science and Master’s degree in Learning Psychology, he began to train some of the younger categories of FC Barcelona,being later promoted to third trainer of the professional team and finally in the 2004-05 season to the head coach, a position that he still holds.
As a coach. He’s just won it all.
Stories tell that Pep Guardiola, before taking the head coach position for FC Barcelona’s pro team, in his famous meetings with many coaches (Marcelo Bielsa and Julio Velazco among others), used to meet with Xesco and watch the club’s handball training sessions on a weekly basis.
In this beautiful book, he reminds us of why we coach, beyond tactics, session plans, pressure, and results, but how we actually got here and why.
Some delightful quotes of this book are:
“The objective of every team can’t be to just win a game or a tournament, but to deserve to win it. Winning relies on too many factors, and some of them are not under our control… winning is really hard, but what we can do every day is to work hard to deserve that trophy. Success in sports is not something that you pursue and follow but something that you attract by whom you’re becoming every day. To deserve to win is under our control, winning is not. That’s why we train not only to win, but to deserve it”
“The ultimate effort is not performed because you were ordered to, but because you believe it is necessary. Our beliefs about what’s possible and desired are what lead us to give it all on the field and stand back up even before we touch the ground. I only know one way of having an influence in people’s beliefs, and that’s to relate them to powerful emotions. That’s why to lead is to stir emotions”
“Self discipline, even if it sounds contradictory, is what makes us free. If we don’t have it, we belong to our environment. The words discipline and disciple have the same root and refer to following somebody, then why not follow ourselves?”
This drill is designed to help you improve your ball control. This is a great drill to help you develop the ball control that will enable you to cut and change direction quickly. Goal: When you reach the point of being able to do whatever you want with the ball; you will have more fun playing the game.
Speed on your feet is something really important for a soccer player on and off the ball. In this work out we will challenge your speed. 7 exercises to perform as fast as you can. Are you the fastest FITTER player? Let us know! Have fun!
Rush Soccer has 11 core values. These core values are more than great words, are behaviors that we commit to and that we expect others to show as well. These are Respect, Unity, Safety, Humility, Tenacity, Empathy, Advice, Leadership, Enjoyment, Accountability, and my favorite Passion! Learn about Passion with this video and find them all in the word puzzle below!
And here we are! Last week of our program. Now is time to check how much you improved after working hard and consistently through these weeks. Go through the work out early in the week and finish strong by doing the fitness test. Let us know your results! We are looking forward to knowing how you did!
Are you ready? We are going to need your full attention! Concentrate, pay attention to the details and find the seven differences! Send us a screenshot and show us where they were! But hey! Shhhh… Don’t let the others know!