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"No lines, No laps, No Lectures" - Karl Dewazien

 Articles by Coach Gianni Mininni



4000 touches in One Hour - Many times, in the past few years, I’ve underlined that in a 90 minute game it is proven that a player touches the ball for no more than 2 minutes!  It’s really hard to learn something in 2 minutes. But one thing could be learned in 2 minutes and that is the fact that it’s hard to improve our soccer/football skills in 2 minutes!  Read More

Money is Bound to Distroy Soccer Soon -Kaka made it clear once for all that gratitude for the team that made him famous, permitted him to become the FIFA world player of the year in 2007, winning everything that could be won at a Club level and put aside a fortune for him and his family, are things that are NOT FOR SALE! Read More

Merry Christmas Message-Enjoy your life a little more and dedicate a little more time to things that, apparently, don’t increase your bank account! Walk a little more, maybe take your boy or girl with you. But don’t just go to the beaches, to the parks or to some trails (which is great!), but also walk out from your home, meet the people who live close to you. Ask if they need something, and give them a smile, which costs nothing but gives them a little moment, if not of joy, at list of comfort. This will also teach your kids to be more extroverted and to care for people. Read More..

Side Line Coaching- Our job at the side line during games, when they constantly pretend that there is no connection to what was simulated and learned at practice and the reality of the games is to remind them what was simulated at practice, AFTER a few times in which they constantly don't do that! Read More...


ABC's of Soccer - Go back to the a, b, c’s and you’ll put together ‘soccer words’, ‘soccer sentences’ and, if you have something to say, you’ll put together ‘soccer novels’ that people will love to read, by watching you play! Read More...


Passion for Soccer -So, if you’d like for your sons and daughters to get passionate about soccer, besides playing it, which is the fist ingredient to getting passionate about it, really understand and get the right feeling about it, bring them to the stadiums to see the ’big guys’ play!Read More 


An Interesting Comparison - A basket is a little bigger than the ball and a soccer net is hundreds of times bigger than the ball. Why are both teams able to put the ball in the in the basket 90/100 times in a game and only a few times in a soccer goal? Shouldn't it be the opposite, considering the proportion? Read More


Are you a Soccer-holic? - There are different levels of passion for soccer and generally speaking, almost all insane! Without mentioning the fanatic acts at the hooligan level, undoubtedly a soccer fan is very different from the fans of other sports  Read More


Choosing a Captain - In the recent decades the figure of the Captain has lost its importance and the deep meaning of being it. I believe that this is a great mistake. If a coach is able to choose the right Captain and transfer the correct concept to the team, this will be one of the strong points that could characterize a victorious team. Read More


Success in Soccer - There are no hard or easy foot skills. There are skills that are hard for us because we don’t know how to trap, pass, kick or juggle.We don’t need to be a genius to understand that this could be achieved only through repetition, repetition and repetition. It takes us years just to learn how to walk. And we practice this 8 -10 hours every day for years.Read More


Great Coaches create great players - during the games, by perfectly interpreting the teaching and the instructions of the coaches, the one outside and the few inside the field, the team will be…… unbeatable! A perfect soccer machine that works in unison. Read More



The Spirit of the Game - Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself. The major responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the captains.

Read More


Innovation-I started by laying out cones to simulate homes from which they would travel (with the ball of course) Rivers to cross and so on.  I noticed a strange occurrence -the 3/4 year olds would constantly pick up the cones! At the beginning I was annoyed and kept telling them, "Please don't do that! Leave them there! Don’t touch the cones with your hands! etc....."......When suddenly a light bulb went off in my head.......I could use the cones and make them part of the game so......Read More


A Goal cannot be Scored unless a Mistake is made -

Goals Can Not Be Scored Unless a Mistake Is Made. Why do I say this?  For a very simple reason. If attacking and scoring goals was easier than defending, all the games would end with scores like 75-48 or 59-53 !!!!!  But because after 90 minutes (which is 1 hour and a half !!!) they usually end 1-0, 1-1, 2-0, 2-1, 2-2 and rarely 3 or 4 goals are scored by a team, it’s unquestionably clear that: TO DEFEND IS MUCH EASIER THAN TO ATTACK!!!...Read More




 More Great Articles from Coach Gianni


What a REAL soccer player is (in my opinion).
The perfect mix to be a ‘great’ soccer player.
In soccer, being naturally left footed is a great gift from Mother Nature.
Aren't you tired of missing goals that you should have scored?
An illuminating consideration
An interesting comparison.
In short. Put the ball in the net!
Talent is inborn. A champion you become through hard work!
Easy Pass, Assist and Score.
Why is it sometimes good to play soccer barefoot?
Hit the ball with the head. It’s now or never.
In soccer, as in life, it’s not enough to be in the right place at the right time.
The problem of having players on the team, that have a very different level of soccer skills.
A soccer dream came true, among others that are still there.
The immense joy of teaching soccer fundamentals to youth and adults soccer students.
Learning the a, b, c’s of soccer is like learning to read and write
Choosing the right soccer shoes.
Soccer. Two original, fun and unconventional ways to improve the skills and fitness of the players on your teams.
Be more fit for soccer? Do a great loop of 2.5 hours in the Presidio of San Francisco.
In soccer practices, please, don’t make your players stand in line anymore!
Soccer. The correct relationship between Coaches and Players (in my opinion).
Please don’t coach soccer, even if the other parents insist, if you don’t have the knowledge to do it!
A moral soccer contract with the players of your team!
In Soccer, first things...... first!
Balls # size and full size goals in youth soccer.
Great Coaches create great players by transforming them into……. great coaches



 About Gianni Mininni


 Here is something about myself.

I have 50 years of experience, since I am 56 and my father started coaching me at 6 years old. He played in Italy professionally all his life and when he retired, wrote a book about soccer technique.

I was a successful player from an early age because I was very well trained and at 17 years old with my team AUSONIA GRASSI, from Milano, won the National Title U17, receiving a gold medal from the President of Italy. On that occasion I scored 5 goals in the semi-final and final.  After that, A.C. MILAN chose me and I played for two years on their youth team, with a short interlude on INTER MILAN.

Having missed the first team by a hair, I played until 35 years of age on other competitive semi-professional teams, before following in my father's footsteps by becoming a coach.  I dedicated myself to studying soccer technique and in particular how to coach youth teams. I arrived in San Francisco in 1998 and from then have coached the following teams:

Marin United, Real Marin

The Chieftains in 1st division

Alameda United F.C.

Bay City United, a team that I left to enter the coaching staff of URBAN SCHOOL. After two seasons, I completely dedicated myself to lessons and soccer clinics on a larger scale, interacting with entire leagues in improving individual soccer skills.

 Bad Habits - being late for Practice & Games


A really bad habit-Always being late for practices and games by Gianni Mininni

There is a curious statistic that I collected in the last 10 years. At practices, games, clinics or lessons, there are 3 precise categories of players, apart from their gender or age:

  • those who are always there early.
  • those who are always there just on time (which is already late!)
  • those who are always late.Of course, the very young are depending on their parents so, apparently, it’s not their fault if they’re always late, but once adults, they will probably always be late.

The incredible aspect is the fact that they are ALWAYS the same people.And the curious thing is that, for years, they always have an excuse. A different one. I couldn’t find my shoes, the jersey, I forgot to set the alarm, the car didn’t start, until the best one: the traffic.

The ‘traffic’ is the one that I really like because it seems that all of us, instead of coming to the field using the same roads, with no traffic at all, we’re using a secret tunnel that connects our home to the field, or a helicopter picked up us at home and carried us there so, of course we’re on time! I tried with honesty and detachment to understand why some people are always late, and I think that I got it. How? Because I was one of them! So, maybe they can use the following to try to change a little.

To change? Yes, to change. I’m really a dreamer because at sixty one, I still believe that people can change. It’s possible and it takes just a little effort and a little respect for ourselves and others. Anyway, here’s what can be done.

For a certain category of people, (like I was a long time ago!!!) there is this rule: whatever the time of the appointment is, anytime before that time makes them on time and anytime after that, makes them late. What does this mean? It means that if they have an appointment at 10:00am, at 9:45 they’re are still perfectly on time. And this is absolutely true if it takes 10 minutes to go there. But if it takes 30 minutes, they are already VERY late. Unfortunately, this is not the way that they think, because they never consider how much time it takes to go there. They just consider that 9:45 is clearly before 10:00 so, apparently, they’re perfectly on time!

The curious aspect is that only at 10:01, they start to say to everybody: “O my God, we’re late, come on lets go, let’s go!” and they will never say that at 9:59!! Please, be sincere with yourself, and if you recognize yourself in the above, don’t pretend that it’s not you. Obviously, please feel free to continue like that. You’ll sleep well anyway and I’ll keep sleeping well anyway, too. But, if instead of that, you would like to try to change a little, I can assure you that it can be done. Why? Because, as I said, I was one of you! I was always LATE! So, I came out with this ‘simple’ solution and it worked.

Supposing that the appointment is at 10:00am, I spend just 30 seconds in thinking this:
How much time does it take to go there? 30 minutes. So 10:00 becomes 9:30 a little cushion in case something goes wrong. 5/10 minutes. So 9:30 becomes 9:25/9:20.  I would like to be there 5 minutes early so 9:15.But 9:15 is not the time to go out from home.  9:15 is the time in which everybody and everything should be in the car and go!!! So, 9:15 is the time in which the car starts to go there! If having everybody and everything in the car takes 15 minutes, 9:15 becomes 9:00.

Considering the above, please, please and please again, try to consider and try to understand that, if the above doesn’t happen, at 9:01 YOU’RE ALREADY LATE in order to be there at 10:00 (9:55)! To do this calculation, take’s just 30 seconds. Don’t tell me that you don’t have 30 seconds to invest in order to became a better human being !!!! I promise you that you’ll be very proud of yourself. I was. And all of us will love you enormously more. Before concluding, just another fast hint.

Like I was, late people are also very distracted. They always go back in the house to:

  • get the car key
  • get the house key
  • get the cell phone.
  • get the wallet.

and the curious thing is that, when they realized that they have forgotten these 4 things, they don’t go back to the house just 1 time and pick up the 4 things. They go back to the house 4 TIMES!!! So, here the solution:

Get a cell phone case with a keychain. On that keychain, put the keys of the car and home. So:

  • if you closed your home, AUTOMATICALLY you have the key of the car and the cell phone!
  • If you drive your car, it means that you also have the house key and the cell-phone.
  • If you have the cell-phone it means that you also have the car and home keys!!!

And, what about the wallet? When, after the day’s activity, you go back to your home, before doing anything else, go strait to connect the cell phone at the charger and, take out the wallet and put it to the side of the cell phone!

Just a few more words. As I said in the title, being late is a bad habit. Please, force yourselves to believe that to form bad habits or good habits, takes the same amount time.

A habit becomes like that by repeating over and over the same things. So, if you repeat good things just for a few days instead of bad things, they will become habits too.