How Simple Can It Be? By Raymond Verheijen and Frank Van Kolfschooten

On my recent travels I stopped by to visit an old assistant coach of mine who is now coaching in Virginia and was given absolute gold in print form for any aspiring soccer coach, player, physio, or athletic trainer.  How Simple Can It Be?  Is a novel written with and about Raymond Verheijen by Frank van Kolfschooten. The book details Verheijen’s experiences in professional football,, the lessons he has learned about the game, and the various studies and scientific conclusions and advances he has helped uncovered.  Verheijen has held a role in almost every major global tournament since 2002.  His resume and success speaks for itself, his periodization training methods and research helped South Korea to the semi final of the World Cup in 2002.  These methods revolutionized fitness training in the game, and has lead to the successful campaigns in major tournaments for the South Koreans in 2002, the Russians in Euro 2008, and the Argentians in the last World Cup in 2014. The book supplies first hand accounts of someone who is outspoken and unafraid to voice his opinion even if it criticizes some of the top celebrities in the global game.  

The first page of the book starts out with a great quote by Albert Einstein “If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough”.  The beauty of Verheijen is he sees the game in very simple, logical point of view.  He questions every aspect of the old methods of training and mindsets that have lingered around the game for centuries. The book gives details about studies Verheijen did into injury prevention in players, fitness training methods, referee errors, and player recovery, all while teaching very important and simple lessons about the game that many continue to overlook at the highest levels of the game.  He describes the importance of communication and a consistent starting 11, how important a lengthy recovery is for explosive players,  and why over training may be not only setting players up for injury, but also causing them harm in their growth development.  

I was absolutely blown away by the book, I always enjoy hearing lessons and stories from people have actually been there and done that.  Raymond is someone who has seen just about everything. His open mind and his questioning of ancient training methods that are still regularly used today by many coaches, has lead to advances in various aspects of the game, most importantly in my mind player safety.  You can purchase the book on Verheijen’s website and I would highly recomend following Raymond on Twtitter and Facebook as well.