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I’m actually going to be starting rec-league soccer (God help me), and came across this gem-a soccer training manual by Pele from 1976. It has this metaphysical, playful tone to it; if you’re a fan of the game at all, you’ll enjoy reading this. Here are a few of my favorite passages:

Look straight at the ball as if you were hypnotizing it.
If you haven’t got a ball, it’s possible to learn even with an orange, or a ball made of rolled up stockings or newspaper. I’ve even seen people practicing their control of the ball with a box of matches!

In soccer the pass is a form of communication, transmission, participation, a link or contact. By passing, the players communicate with each other, bringing the ball from their defense area up into attack.

Whenever I am given the chance, I like to play goalkeeper and I enjoy taking my turn in goal when training. [!]

Tue, September 4 2007 » Sport

4 Responses

  1. steve September 4 2007 @ 8:21 pm

    There was another helpful guide from Pelé at McSweeney’s recently.

  2. Haddayr September 4 2007 @ 9:35 pm

    So, EVERYONE in our writing group is turning into a jock, now?

    I am aghast and delighted.

  3. Gwenda September 5 2007 @ 10:48 am

    Eduardo Galeano has a great piece on Pele in one of his essay collections — maybe We Say No — and I highly recommend his Soccer in Sun and Shadow. But then, I love everything he does (I’m not even a soccer person).

  4. Fred Ollinger September 11 2007 @ 4:39 pm

    Good luck with this. I am excited to hear how it turns out.

    Have fun.


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