Saturday, December 19, 2009

Interview With a Sports Nutritionist

My interview with registered nutritionist, Trionne Moore.

She shares some tips for improving athletic performance and for reducing body fat.

Find out more about her out at

Stay Fit!

Josh Hewett

Top 5 Core Exercises

These are what I consider to be the 5 Best Core Exercises for building your six pack and getting a solid midsection! Some of them are pretty advanced, so build up to them.
Try them out and let me know how it goes.

Stay Fit,

Josh Hewett

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Speed and Agility Drills

This is the video I promised you on speed and agility training. This is another f.r.e.e. excerpt from our DVD, "Building the Complete Soccer Athlete: Train Like a Pro". If you don't have a copy yet, you can pick yours up by clicking the image of the DVD on the left.

This video will show you some great drills you can include in your training program right away! Check it out:

The Complete Soccer Athlete

During the 16 years that I’ve been coaching youth soccer, I’ve had the fortune to see many great players develop and I’ve observed the qualities that are necessary to excel at this sport. Many young soccer players are happy just to show up and play simply for the love of the game, which is fantastic. However, this article is for those athletes who dream of taking their game to the next level; for the player who wants to become the complete soccer athlete.

My primary focus in coaching soccer at the youth level has always been “Technique, technique, technique.” A strong player needs to be technically skilled with both feet, and be able to apply those skills appropriately on the field. Good ball control and the ability to read the play are essential. To be a well rounded player, you also need to be fit, athletic, fast, and mentally focused.

Technique is something that can be coached, and something that I’ve become very proficient at coaching over the years. Fitness and physical conditioning are other aspects that a coach or trainer can develop in their players by implementing regimented athletic conditioning programs. But there are other important qualities that must be developed in order to become the best soccer player you can be. Some of these qualities a coach has less influence over.

Qualities such as maturity, independence, mental toughness, creativity, and what I call that certain “X-Factor” (or WOW Factor) can be encouraged and modeled by a good coach, but these are characteristics that a player will need to develop on their own. Incidentally, this is the sort of personal development that will not only make you more successful at soccer, but also more successful at life in general.

WOW Factor

A player should view their sport not only as competition but also as entertainment, and should therefore learn to be creative and add another dimension to their game. Put yourself in the position of a fan or a spectator. Would you pay to watch a boring game? I don’t think so. The game is about entertainment. People want to see a quality game with great athletes, plenty of creativity, and exciting goals! When a talented player can enter the field of play and change the chemistry of the game in such a way that makes the crowd go crazy, that’s what I call the X-Factor. This player is unique, creative, skillful, and passionate about the sport. These are the qualities that make us remember a player, and this is part of what makes a “star” stand out from the rest.

Here are some of my recommendations for those who want to take it to the next level, and who dream of being a pro:

•Be a student of the game. Take a personal interest in learning everything you can.
•Eat right, stay fit, train smart, and adopt a positive attitude.
•Be unique and creative. Develop your own personal style and make a difference on the field!
•Become a master of technique. Try to be the best in your position.
•Being talented is great, but you must also be a team player! A superstar is of no use if they can’t work with the team.
•To be a pro, you have to eat, sleep and breathe soccer!

Remember to have a strong work ethic when you train, and perform your drills with intensity. Don't worry about mistakes. Even the pros make mistakes.

I encourage you to check out my new DVD, “Building the Complete Soccer Athlete: Train Like a Pro”, which covers strength and conditioning programs, speed and agility training, nutrition, psychology, and several important technical drills with the ball. Go to for more information. If you have any questions, or if you are interested in participating in our program, feel free to contact me at or 416-319-1729.

I wish you lots of success!

Coach Clayton Rosario

About the Author:

Technical Director

Clayton has been coaching soccer at the youth level ever since he came to Canada in 1981 from London, England. He is known for the many successes his teams have achieved: Nine league championships U8 to U14, winner of over 70 tournaments including the Robbie International and USA Cup. He took the Mississauga U17 OYSL for a 4 game exhibition tour in the north of France winning 3 and losing 1, as well as taking different teams to other European countries. Clayton is an expert in creating youth development programs and has been involved in a number of leading OYSL clubs. His focus is on developing the total player, incorporating technical training, ball control, creativity, high performance training, nutrition, and psychology.

•Specializes in technical development of youth level soccer athletes.
•Instrumental in sending many talented young players to Europe.
•Has traveled all over US, UK, Italy, and France for team tours
•Visited training centers of Manchester United and formation centers of Lille and OGC Nice France.
•Specializes in Dutch, French, and Brazilian training methods
•Co-producer of the DVD- “Building the Complete Soccer Athlete: Train Like a Pro”

Preparing a Young Player for a Try Out to a Professional Club

Becoming a professional soccer player is not an easy task.

Most importantly a player needs talent, secondly desire, and finally, mental toughness.

During my 18 years of coaching I have come across a number of success stories and many disasters. In coordinating trials to Europe for my own son, I can share some of my own personal experiences and knowledge.

A common issue is a parent wanting their child to ‘make it’ more than the player wants it themselves. This puts undue pressure on the player to succeed at all costs. In many of these cases the players will quit out of frustration or rebel, especially in their teenage years. The sad thing is many of these young players had the talent to make it. I have seen a number of very talented young players returning home from abroad due to home sickness or not being able to stick it out during difficult periods. The players have to want it themselves and be self motivated.

There is no secret to success aside from hard work, dedication and commitment to training.

The following is a list of guidelines and tips for Pro Club trials:

Talented Players age 7-12

Trials at this age are not necessary. What is important is preparation and efficient use of time. Ensure that players this age are in a fun training environment that allows them to use their individual creativity and develop a love for the game. Players this age should be in a “no-scores” and “no-pressure to win” game environment.

Games should be small-sided so players get many touches on the ball. This improves technique, quick decision making and confidence. Avoid too much traveling as time and money is wasted in transit to games and training which are too far away. Utilize this time towards additional training close to home.

Put school as a priority. There is no guarantee a player will become pro. If they are serious about going all the way then they need to learn how to balance school, training, and chores at home. The discipline off the field will help them tremendously on the field.

Talented Players Age 13-14

At this age players should go and experience some training at a pro club abroad and measure their talent against the top youth there. Investigate if a career in professional soccer is want they want. This experience will tell them if they are ready and educate them on what they need to improve to play at a high Pro youth level.

I would recommend a player go to a country where they have family as that would reduce costs and give parents a peace of mind knowing their child is with family. The costs for roughly two weeks abroad (if the player is not staying with family) averages $2500- $3,000. This would include flight, accommodation, food, and transportation.

Getting the opportunity to train at a Pro Club can be difficult. A player and parent will have to do their homework. Academy, Provincial or National coaches may have some good contacts. However, a player may have some luck by sending a letter and a quality DVD showing clips of their training and games to academy directors of Pro clubs.

An efficient and cost effective way to send information these days is via email. You can post the clips on YOUTUBE and send an email with an attachment of the letter and a link of the clip on YOUTUBE.

Talented players Age 15-17

At this age my belief is players should be one of the best in Canada before pursuing permanent opportunities abroad. Even that may not be enough, therefore it is necessary to do whatever it takes to become better than what is expected abroad. For example, this may mean more technical training, doing high performance training, incorporating good nutritional habits, applying sports psychology, studying the games of successful players, etc. Becoming a student of the game and reaching peak performance is a necessity.

The reality is that if a player is as good as what they have in a Pro club they will not sign the player. The player has to be better than what they have.

Strive to make your provincial and National program. Also, try to make it in an MLS Pro Youth system locally. If you request a trial at a pro youth club the first thing they will ask is the player involved in their National Program. Also, they will request references and game clips.

Pro Clubs get contacts from thousands of player’s every day requesting trials so if the player’s resume is not up to par they will not consider them. However, if a player is not in the National or Provincial Program it is not the end of the World.

Some players do sneak through the cracks. In these cases a reputable scout or FIFA agent can make a recommendation on behalf of the player. Some players have been fortunate to be spotted at local International Summer Camps; for example, Jonathan DeGuzman was spotted by a coach from Feyernoord running a camp in Toronto. If the coach sees the potential in a player he would be a good reference for getting into their club for training or a future trial.

Avoid babysitting camps. You will have to do your research by talking to people and getting feedback of their experience at a particular camp. A player identified at a camp in Canada does not guarantee success abroad. Avoid unscrupulous people charging exorbitant amounts of money to arrange a trial on false hopes and promises. Once again, do your home work and get references.

Lastly, if a player catches the eye of a club there is a good chance the player will get a call back and the club will incur all costs.

Some points to consider when a player is ready for a trial:

Go to a country where your family roots are from. If a player is under the age of 18 and has no connection to the country where the trial is held, it will be very difficult to stay in that country. Having family in the country where the trial is going to be will provide a good support system if the trial is successful. As mentioned some players do get homesick. Having family around can ease the pain.

Don’t pay any fee to someone offering to arrange a trial.

Some clubs may cover your housing while on trial which means the player covers their own flight. If a trial is successful expenses will be reimbursed. If a club does not know the player well and is not willing to take on any expenses the player will be responsible for cost of full trip. Flight, hotel, food, and transportation may amount to $2,500 to $3,000 approximately. Again, if the trial is successful all expenses will be returned.

The best case scenario is that the club is impressed with the players resume, player clips, or reference from scout or FIFA agent and they pay all expenses for trial.

Lastly, I always suggest players have back up plans. As I mentioned earlier, education is important. Elite players should be preparing for their SAT’s and exposing themselves to US scholarship opportunities. There are different ways to achieving one’s goals.

There is nothing wrong with having a degree at age 22, playing in the MLS for a few years and then heading to a top club in Europe. Also, between University semesters players can go on Trials, such during the summer break in July. This way education is not affected.

In summary, find out every detail about the trial. Also try to avoid having the player travel alone, and if this is unavoidable, make sure you know the person picking them up at the airport destination. I hope the information I have provided will be helpful and save you some of the headaches many players have experienced in the past. I wish you all the best of luck in pursuing your dreams of becoming a professional soccer athlete!

Yours in Soccer,

Coach Clayton Rosario

Technical Director

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Calvin Rosario (#7) Game Footage

My son, Calvin Rosario playing in Niagara mens money tournament on Feb 2009.

Elite Soccer Development is LIVE!

Hey guys,
You need to check to check out my NEW website which just went live this week, at! I will be posting updates for training, academy schedule, seminars, and other great soccer training resources.
Check it out and check back here for more info and training content soon!

Coach Clayton Rosario

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Key Technical Points of Crossing

In this issue let's look at what's involved with "crossing".

The majority of the time you will want to use the inside of your foot to cross the ball. However, there will be times when you want to cross the ball with the outside of your foot or drive the ball in with your instep... whatever it takes to get the ball into the box.

Push the ball a little a head of you at an angle so you avoid the defender and give yourself enough space to cross the ball without the defender getting a touch. Turn your hips at an angle to the ball. Wrap your foot around the ball to bend it with the inside area of your foot.

Strike the ball with pace, although not necessarily like a shot; you take just a little pace off the ball but enough to whip the ball skillfully into the box. It's like taking a free kick or set piece, you want enough power to make it on goal but enough touch and skill to bend around the wall or to get over the wall.

As a winger or wide midfielder it is important to get the ball in the goal box. That means serving the ball across the goal mouth. Whip the ball in. Put the ball in with pace. This makes it easier for the targeted player to redirect the ball on goal and also helps avoid getting the ball cut out or blocked by a defender.

Get accustomed to crossing the ball when you have the opportunity. You don't have to always beat the defender. The defender, who is marking you, will begin to think you are going to cross it every time, that’s when you take the player on and go down the line to cut the ball back or take a shot yourself.

Plus, you don't need to reach the end line to cross the ball. You can and should cross the ball from any point over the half line really, as long as you are trying to pick out someone directly or if you are leading a player with a cross or long pass - as that player makes a run towards goal.

The Key Technical Points of Crossing:

* Head down.
* Eyes on the ball.
* Decide on part of the foot and part of the ball.
* Follow through.
* Head up and direct the ball to a specific target:
->Near post; far post; of edge of the box; towards the penalty spot.
* Determine type of serve depending on the situation:
->Hard low drive or high bending ball for attacker, to head or volley ball.

Stay fit, train smart, and play hard

Coach Clayton Rosario

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Elite Soccer Development #8- Bodyweight Training

Every activity we do, exercise related or not, centers around using and controlling our own bodyweight in order to perform specific tasks. Bodyweight training trains the body to be more stable, especially at the joints. Since bodyweight training trains major muscle groups in an integrated fashion it allows you to train multiple muscles at once, which is how the body really operates in our environment. This makes it a truly functional method of training.

Check out the Jungle Gym straps used in this video at

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shooting the Ball

Shooting is one of the most critical skills in a game. Without it there will be no goals scored which obviously means no there would be no win.

The ability to shoot with both feet is the sign of a top quality player. Reaction, speed, and decision making are other key ingredients for a successful shot on net.

Before shooting on net keep your eye on the ball and your head steady. Decide on the part of your foot you will use depending on whether you want to drive the ball or bend it.

Always think about accuracy before power. Especially in a training environment repetition of getting the ball on target will increase your success in the game. The game is about statistics and consistency. Focus first on getting the ball on target, placement, and then power.

Here are some tips that will help your power and accuracy, which can be drawn from observation of other sports such as golf or baseball.

  • The swing starts from the mid section. Use the following steps:

  • Breath in and breath out on follow through of your shot. If you are shooting with your right foot for example along the ground. Attack the ball. Place your supporting foot (Left foot) beside the ball in the direction of the opponents net. Get your body over the ball. Both arms should be too your left before the follow through.
  • Your right shooting foot should be raised behind you as high as possible.

  • As you shoot the ball your reaction should be explosive, like the trigger of a gun. Flex your hip and lock your ankle.
  • Swing your arms across your body in the opposite direction.
  • Drive the ball with your laces toward the goal with accuracy. On the follow through your left foot (Back foot) should be off the ground. Be ready to react for a rebound
Consider these points when training, and practice shooting with both feet to become a master of the ball.

Stay Fit, Train Smart, and Play Hard!

Clayton Rosario

Monday, July 20, 2009

Free DVD Excerpt: Technical Warmup

Free DVD Excerpt: Technical Warmup for Soccer from Josh Hewett on Vimeo.

PASSWORD: train4soccer

This is a short excerpt of the Technical Warmup from our DVD "Building the Complete Soccer Athlete: Train Like a Pro". The DVD includes complete warm ups and training programs for speed, agility, strength and conditioning as well as over 50 technical moves with the ball.

Nutrition and mental conditioning are described as well. We designed this DVD to be a complete resource for soccer athletes and coaches.

If you are a subscriber, enter the password "train4soccer" to view the video.

Check out for more information

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Elite Soccer Development #7-Mental Conditioning

Studies have proven that certain mental conditioning techniques (or 'sport psychology') can greatly improve your athletic performance. This short video introduces some of the basics. Our DVD describes this topic in more detail.
Check out

Friday, June 19, 2009

Elite Soccer Development #6- Rosario Hook Back & Turn

This episode's "Move of the Month" is called the Rosario Hook Back and Turn:
Run at your opponent with the ball at your right foot and keep close control of the ball. Fake a shot as you get near the opposing player and change direction by hooking the ball back with the inside of your right foot. As the opposing player gets near you surprise him/her with an outside left foot touch and accelerate past him/her. Rotate 360 and spin off your right foot. Shield the ball when you are turning.

Train smart and play hard!
Coach Clayton Rosario

Passing the Ball

a) Accuracy / Eye on the Ball
b) Pace / Timing / Weighting
c) Part of Foot and Ball

Attack the ball as if you are going to shoot the ball. Get your body behind and over the ball.
Your supporting foot should be beside the ball pointing in the direction you want to pass the ball.
As your passing foot is about to make contact with the ball lock your ankle and make sure your foot is square to the ball.
Keep your eye on the ball as you are about to make the pass.
The timing, pace and weighting of your pass important for accurate passing and for creating good combination passes to beat your opponent effectively. Other parts of your foot can be used in different situations.
e.g. outside foot pass to bend the ball around an opposing player.Chip pass with the laces over the opponents head into space.
Play Hard!
Coach Rosario

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Outdoor Athletic Conditioning Workout for Soccer

A montage of some outdoor training I did with the Mississauga Falcons. This type of training requires minimal equipment and can be done on almost any sports field. For more information on athletic conditioning, technical training, sport psychology, and nutrition for soccer players, check our our training DVD at

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Elite Soccer Development #5- Youth Resistance Training

Although there is a misconception that resistance training can be harmful for youth, this is not the case. Watch this video to learn how young people can benefit from resistance training. I also suggest you check out (Long Term Athlete Development).

Speaking of young people, my baby daughter wouldn't let me sleep the night before filming this, so please excuse the "tired eyes"! (o;

Stay Fit,


Elite Soccer Development #4- Athletic Conditioning For Soccer

This is my discussion on the importance of athletic conditioning for soccer, which is relatively neglected compared to many other sports.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Elite Soccer Development #3- Dynamic Warmup

A dynamic warmup prepares your muscles, joints, and nervous system for athletic activity. It will help improve performance and prevent injuries.