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Legendary Dutch Coach Frans Hoek Returns to NorCal for Symposium


If you’ve spent any amount of time around NorCal Premier Soccer’s numerous coaching education opportunities, chances are you’ve heard of legendary Dutch coach Frans Hoek.

And it’s for good reason as Hoek is consistently one of the most popular clinicians at these events due to his vast amount of experience and dedication to honing the finer details of the game.

Hoek will return to Northern California again for this summer’s June 28-30 Coaching Symposium, to be hosted on the campus of Stanford.

In addition to going providing a match analysis of the San Jose Earthquakes – LA Galaxy game that the course participants will be attending, Hoek will embed himself with Directors of Coaching from all across the state in order to teach a more refined method of game analysis.

With a coaching career spanning nearly four decades that included stops at Manchester United, Barcelona, and Ajax, Hoek’s credentials speak for themselves.

“In all the cultures that I’ve been, Spain, Germany, England, Poland, Holland, Saudi Arabia, the moment you are on the pitch and you play the game or you coach the game or you practice the game, that moment is the same in the whole world,” Hoek said. “This also means that coaches have different qualities all over the world and there are also similarities. It’s very important for the coach to know his own strengths and weaknesses, because they’re different for every single coach in the world. The moment the coach knows his own strong and weak points, that’s a crucial step towards learning. What I always say is that it doesn’t matter how many people in the room, but at the end of the lecture, they decide what they take home.”

For Hoek, teaching is all about bringing new lessons to people all across the world, but in doing so hope that each participant will be able to modify his ideas in order for them to best fit each individual culture.

“It’s very important that you develop your own style of play because when you develop it, it’s easier to see if lectures and demos from people in the world fit your needs for that way of playing because the danger is always the more information you get, the more confused you can be, especially in the States, where I’ve seen coaches, who are taking a little bit of Argentina, a little bit of Brazil, a little bit of Holland, a little bit of Germany, a little bit of Spain, but what they should do is make their own way, let’s say the Californian way, of coaching and based on that model see at lectures what can help make you a better coach and make your team better,” he said.

The work of Hoek has already translated through to Northern California, where several of NorCal’s founding members cite him as an inspiration and have used his ideas to help further the development of soccer in the state.

“Having worked with Frans over the years, his preparation and attention to detail is world class,” said event coordinator David Robertson. “His ability to make other coaches and directors reflect on what they can do to make the game better is unprecedented. Having someone who has the worldwide experience at a very high level that he does is a major attraction for this course.”

“I would love to see NorCal succeed as an example for the rest of the country because we know that the US has a lot of potential, we know it’s a very big country, but you should run it like NorCal, like a country, and then it will make a difference in the soccer world, in the US,” Hoek said. “I really hope that they will take the next steps as an example for the rest of the country.”