A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 29, 2011
“The game is the best teacher” (soccer adage)

"The game is the (best) teacher” is a popular saying among soccer coaches, meaning that players learn by playing the game. Tony Waiters and Bobby Howe popularized the saying in their World of Soccer books Coaching 6, 7 and 8 year olds (1988) and Coaching 9, 10, and 11 year olds (1989).

Princeton University men’s soccer coach Bob Bradley said in 1989, “There’s an old German saying that the game is the teacher.” The German source of the saying is not known.


OCLC WorldCat record
Coaching 6, 7 and 8 year olds
Author: Tony Waiters; Bobby Howe
Publisher: Vancouver, B.C. : World of Soccer, 1988.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

1 September 1989, Trenton (NJ) Evening Times, “College Soccer: Princeton hopes to teach Yale a lesson” by Harvey Yavener, pg. D4, col. 2:
PRINCETON TOWNSHIP—“There’s an old German saying,” says Princeton men’s soccer coach Bob Bradley, “that the game is the teacher.

“I believe that. Everything we’ve done in practice, all the expectations some people have for us, that doesn’t become anything until we start playing. Then we see what comes together in games.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Coaching 9, 10, and 11 year olds
Author: Bobby Howe; Tony Waiters
Publisher: Vancouver, B.C. : World of Soccer, 1989.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

Google Books
Coaching the Team
By Tony Waiters
Vancouver, BC: World of Soccer
1990
Pg. 24:
The Game is the Teacher
In the previous books in the “Coaching” series ("Coaching 6, 7 & 8 Year Olds” and “Coaching 9, 10 & 11 Year Olds"), Bobby Howe and I continually stressed that “The Game is the Teacher.”

Google News Archive
27 August 1991, Wilmington (NC) Morning Star, “Parks and Recreation: ‘The game is the best teacher’” by Steve Phillips, pg. 1C, col. 4:
“Soccer is a spontaneous game,” Wight said. “The game is the best teacher. You can’t diagram it.”

28 August 1992, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Soccer teams rely on juniors” by Julie Deardorff, sports, pg. 14:
“The game is the best teacher and they play a lot of games.”

5 May 1995, Atlanta (GA) Journal and Constitution, “Micro soccer makes major difference,” pg. E6:
“The game is the best teacher.”

Google Books
Coaching Youth Soccer:
A Baffled Parent’s Guide

By Bobby Clark
Boston, MA; London: Irwin/McGraw-Hill
1999
Pg. 14:
One of the most important things to remember about coaching soccer is that the game is the best teacher. Coaches should keep the youngsters playing the game rather than running too many drills.

OCLC WorldCat record
The Game is the Best Teacher - The latest adidas Coaching Development Series article looks at how keeping the game fun and deemphasizing wins has led a Tennessee team to the state title
Author: H Sharma
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: SOCCER JOURNAL -BINGHAMTON- NATIONAL SOCCER COACHES ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA- 48, Part 3 (2003): 43-46
Database: British Library Serials

Google Books
An American Parent’s Guide to Soccer:
Understand the game and enjoy watching your child play (Second Edition)

By Jeffrey D. Sanderson
Lulu.com
2006
Pg. 38:
Play The Game
Remember the phrase that all coaches are repeatedly taught when attending licensing courses – the game is the teacher. That is, the best way to learn the game is to play the game.

OCLC WorldCat record
Soccer alive : the game is the best teacher
Author: Detlev Brueggemann
Publisher: Aachen : Meyer & Meyer ; Northam : Roundhouse [distributor], 2008.
Edition/Format:  Book : English
Summary: Soccer is a fast-paced game that requires players to be not only quick on their feet, but also in their decisions. This title provides players with training philosophy. Using in-game situations, it helps players improve the movements and behaviours that are frequently used during a match

Google Books
Coaching Soccer the NSCAA Way:
A Complete Guide

By Jay Martin
Meyer & Meyer Verlag
2011
Pg. 216:
“The Game is the teacher” is a phrase which we constantly hear. This maxim, in practical terms, means that the soccer coach organizes conditioned soccer games to improve players.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • (0) Comments • Tuesday, November 29, 2011 • Permalink