Tom Byer's 'Soccer Starts at Home' philosophy brought to Houston Dynamo's youth

Thursday, January 31, 2019
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Soccer guru shares 'at home' philosophy with Dynamo camp

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Many around the world have heard of the "Soccer Starts at Home" movement.

That philosophy began with Tom Byer, who is in Houston to share his wisdom with the Houston Dynamo and its youth leagues.

Byer's philosophy has made him a household name in Japan, and his approach has helped the country on the world stage. His involvement with the Dynamo began after legend Brian Ching reached out to him.

"When I first came out here, there was a new academy director, Paul Holocher, and he is another one who knew the entire story of 'Soccer Starts at Home,'" said Byer.

He spent the last 30 years in Japan to craft his technical coaching philosophy. Fittingly, his coaching experiments at home with his kids.

"I put two or three balls in every room in my house, and from day one, when 'Boy Boy' stepped up to play with the ball, I would discourage him from kicking," said Byer. "I would encourage him to do more of this ball mastery, ball manipulation."

Byer believes the starting line is at home, and it revolves around the parent-child relationship.

"I filmed a series recently that was filmed around (Lionel) Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, and we realized that the common denominator was early practice by themselves and early engagement between (ages) 2 and 5, and the role that the parents played," he said.

If you want to catch Byer while he is in town, he will be hosting a free event on Thursday at Houston Sports Park, geared toward parents of younger children.

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