The Craft of Coaching

About Shawn

About Coach Shawn Agnew

Shawn was born on January 26th, 1985. Shawn was immersed in soccer at a young age of 5.  His talent was noticeable early, and at the age of 12, Shawn joined the Brazilian Corban Soccer School in Coquitlam, B.C. Canada.  Corban's Head Coach and Technical Director Carlos Alves was born and raised in Rio De Janerio, Brazil and came from one of the top clubs in Brazil called Flamengo. Home of one of the biggest stadiums in the world, the Maracanã. The club has developed and signed players such as: Zico, Ronanldinho, Paulinho, Kleberson, Julio Cesar, Garrincha, Romario, Adriano, Juan, Bebeto, Renato Augusto, Gilberto and many more. Here Shawn learned the "Brazilian Way", where it’s typically free flow, direct attacking soccer that involves the ball at their feet. A mass amount of energy is spent on creativity with the ball and combination play with teammates. The curriculum demands a technical first touch, strong relationship with the ball and being very aware of your surroundings. After 5 years at Corban, at the age of 17, Shawn got the opportunity to train at G.D. Chaves in Portugal. Here is when Shawn's eyes opened at the possibility of having a future career, because of the Corban's training methodology, Shawn adapted technically and physically well to the portuguese club and was offered a roster spot on their U-19 Junior squad but was forced to turn it down by his parents in order to finish grade 12 that upcoming September. Shawn the following year at the age of 18 was invited to a Brazilian club through Carlos's connections in the heart of Sao Paulo State named Uniao Sao Joao, in the city of Araras. The club were famous for developing the well-known Lima and Roberto Carlos. After training and signing with Uniao's U-20 team, Shawn was invited the following year to train with the famous S.C. Corinthians, which is arguably Brazil’s biggest & greatest club.  Also located in Sau Paulo State, the club has a worldwide following, especially in light of the five Brazilian league titles, as well as the first edition of the FIFA Club Championship in their trophy cabinet.  During his stay at S.C. Corinthians, Shawn trained with the U-20 and Professional B squads. Here he was surrounded with world class youth players, many already on professional contracts, sent to trials in Europe or already on the Brazilian National Team. After a 7 month stint, Shawn returned home to prepare for European trials and chose Portugal to begin his professional career. 

Now at 21, Shawn got trials to G.D. Chaves's sister club, G.D. Valpacos where after a 3 week trial was offered to sign for the following season. During the season, Shawn at this point was enduring a long term injury since the summer of 2003 called chronic compartment syndrome. This exercise induced condition causing cramping, tingling and significant numbness in both of his feet concluded Shawn's career.  Shaw returned home from a heart broken journey Shawn received an opportunity to play for Trinity Western University where the year before Shawn was offered a massive scholarship that he turned down. Now settling for a "walk on" position,  Shawn continued to struggle with his CCS condition and slight depression & frustration from a career ending so early. Shawn dived into a sports science major which created a new vision in him that he wasn't 100% aware of quite yet. All Shawn knew was that his distant goal was to launch his own Academy one day but wanted to research every angle on what a professional academy needed to meet international standards of development. At this point the 10 year journey commenced of: research, coaching hours, various coaching licenses, infrastructure framework, appropriate equipment, futsal environments, conditioning environments and most importantly theory and evidence proven curriculum that is decision focused (cognition). After three years of building his Academy's infrastructure titled: Premier Soccer Academy, Shawn had an inner pull to research a mentor who could fine-tune Shawn's ability to develop an elite athlete for international standards. After two years of research the decision was clear & easy. After researching the famous player, coach, manager and theorist Johan Cruyff and his 20 year prodigy Todd Beane made the decision concrete. TOVO Academy - Barcelona, Spain.

30km outside Barcelona TOVO established their training grounds at Sitges, Spain, and that's where Shawn's journey continued.  Shawn along with other coaches from around the world, completed the TOVO T1 and T2 course over a two week span. The "formula" that Shawn hunted, researched and needed "translating" was answered and completed. The "light bulb" that is hard to explain turned on and Shawn knew he had some answers that the majority of North American coaches did not have. Shawn has taken this new approach back home where he would dump many of his old practices and include ALL of the new ones. The end result is a transformation of an Academy that Canada has not seen yet. Training that is cognition focused and is directly derived from a three pillar curriculum system. Shawn's new high-performance program instantly received the new way of training and the transformation has been alarming. 

The future of Premier Academy and Shawn Agnew

Shawn is working with Duvan Souza to create the first Academy in Western Canada to have the ability to create cognition focused players that also receive a world standard in technical feedback and guidance. Here the long term plan is to offer players a variety of options that range from: Canadian & American University avenues to professional club training / trials over-seas in Brazil and Europe. 

The CRAFT of Coaching - BLOG
Shawn's personal message is to Canadian parents and Canadian coaches who are not informed of modern day training and the cognition / technical framework that needs to be in place for a player to think properly during a training session and game. Shawn has seen the over-whelming need for professional information to be available to soccer parents, driven players and coaches who want proper, professional, evidence proven framework. The Craft of Coaching was created, an online blog exploring the common and popular topics of youth development. The blog will share Shawn's opinion, theory, facts, and destroy myths or incorrect info in a blunt and straight to the point fashion. While Shawn's consulting section is reserved for individuals, groups or teams who want to hire Shawn to step in as their coach whenever needed, guidance counsellor, or technical director. All consulting packages can be tailored made in what the individual or group/team desire for their short and long term development. 

Shawn's mission is to share his passion for the game and do whatever he can to help athletes understand the game at a higher level, to understand the complexities in a simple format they can understand and have the player not only execute the decision but why they are making that particular decision. Blend in some Brazilian flare and creativity that Shawn is VERY immersed in and Shawn knows the outcome. An intelligent, creative player that understands the game and how to use their technical ability to the full potential. Once you mix this approach with the athletes completed maturation growth which is typically U16 onwards (Sports Science IQ) then you have the speed, power, and strength that completes the well-rounded soccer player. 

"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all love of what you are doing or learning to do!"    

"We do not pass to move the ball, we pass to move the opposition"
~ Pep Guardiola

"Football doesn't build character, it reveals character!"  
 ~ Unknown

"Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is!"
~ Johan Cruyff

"I pass and I move, I help you, I look for you, I stop, I raise my head, I look and above all, I open up the pitch...The one who has the ball is the master of the game. This is the school of Joan Vila, Albert Benaiges, Johan Cruyff, and Pep Guardiola!"
~ Xavi from Barcelona F.C.

"The futsal environment is the best kept secret in Canada!"
~ Coach Shawn Agnew