"BECOMING THE BEST I CAN BE"
by Lars Lorenz
At the age of 20 Steven Turek put all his eggs in one basket. Meanwhile he is the under 16 manager of Hannover 96 and as a top speaker he also holds seminars for his colleagues - whether in Dubai, Belgium, Italy or Germany. And that's not what it was! The story about the path of the relentless working football enthusiast.
It was one of those many near-perfect games that the team of coach Pep Guardiola showed on 28 May 2011. In the Wembley Stadium, which was sold out with 87,695 spectators, FC Barcelona beat their rival Manchester United 3-1. "What Barca was playing back then was football from another star. For me, this performance was simply defining," Steven Turek enthuses to this day. He thinks he had already watched the match ten times. He knows the Barca Star Formation by heart. And he doesn't get tired when he talks about the Champions League Final. Turek's enthusiasm for this club, the philosophy and way of playing continues. "Overwhelming short pass game, plus the ability to find the right solution in almost any situation, simply terrific. If you've been involved in football for years, you'll rarely be able to enjoy the game as a fan. Barca games are different. Here I can be a fan."
Several years have passed since the legendary triumph of 2011. And behind Turek, who followed the 3:1 at the age of 20, lies a path with many special encounters and experiences.
GOING AT VACATION WHERE PROFESSIONAL CLUBS TOOK THEIR WINTER TRAINING CAMP
Even before, during and after his studies, this path was always marked by his affinity to football. Whether as a player in the regional league or as a youth coach of his home club VfB Peine, with Acosta Braunschweig or at the DFB base - Turek is the type of guy who dedicates his life to football. And has always done so. "At the beginning of my 20s, it was clear to me that I should be a soccer coach!" After two semesters of becoming a teacher, he moved on to 'sports, health and performance' at the University of Hildesheim.
Since then he has been working relentless on his own development. As a student, he not only spent his time watching "abnormally large numbers of games", he also invested his manageable income year after year to study the training sessions of many Bundesliga clubs and European top league clubs in Belek, Turkey. "For four years," recalls the current U16 head coach from Hannover 96," I traveled there with colleagues for one week. We looked at the sessions, discussed and evaluated them. When the opportunity arose, we also talked to the managers."
Just like in 2014 with Henni Spijkermann. The assistant coach of Ajax Amsterdam took some time after the training session for the interested youth coach. "It was not a completely different kind of training that we saw on Ajax. But in these ten minutes of conversation I learned more about the game than I probably wouldn't have learned in 500 years. The enthusiasm with which Spijkermann spoke, the way he conveyed it - that was impressive and encouraged me! If I can talk about football at this age with the same enthusiasm, then I have done everything right" And further:" The fact that he took his time at all was and is not always self-evident. This openness, this humanity, which impresses me "- qualities that Turek himself attaches great importance to. As an example, he cites a gesture by his youth U16 team from Hannover 96. "The boys voluntarily donated the entire amount of their team money to charity. This shows humility and human quality. Very important points for me!"
Of course, his job as manager is also concerned with communicating such aspects. "The task is enormously complex. My primary goal is to help the team. This includes showing you how to react quickly to certain situations in the game. The perfect game is when a team is put in a position to have solutions for every possible situation". In the meantime, Turek has become a top speaker for coaching courses.
TOP SPEAKERS IN DUBAI, CHINA, BELGIUM AND ITALY
In the context of a large-scale project of the University of Hildesheim, the idea of collecting findings in a book was born from the discussion with Spijkermann and many others, in addition to the evaluation of training sessions and various game philosophies. "Fundamental Attacking Strategies" was also the starting signal for the accompanying work as a manager. Whether as an author or speaker at congresses and seminars - Turek imparts his meticulously accumulated knowledge over the years to an ever-growing community of interested soccer coaches. The topics are complex. From 'Attacking against Low Block Teams','The Art of Counterpressing' to 'Attacking out of the Back Three'. In 2017 he lectured in front of 130 trainers in Slovakia. Turek combined theory with small sided games and showed the most important points in counterpressing, the differences in the game against a four- and five-man chain and linked them with memorable training sessions.
In addition, he gave an impression of scouting and the selection and training of German talents in another course in Dubai. The fact that he lectured in Dubai, China, Belgium or Italy (among others with Arrigo Sacchi) in addition to the national courses is a steep development which is influenced by his partner Peter Schreiner decisively. "Peter is very well connected in the football-world and helped me to make more out of my ideas" and it became more. Today, the certified A-licensed trainer receives invitations to seminars and congresses - both nationally and internationally.
"BE THE BEST MANAGER THAT I CAN BE"
Where else should his path lead him in the future? "I have already said goodbye to concrete goals. Planning a career as a manager in football is pointless." Turek represents a different philosophy than many of his colleagues. Its basic attitude is comparable to that of his favourite club. At that time in the Wembley Barca played with seven of her own youth players from the famous academy "la Masia". The club trusted in its own strength. That's what Turek does. "My ambition is to become the best manager I can be!"