Important Information For Coaches
Coaching soccer can be one of the most rewarding activities for adults interested in helping children. In AYSO, we require that coaching be positive and encouraging at all times. Coaches who follow a philosophy of winning being the most important thing, or of driving the children extremely hard to ensure their best efforts, are not part of our program.
At the same time, good Coaches will be demanding and set high expectations for the players, but will do so fully aware of the child's need for a positive experience, and with understanding that different children may have different abilities and developmental needs.
The fundamental goal for all AYSO Coaches is to encourage each child's interest in sports, and to keep all the kids involved regardless of their individual abilities. Coaches are asked to keep in mind the following:
You may be required to attend certain Coach meetings and training sessions. If you are an experienced Coach, we need you at these meetings to be a mentor to novice Coaches. Besides, something changes each year and you'll need to know! Due to liability issues, you may not be
permitted to coach unless you attend required meetings.
Take the time to attend a Coach clinic each year. If you are a novice Coach, this is where you can learn the basics, not only of soccer but also of dealing with children. If you are experienced, attend an advanced clinic and look for opportunities to develop better teamwork and strategy.
We offer skills courses regularly, including those for U-6, U-8, U-10 and U-12. When we have enough interested coaches, we offer the more comprehensive Intermediate Coaching Course and the Advanced Coaching Course.
Brooklyn kids have busy lives and will have a lot going on besides soccer. While we encourage players to be at each practice and every game, we ask Coaches to be understanding about time conflicts.
Your Division Coordinator is your main contact for questions and information about Division events, schedules and activities. Only a Division Coordinator, with permission from the Regional Commissioner, may reschedule games. Any rescheduled games must be coordinated with the Regional Referee Administrator so that referees may be obtained for these games.
Parents and players will often follow the example you set in behavior towards opponents and Referees. Treat Referees with dignity and respect regardless of mistakes that may be made. During the game the behavior of the parents of your team is primarily your responsibility, and you should try to calm parents who seem to be setting poor examples for the kids. If you have questions on calls made by the Referee, discuss them calmly after the game.
Prior to the start of the season, each Coach will be given a copy of the registration forms for each of the Players on his/her team. That form, which contains a medical release and authorization, must be brought to each game and practice. If the Coach will not be at a game or practice, it is his/her responsibility to insure that the Assistant Coach or other responsible adult bring the forms to the game or practice. In the event of an emergency, medical treatment may be denied or delayed for a child if the medical release and authorization form is not available.
You must have two adults at any practice session. In case of injury, one adult can take the child to a medical clinic while the other remains with the other players. When the Coach or Assistant Coach cannot be there, the Team Parent should be at practice or should arrange for another parent to attend.
There are certain techniques which are appropriate for soccer but not for younger players. Heading is generally not taught before U-10, and even in older Divisions no child should be forced to head the ball during practice. Slide tackles should be strongly discouraged until at least U-12. Incorrect slide tackles will be considered deliberate fouls and merit a caution (yellow card). If executed from behind, a send off (red card) may be issued.
After practice, make sure all the children are picked up before you leave. If you have to leave, make sure there is another adult there who will stay with any remaining children until they are picked up. Never leave a child alone after practice. Children may not walk home alone after practice unless the Coach has received instructions IN WRITING from parents or guardians. You should make sure parents know what to expect if they are not on time (e.g. "after 10 minutes, I will take the child to my house.")
Although great care is taken to balance teams as equally as possible, it is inevitable some teams will be much stronger than others. Do not get discouraged if your team does not appear to have much talent. You still have an important job to do to make sure the kids have fun and develop their abilities as best they can.
In case of bad weather, always assume that the game will be played unless you are contacted by your Division Coordinator. If the Regional Commissioner makes a decision to cancel games due to weather conditions, the decision will be communicated to the Division Coordinators who will in turn inform the Coaches. Coaches will then (with help from the Team Parent) notify all players and parents. On the field, only the Regional Commissioner and the Referee have the authority to cancel a game due to field or weather conditions (such as rain, thunder or lightning) that may present a hazard to the players.
Please make sure you are aware of rules which affect Coaches during play. All coaching must be positive, encouraging and/or instructional.
Coaches must remain within 10 yards of the halfway line during play, and must stay on one side of the field. Once the game has started, Coaches may not enter the field without permission of the Referee. If a player appears to be injured, the Referee will determine whether continued play presents any possibility of more seriously injuring the player, and may allow play to continue to a natural stopping point before returning to examine the injured player. If the Referee feels the player needs attention, the Referee will invite the Coach to enter the field to attend to the player.
You may not use tobacco or alcohol at any AYSO activity with children present.
If the game is called because of thunder or lightning, have all the children leave the field immediately and get in cars with their parents or friends. Some of the parents must take the goals down and return them to the field house. There is no "crew" to take them down. As coaches, you must ensure that some adults from your team do this.