Have practices planned in advance, objectives of each practice clearly understood by yourself, game day procedures completed and ready - 2 copies of team roster completed and signed, player medical release forms, your ID card, cell phone, local emergency numbers (for home games), player list and their positions finalized, equipment bag complete (first aid kit, pinnies, goalie gloves, cones), game ball pumped up, etc.
Confirm an away game in advance
Call the coach listed for your away game the Wednesday or Thursday before the game to confirm times, and get any specific directions.
Select different team captains (2) each week
The captains will:
- Lead the team players for the pre-game warm-up and stretching exercises
- Attend the center coin toss and follow the referee’s instructions about the toss
- Lead the team at the end of game line-up for congratulating the other team
- Go to the Referee and thank him/shake his hand for the game.
Communicate with the parents
Keep parents informed of any changes throughout the season, and provide sufficient notice to your families when/if schedules change.
- Coaches occupy one side of the field, with each coach using one half of the field. Respect other coaches by staying within ‘your half’ i.e. don’t cross the centerline into the other coaches space.
- If the opposing team is losing by more than 5 goals, consider starting to hold your team back. It can be devastating for other team players to be beaten so convincingly. Remember we are in this for the kids – even those on other teams. Given our goals of creating environments for soccer skill development, be creative in these situations. Some ideas:
- No dribbling - players get two touches then must do something with the ball
- Hold the ball for a 4 count - Players must gain control of the ball and retain control of the ball for a 4 count before they do something else with the ball. This forces the players to shield and safely manage personal posession of the ball.
- Place players in positions they don’t normally play to provide them an opportunity to play new positions they may be unfamiliar with.
- Require the players to pass backward and switch the field on every posession
- If a player is injured and not seen by the Referee:
- Call out to the referee to indicate the situation
- If the referee does not hear you, instruct one of your players to deliberately kick the ball out of play to stop the game.
Jeff Pill is a renowned coach and contributor to youth soccer in the USA. Here he presents guidelines on managing your youth soccer team. These materials are available online atwww.eteamz.com/soccer/pills/discip.htm or on this web site here.