Palo Alto AYSO Coach and Assistant Coach

Pre-Season Check List


  1. Coach and Assist Coach Volunteer Registration and Forms
    • You must register as a volunteer for this year.  Last year's registration has expired.
    • Check your status here.
    • You must complete the registration process, including taking Safe Haven and CDC Concussion Awareness at least once in your AYSO career.  No coach or assistant coach may attend practice or a game without these certifications.
    • You must take the courses appropriate to the level of training your division requires. ergo, U10 coach must have U10 certification.  Plan for any certification needs using
  2. DC Assigns You a Team Number
    • First step on getting your team assignment from the DC, is to log in and set your preferences, under Coach/Preferences.
    • You can obtain your equipment from the locker.  See
    • Make sure you have one, and only one, assigned Team Manager.  If you have more than one, remove all but one.
  3. DC Releases Rosters to Coaches
    • Login, then click on Coach in the left menu, and review your team information.  You will see your co-coaching team members your players, and their parents.  The practice and game schedule may not be filled in yet, but it will be filled in soon.
    • Refer to Team Administration for detailed instructions.  It can also be reached using the menu, Coach / Team Administration
  4. Parents Meeting - DC Releases Rosters to Parents 
    • Send email to your team's parents, introducing yourself and calling for a Parent Meeting.
    • Remind parents that team roster, team information, games etc., are available online and can be accessed from our web site login page,  Most inability to see team or children information by a parent after logging in is due to the parent failing to login to the correct Program.  Mention this during the parent meeting to help them avoid login problems.
    • Remind the parents that the web site has extensive information under the menu item, Parent Guide, and it helps us if they scan through it.
    • Explain the AYSO philosophies.
    • Explain your expectations of players and parents (send by email to team, for absentees).
    • Introduce Team Manager - mention they will organize the uniforms and assign the snack schedule.
    • Recruit help:
      • have one and only one, Team Manager, registered in the system.
      • A Team Manager if you don't have one.  You must have one and only one, Team Manager, registered in the system
      • 2 team referees or assistant referees
      • Remind all parents to help put up/take down goal nets on games days (if necessary) and field cleanup (quick litter check after games)
    • Remind parents not to use school or park garbage bins, truck out what is taken in.
    • Remind parents to always check the game schedule online before game day.  Last minute changes may occur due to factors such as field conditions, city maintenance, school functions, etc.  Don't fall into the trap of sending a game schedule.  Do not send a game schedule and getting parents used to expecting you to keep them up to date.  The only sure way is for parents to check the online schedule themselves.  Last minute schedule updates often occur without notice, and you will not have time to update your team.  
  5. Player registration forms 
    • The player registration form, which contains the emergency medical release information, must be with you or your assistant at all practices and games. Two copies can be printed by you or the parent and must be signed by the parent.
    • You keep one copy and your assistant, the other.
    • To be legally valid,  the form (and any copies) needs to be signed by the parents (not a copy of a signed form). 
    • Remember, it is required that a copy of this signed form be at the field for every practice and game, in case of medical need.
    • A copy of the signed player registration form must be given to your DC at the end of the season.
    • A blank is attached to the bottom of the page.  It can be used for TEMPORARY purposes only.  The parent should replace it ASAP.  Have a few of these handy in your coach bag.


Equipment and Uniforms
  • You or a helpful parent must pick up your team equipment from the locker on a scheduled Equipment Day.  The locker can not be opened ad hoc for some one that missed out.  There are typically more than 150 teams, and it takes a lot of time to stage the equipment for pickup.  Equipment Days are clearly noted on the Regional Calendar, displayed on the home page in the calendar widget.  Click on the event and you will see more detailed information about the pickup.
  • You must have a Team Manager take care of uniforms. Do not attempt this task yourself. 
  • Remember:  Fly your colors when your are the visiting, away team.  HOME: WHITE, AWAY: BLUE

Inform your Division Commissioner ASAP of any problems or issues that arise with a parent or player

Late registration 
  • Additions or drops to the roster can only be made by the Division Commissioner.  If an unregistered player appears at a practice (e.g. a friend of one of your players) you should pass on the name and phone number of the player to your Division Commissioner.  Under no circumstances can you include such "walk ons" at your practices, even if you think the player may eventually be assigned to your team.  In particular: a player may not practice or play games until that player 
    • is formally registered and assigned to your team by the division commissioner and 
    • you have in your possession the player's registration form. 
    • This is a critically important liability issue.

Attend training and continued education

  • Every coach and assistant coach must possess the Safe Haven certification, Concussion Awareness certification, and the appropriate age-related soccer coaching qualification. See the web site for the class and clinic schedule.
  • NOTENo coach or assistant coach may attend a practice or game without Safe Haven certification and CDC Concussion  Awareness Certification. 
  • Study coaching books, videos, soccer web sites - great for ideas on practices. 

Know the Laws of the Game

  • AYSO follows FIFA laws with a small number of minor modifications. Division U5, U6 and U8 play under simplified laws available online under the Referee menu, with each division noted in the menu.  

First-aid and water

  • Carry a first-aid kit to all practices and games.
  • Water must be available at all practices and games. This is especially important early in the season when the weather can be hot. Encourage players to bring their own water bottle, but bring some extra for the forgetful ones.

Before the Game

  • Plan lineup and substitutions.
  • Print out your game card, available on the Coach menu after you  log in
  • Mark any players that are absent.

At the Game

  • Put up corner flags. If the first game of the day put up goals or nets as necessary.
  • Ensure your players are properly warmed up and ready to play.
  • Remember:
    • Honor the Game (Positive Coaching Alliance)
      • Rules: don't bend the rules to win
      • Opponents: are a gift and not to be denigrated
      • Officials: repsect even when they make mistakes
      • Teammates: don't embarrass your team
      • Self: respect yourself and maintain absolute standards
    • Coaches are responsible for parent behavior - they are part of the team on game-day.
    • Coaches and spectators must stand at least one yard back from the touch line.  Coaches are responsible to keep all players and spectators and themselves, at least one yard back from the touch line.  
    • Coaches must remain within the"Technical Area", a coaching area which extends 10 yards either side of the half-way line.
    • The game is for the players!  Keep your game coaching to positive instruction and encouragement, without specific direction.  
    • Avoid coaching the player on the ball.  Minimize coaching during the game.
    • Applaud good play by both teams.
    • Avoid running up the score in unbalanced games - we prefer to keep the goal differential under 4.  There are strategies on the web site to help you manage this.  See the Coach menu regarding Strong and Weak team, and Blowouts.
    • At the end of the game, players and coaches cheer the opposing team and then line up to shake hands. The teams then shake the hands of the referees, to thank the referees also! 
  • Take home your corner flags . If the last game of the day put away and lock nets and goals as necessary. Never leave an empty field with nets up or movable goals left out on the field.  THIS IS A CRITICAL SAFETY ISSUE.  Children have been severely injured climbing on goals that were left out.  OUR FIELD PRIVILEGES CAN BE REVOKED BY THE CITY IF WE FAIL TO LOCK UP GOALS.
  • Clean up any trash left at the field.
AYSO26 Regional Commissioner,
Aug 17, 2014, 7:34 AM