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Opening Week Coaching

posted Oct 1, 2012, 7:48 AM by AYSO26 Regional Commissioner
I heard a lot of great stories about your training sessions and opening day games.  There were bumps and of course, in some areas, disorganization.  But, that is not out of norm for opening day.  Here are some suggestion and imperatives that came from those stories.

1) Blow outs.  EVERY coach is responsible to make sure they are not involved in a blowout.  And for u7-u9 divisions, copy your team referee on this email.  Every coach in U7 and up is responsible for ensuring the score is close.  Read the web page on our web site, Managing Blowouts, on the Coach menu.  

2) Substituions below U16 are at quarters only, except for injuries.  At all divisions, substitutions are only performed at a stoppage of play, and under referee supervision.  No substation may be made without referee permission.  Referees are recording each quarter that a player is on the field and reporting it.

3) When warming up, do it with a soccer ball.  Running without a soccer ball is lost opportunity.  Dribble while running.  Jumping jacks, sit-ups, are all wasted opportunity to improve ball handling skills.  Combine any warm up activity with ball handling.

4) Coaches must check in their teams with the referee promptly.  Referees often have to move on to the next game, or are coming from another game.  You must have your team ready to go.

5) As mentioned before, you must have your team off the field at the end of your game slot.  No exceptions.

6) Coaches are not to coach players on the ball during a game, and should keep field instructions to a minimum during the game.  This is how soccer is done.  The game is the players domain, not the coaches.  There should be ZERO occurrences of the coach telling a player to pass, or to shoot (also goes for parents). To understand more about this see the web page, Coaching at The Game, on the Coach's menu.

7) There is a web page on the site for each divisions that gives the essentials.  Especially for our novice coaches, read the page on the coach's menu for your division.

8) Be sure your parents know to cheer for all the kids, not just their own, and not just their own team.  A good score, a good pass, a good save should be cheered no matter what team did it.

Well, that is about all I can think of for now.  Please go to the web site and be familiar with the pages under the Coach menu.  I am getting a lot of questions and issues, and they are answered on those few pages. It's not a lot of reading, but it is informational.  A lot of work has been put into blowing off the chaff.

Gordon Short
Regional Commissioner
Palo Alto AYSO