Thank you for volunteering to be a coach for recreational soccer! Our program exists for our young players but without volunteer coaches, the club can’t function. Being a coach is one of the most rewarding roles to play within the club, yet it can be a challenge as well. Each player is different and presents a unique opportunity from teaching/coaching point of view. Also, there are twice as many parents as players and it is the coach’s job to get all of them on the same page.
We are always looking to add to our roster of coaches, at all levels of experience. If you know someone who is interested in making a difference in a young soccer player’s life, please have them register to be a coach by contacting Haydn Mitchell (PQ Rec) or Jim Flowers (RB Rec).
Step 1: Getting Started
Coaching clinics will be scheduled for you in order to provide simple but fun drills for teaching soccer to young children.
Step 2: Contacting Your Players
- Once you have received your roster(s), contact all parents by phone or email within 2-3 days. Please note that children are anxiously awaiting your phone call! Be prepared to tell them when their child will practice: location, days and times. At this time, ask for permission to place their names, phone numbers and email addresses on a team roster to distribute. Tell them what to bring to practice, ie., ball, shin guards, cleats and water.
- At your first practice, you should:
- Share some information about yourself and why you decided to coach soccer.
- Ask parents to volunteer as an assistant coach or team parent. All assistant coaches will also NEED to get fingerprinted.
- Discuss your expectations for the team, your focus and objectives. Stress the learning, good sportsmanship aspects of the game rather than competition and winning.
- Schedule of games and picture day information.
- Other parental obligations and needs (sponsorships, snacks, etc.)
- Prepare a handout and/or talk about "team rules". Some examples are:
- Parents should express only positive remarks to players, coaches and referees.
- Players are expected to show courtesy to opponents and referees. The decision of the referee is binding, don’t complain about missed calls. Contact the Director of Recreational Soccer if you have concerns.
- All players must be willing to play all positions (intended for Divisions U6 - U10).
- Players are expected to show positive attitudes and to follow directions given by the coach(es). Coaches will NOT permit grumbling, horse-play or other disruptive or disrespectful behavior during games or practices.
- Players must call, text or email if they will miss practice or games.
- Discuss what will be done if a parent does not pick up their child at the end of practice. In order to protect both players and coaches, parents should make every attempt to be punctual when picking up their child from practice.
- At times, you may need to take a parent aside and discuss privately his or her behavior. Sometimes you can address parents as a group, particularly if several have been yelling coaching instructions to their child during a game, but occasionally, you will have a parent who is too aggressive or belligerent toward players and/or the referees. San Diego Soccer Club stresses sportsmanship and enjoyment for all players and their families. Contact the league director if you need assistance.
- Sponsorships: We ask all teams to find one sponsor for each team. This helps the league defray some of the administrative costs involved with operating a large recreational soccer program. Sponsor businesses are advertised on our website and contact information displayed on our banners based on their donation.
Step 3: Equipment
We will provide you with two soccer balls, air pump, whistle, clipboard, cones, goalie gloves and a coach’s shirt. Have the children bring a soccer ball, shin guards, soccer cleats and water to all practices and games. Have them label their ball with a permanent marker.
As a coach, you will need a few items of your own: a first aid kit, and a few extra bottles of water, just in case.
Step 4: Practice
- Always prepare a list of drills and skills you wish to accomplish during practice.
- Check the players for loose clothing and jewelry before starting games and practices.
- A 90 minute practice might consist of:
- Warm-up (5 min)
- Stretches (5 min)
- Fitness (20 min)
- Rest Period (5 min)
- Skills Practice (20 min)
- Small sided Practice - 2v2 or 4v4 (15 min)
- Rest Period (5 min)
- Scrimmage (10 min)
- Team Talk (5 min)
- Your practice should be modified to fit your age group and needs of the players. You’ll always want to start with warm-ups and stretches, but the skills, small sided practice and scrimmage can be adapted to fit the objectives of your practice.
- Try to close each session with a brief discussion of a rule or skill concept so that the children have the opportunity to discuss and ask questions.
- Take the opportunity at the end of practice to talk to parents about an upcoming game or perhaps a drill they can practice with their child at home.