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Soccer Training
Coach Checklist | Coach Conduct Guidelines | Coach Conduct During a Game
Coach Conduct During Practice | Parent & Player Conduct | Practice Plans
Age Appropriate Training | Intramural Coaching Curriculum for Players

COACHES ADMINISTRATIVE CHECKLIST
1. Call all players as soon as possible. Speak to a parent and be sure to ask if they have a pen and paper before giving them the following information:
a.Your name and phone number.
b.The time and location of the first game and practice.
c.The required equipment for your age group. Shingaurds are mandatory and a uniform is required for PeeWee and older. Clinic and Micro-Clinic the shirt is provided.
d.All players should bring a ball to practice and for the pre-game practice.
e.Let them know that you will be wearing “hat with logo and/or shirt that they
recognize you for the first time. The parents will be able to find you right away

2. Meet with the parents at the first practice and distribute the game schedule. You can insure capturing the entire team by writing the players name in the top corner of each copy and distribute to the parents. Any leftover sheets are the ones you need to call.

3. At the first game distribute a roster including the name of the players, the parents and phone numbers. This will help to remember names and provide the opportunity for the parents to get to know one another.

4. Call players that do not attend practice and ask them if everything is ok. Some players (parents) need encouragement to make practice.

5.Give instructions at practice and let the players enjoy the games on Saturday. By letting the players become free thinkers they will play a better game.

6.Be prepared for practice. Spend time preparing a practice that has no lines (players waiting) and every player or pair of players with a ball.

7.When meeting the players and parents for the first time you should let them know how to recognize you i.e. baseball cap and/or sweat shirt with a logo so they can look for at the first practice/game.

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COACHING CONDUCT/GUIDELINES
Communication: Ensure the terminology you use is clear and precise. Let players know you are in charge. 
Positive Reinforcement: Whenever possible give individuals and/or groups positive reinforcement. Refrain from using negative comments. Use praise as an incentive.
Initiative and Creativity: If the drill or game is too advanced, modify to increase the chances of success.
Make a Difference: Be motivational and inspirational. Enthusiasm and being energetic are contagious.
Keep Players Active: If the drill is static, create need of helpers or assistants to keep everyone involved.
Individual Awareness: Be aware of player differences. Aggressive or quiet, recognition of player personalities will allow you to respond to all players, and they will respond to you positively.
Quality: In all demonstrations make the desired objectives clear. If a player shows mastery of a skill, use him/her to demonstrate.
Technique: In all drills and games continually emphasis the use of correct techniques.
Player Movement: At all times make players aware of importance of readiness. Emphasize weight forward on toes and bouncing instead of flat footed-ness.
Rotate Positions: All players should be active as servers, assistants. In game situations change positions each quarter.
Respect: Continually get players to support one another. To show good sportsmanship towards all players including opponents, and respect for others attempts and effort.
Equality: Give equal attention to all players in group or games. Do not leave the less competent players behind nor slow the advanced players.
Fun and Enjoyment: Players will respond and want to continue if things are fun. Create their enjoyment.
Coaches should be dedicated to the development of all players whether technically able or new to the game. As a role model to children, set exemplary standards. Develop good touch and technique, sportsmanship and a positive atmoshphere without pressure to win.

Maintain equality throughout sessions and emphasize fun and development. Play time is equal for all players with an ojective to make sure they play all positions.

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COACHING CONDUCT DURING A GAME 
Appearance
You should dress appropriately. Dress like a coach. You should wear soccer related cloths.

Pre-Game Ritual
Make sure that you arrive on time and you have the required equipment and organization.

Warm Up
You need to have a suitable warm and routine.

Pre Game Talk
You need to have a suitable, age appropriate, constructive conversation. Did the players find the coach interesting?

Coaching Style in the Game
Was the coaching style displayed effective? It has to be appropriate for the players. You should have positive coaching points and should make sense

End of Game Talk
You need a suitable talk that is age appropriate, constructive conversation. Your players should be interested in your comments

Knowledge Of The Game
Do you display a suitable knowledge and understanding of the game (i.e. sensible formation and tactical direction)?

Interaction With the Referee
Please conduct yourself in a positive manner and do not contest a referee’s call and action. Any issues please discuss with your coordinator.

Interaction with Parents
Provide clear direction on being enthusiastic, yet not critical. Do not let the parent provide coaching points. This should come from the coach and assistant only.

Player Opportunity and Time
When you conduct substitution it should be in an extremely positive tone (i.e. Billy come out and get some rest, rather Billy get off the field). All your players must have a chance to play in the game under different position and balance time on the field.

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COACHING GUIDELINES AT PRACTICE
PeeWee/Midget/Bantam Division 
The guidelines given can be seen as “GOLDEN RULES” which you can use to help run your practice sessions and games by:

1.) Give the players as much active time with the ball possible.

2.) Do not use practices that involve the players standing in a line.

3.) Try to finish the practice when the children are having tremendous fun and you have accomplished your “goals” for the day.

4.) Juggling and Coerver (“Soccer Moves”) type moves should be part of every session you do.

5.) Be an entertainer. Remember a child’s world is one colored with magic and imagination. Mickey Mouse means more to them than a simple passing exercise. Do not coach them as though they are miniature adults.

6.) Players at these ages learn best by touching the ball frequently. It therefore seems logical to play small-sided games as much as possible. As the parameters for five and six year olds suggest the best game to play is MICRO Soccer.

7.) Although they are young they need and respect discipline. Carefully select your teaching style and your guidelines for behavior and then be firm with what you will and will and not accept.

8.) Carefully select the language that you use when communicating with the young players. For example by saying, “The one who works the hardest will be my next catcher” you effectively invite all players(regardless of ability) to participate in the game. Alternatively the phrase “The first on to do …..” invites only the gifted few. At all times try to use language which invites all and excites all and alienates no on.

9.) Use your body to help express the enthusiasm that you have for the practice you are running. Avoid towering above them, get down on your knees and become part of their world. They will relate better to you if you are an animated character

10.) There is no place for yelling at the players. Many coaches feel that they need to bark instructions out to players. Let the players play. Then if you want to make a coaching point, stop the exercise and make one or two points only. During a game, we hear coach’s constant sounds of “LOUD” direction. This really not needed for the players.

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PARENT, PLAYERS AND SPECTATOR CONDUCT

The parents' role is one of support to the players and coaches. Parents should not engage in "coaching" from the sidelines; criticizing players, coaches or game officials; or trying to influence the makeup of the team at any time. Every parent and spectator is expected to:
- Learn and respect the rules of soccer, and the rules of our League. 
- Show respect and courtesy to game officials, coaches, and players at all times. 
- Respect the game officials and refrain from questioning their decisions or from addressing them in a loud, disrespectful, or abusive manner. 
- Cheer for your child's team in a positive manner, refraining at all times from making negative or abusive remarks about the opposing team. Maintain control of your emotions and avoid actions, language, and/or gestures that may be interpreted as hostile and humiliating. 
- Ensure that your child is at all games and practices at the required time or provide the coach with an appropriate excuse beforehand. 
- Demonstrate appropriate gestures of sportsmanship at the conclusion of a game, win or lose. 
- Teach and practice good sportsmanship and fair play by personally demonstrating commitment to these virtues. 
- Promote the concept that soccer is merely a game, and that players and coaches on other teams are opponents, not enemies.

Players Conduct
- Know and respect the rules of soccer, and abide by them at all times. 
- Show respect and courtesy to officials and coaches by following their instructions and directions. 
- Respect the game officials and refrain from addressing them or commenting on their decisions during or after the game. Note: The team captain or his designate may address the officials during the game but only within the provisions of the rules and in a courteous, respectful manner. 
- Maintain control of his/her emotions, avoiding the use of abusive or profane language, taunting or humiliating remarks, and/or gestures and physical assault upon another player at any time. 
- Respect the coaches and players of the opposing team and display sportsmanship at the conclusion of a game be humble and generous in victory and proud and courteous in defeat. 
- Follow all League rules and regulations, respecting at all times the property of others. 
Remember that soccer is a game, and treat players and coaches on other teams as opponents, not enemies.

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PRACTICE PLANS
Have a written plan for each practice. You cannot have a good practice if you do not have an idea of what you want to accomplish during that practice. With today’s lifestyle time is in great demand. Many of our coaches barely have enough time have practice let alone write out a planner. The Kickers have put a together a series of games and exercises that you can reference. All you have to add your notes to the sheets, but it really should be written. Writing down your plan will help you think through the equipment and setup you will need for the topics to be covered. Save these plans as a record of performance and to help develop a progressive program for the season. As you plan your practices with the help of the information that follows, remember these tips to keep players’ interest and avoid boredom:

· Minimize the amount of talking that you do.
· Get all of the players involved.
· Turn "drills" into games.
· Give players many touches on the ball.
· Give players many chances to shoot and score.
· Let the kids PLAY!

Keep the practice focused. If you are trying to teach new skills, your practice should concentrate on a single major topic (e.g. passing), rather than on many different topics.
Practices should follow a progression: warm-up, drills, scrimmage, and cool down.

The following are a series of games that you can use for your practice session. They break down the techniques and tactical of the players. The games go from fundamental stage, Match related to Match condition.

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AGE APPROPRIATE TRAINING
The coach must find that magic line when training a team. The coach must figure out just what the players can learn and how far to take them past their comfort level. If the players don't leave their comfort level, they can't improve as quickly. On the other hand, if the players are asked to do something that is too far beyond their capability, then they may lose confidence and desire.

Following is a summary of some basic tactical development guidelines per age:

Ages 5-7 - Focus on individual ball touches, learning the different parts of the feet, general play, with lots of short games that involve some thought, competition and individual skill development in small groups of two to four players.

Ages 8-9 - Passing exercises for technical development; continue to focus on the individual player development such as dribbling games and 1v1 play; individual defending techniques can be introduced with other individual skills. This age will enthusiastically do anything the coach asks. Tactical situations may be part of some training exercise, but the coach should focus on the individual development. Again, small group training of two and three man teams is much preferred over larger groups.

Ages 10-11 - Individual development is continued with supporting players added. Initially two-man supporting tactics are developed (attack and defense), generally against one opponent. A second opponent or third teammate are added later as needed. Coaches should start to use neutral players in many exercises and games to allow the players to achieve more success in the early development stages.

Ages 12-13 - Three man combination play is developed, evolving into a four man shape during play. Tactical patterns are used to setup exercises. Off ball marking and tracking are worked on defense.

Ages 14-15 - Tactical patterns are trained in a five-man shape. Training zones help to define player responsibilities within areas of the field. Functional defensive play, such as marking backs, sweeper, or zone structures, are refined. Transition should be a prime focus of this age.

Ages 16-18 - Team system of play is stressed more. 6-9 man tactical setups are employed. Set pieces are developed. Decision-making training environments are mandatory. Team pattern play as well as group and individual functional training give more tactical options.

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INTRAMURAL COACHING CURRICULUM FOR PLAYERS

AIM: To help those players to have productive, fun based introduction to the game of soccer. The curriculum is based upon introducing these young players to key fundamentals of the game through involvement in a series of FUN based practices and small sided games

At the ages of five and six following techniques will be introduced and reinforced:

a. Dribbling
b. Moves i.e. Coerver work
c. Juggling
d. Short passing
e. Ball control – pass to yourself

These techniques have been selected because our experience shows that it is these areas in which the young players can learn and enjoy learning.

The length of the practice should be no longer then 45 minutes.

Each practice should include a variety of games, activities, and small-sided games that will promote the development of individual skills and concepts, group skills. At this level, offensive skill and concept development is much more difficult than defensive development. Therefore, when organizing you practice plan, design exercises that have no defensive pressure or passive defensive pressure. Develop a warm-up plan for your players. Follow this plan as players are arriving to practice. Include in the warm-up plan activities that involve various skills including juggling, passing, dribbling, and shooting. Players can do these activities without much coaching instruction

For the PeeWee/Midget/Bantam division you should have one practice a week. At this age you want the players to touch the ball. The first practice we recommend that you cover the rules so the kids know when the games starts. The following provides you with a guide of how to run a practice for the division:

ActivityTime
Warm-up 5 Minutes
Skills games 15-20 Minutes
Game 15-20 Minutes
Learn more at our Coaching Clinics

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