*I received my Roster, now what? - call or email parents, introduce yourself and give them your phone number. If you called them, give them your email address. Tell them where practice will be. What players will need to bring to practice: water bottle, shin guards, soccer ball (what size), and cleats.
*What will I need for my first practice? - A practice plan or outline. Some extra soccer balls. Some pinnies or alternate jerseys. (no pinnies as per covid restrictions at this time). Practice cones or discs. Proper attire for yourself, you should be wearing clothing befitting a soccer coach.
*Why do I need a Practice Plan? - It's the key to a smooth running practice. You will look more professional. Fold it in half and tuck it in your pocket or waste band for quick access to it. You won't be stumbling for ideas with 24 eyes looking at you. After practice, use it to write what worked well and what you would change. Keep them, as record so you know when you practiced.
*What are good tips for planning a good practice? - Keep players active at all times. Get to the field early and set everything up beforehand! Another reason to arrive early is to check the field conditions and make sure that it is safe to play on. Avoid the three L's. Laps, lines, and lectures. Keep it fun! Keep it simple, especially for younger players. Don't use fancy words or complicated drills. Don't be afraid to change things if something isn't working.
*Should I have a parent meeting? - You should have a team meeting as soon as possible and defiantly before the first game. Prepare a "handout" with everything clearly stated. Use the handout as your notes. Pass the handout out at the end of the meeting. Tell parents to make sure their spouses and family know the team policies and sideline etiquette. Make sure they cheer for good defensive and offensive plays. On the hand out should be you team "staff" names and contact information.
*What do I need for game day? - HAVE FUN! Both you and the players should be having fun. Don't get too worked up about it. Your #1 goal is player development and learning NOT winning. As long as the kids try their hardest, they are good sports, and most importantly, that they have fun then you did your job.
*What should my game day strategy be? - HAVE FUN! Notice a theme here? If you are coaching younger kids, it will be beehive soccer. Don't worry about it. The game is the best teacher. Eventually, with a little bit of help from you, they will figure it out. On offense, they will eventually figure out if they get open and get a pass they will have a clear look at the goal. And they will figure out on defense, that if the whole team goes after the soccer ball, no one will be covering the open second attacker on the other team. In recreational soccer we have a 6 goal difference limit, this helps keep the game fun and competitive. If your team is up 4-0 start making some adjustments and teach the kids about sportsmanship in not burying the other team. It's not fun to play a game down 0-13.
Hopefully, this answered some of your questions. One of the great things about being a soccer coach is you can always learn something new. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to email us:
Rec Director: Shannon - email@example.com
Travel Director: Edna - firstname.lastname@example.org