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Coaches

Thanks for taking the opportunity to be such an active part of your child’s sports life and supporting the Littlestown AYSO.  You are very much the face of our organization, molding our players into fine soccer players and our parents into fine examples of sportsmanship.  Below, you’ll find tips, tricks, guidelines, and various other bits of information about coaching for the Littlestown AYSO.  

Ken Wootton (coachadmin@littlestownsoccer.org), our coach administrator, is there to support you this season.  If you have a question or concern, please contact him.

Thanks again for your help and support!

MORE THAN JUST YOU:  Don’t take it all on yourself!

  • You will need to select an assistant (if you don’t already have one) and a team parent (see the letter regarding the team parent duties).  

  • Please don’t skip this step!  While it is often difficult to convince parents to volunteer, you’ll need backup when you have difficulty making a practice or game.  You’ll appreciate your team parent when they take care of picture or fundraising duties while you lead the kids in practice.

  • You, your assistant, and your team parent need to register as volunteers.  This must be done by the second week of practice.  See the Safety section below for more information about volunteer registration.

COMMUNICATION is a very important part of making this season successful for you and your team.

  • We will communicate with you and your players via email (this is our primary form of communication, please check your email regularly during the season), phone, and our website.  Note that the website includes schedules, field directions, details about field conditions (open or closed), and more.  Be sure to check the website often!

  • When sending out coach wide alerts, e.g. cancellations, we will often request a response so that we don’t have to track you down.  Please do so!

  • If you need to give items to our coach administrator or another board member, leave it in the top of the black stand in the equipment shed with the person’s name on it.  If board members have information for you, it will be placed in the stand under your age division, with your name on it.  You should check your “mailbox” at each practice.  Enlist your team parent to help you do this!

  • The best way of communicating with your team is to get the parents in the habit of briefly meeting together with you and the team at the end of each practice.  Use this meeting to discuss any issues or questions, note the date and time of the next practice or game, and make sure everyone knows the directions to the next game (the website will have game schedules and directions).

  • Communicate with your assistant and team parent.  Let them help you!

  • Remind parents that most of the information they need is on the website.  The website is updated frequently throughout the season and will often contain the most up to date information.

  • Call or email Ken Wooton, our coach administrator, with any questions or concerns.  

CANCELLATIONS:  In case of bad weather and unsafe playing conditions, we will notify you at least two hours prior to the cancelled game or practice.  Make sure everyone on your team knows about the cancellation.  Do not cancel a game without notifying Ken first.

  • U-5 and U-7 coaches can reschedule their cancelled games.  Check with Ken to make sure that a field is available.

  • If a U-9, U-11, U-13 or U-15 team has a home game cancelled they will need to call the coach of the opposing team.  Contact information for the coaches of the other regions will be provided with the game schedules distributed at the beginning of the season.  The coach from the opposing team will notify you if your away game is cancelled.

  • Be sure to notify the referee administrator if a home game needs to be rescheduled so we can make sure that a referee is available.

*** Check with Ken before making any permanent changes in your practice schedule.  Games should only be cancelled due to weather or lack of players.

EQUIPMENT

  • U5When delivered, there will be a box in the shed of new size 3 balls, just pick out the amount for your team and put their names on them.  Let your parents know that they need to bring these balls with them to each game and practice.  There will be extra size 3 balls in the shed if you need them.

  • U7 – There will be 4-5 ball bags of size 3 balls in the shed for you to use for practices and games.  DO NOT TAKE THEM HOME.  These can be shared with all teams if they are left in the shed.

  • U5, U7 - There are cones and pinnies for you to use in the shed.  Please replace them when you are done with your practice or game.

  • U9, U11, U13 and U15 – You will each have a labeled ball bag with a first aid kit attached.  U-9 and U-11 use size 4 balls and U-13 and U-15 use size 5.  These bags are for you to keep with you for the season.  Please keep track of them as we do not have many extra balls.  There will be a hand pump in the shed, if needed, for the balls.  If a ball consistently does not hold air, you may throw it away.  There should be extra balls of each size in the shed to replace it.  Let us know if we are running low.

    • Goalie gloves  - We will purchase a set of goalie gloves for each team this season.  Since sizes may vary and can’t be perfectly predicted, please share these gloves if possible.  We will have extras.  Please don’t claim any equipment you don’t need.

    • Goalie Jerseys - Goalie jerseys of several styles are available within the shed.  We typically add a couple each season.  If you need a jersey of a particular size, please let us know.

FIELDS

  • The key is for the gate - Please lock the gate if you are the last coach to leave.  U10 coaches are responsible for locking the far gate.

  • The middle shed has all of your equipment in it, the combination is 2006, please make sure this is locked if you are the last coach to leave.

  • Please be considerate of other coaches when it is necessary to share a field.  

** Coaches must stay until all of their players have been picked up.

** If at any time players are on the fields and there is lightning in sight, practice and games will end immediately.  Rule of thumb:  if you hear thunder, evacuate the field.

** All practices must end at dusk so that kids are not walking in the parking lot when it is dark.

SAFETY

  • All coaches, assistants, and team parents must register as volunteers.  To register as a volunteer, a volunteer form must be filled out, signed and handed in.  You can register online and print this form from www.eayso.org.  This must be done before the first practice.  Note that previous volunteers can simply renew their registration for the new season and print an updated form.  Note that volunteer registration is required once per Fall to Spring year (i.e. if you registered in the Fall, you do not need to renew in the Spring).  Everyone must at least renew their registration each Fall.

  • All coaches and assistants need to take the safe haven and concussion awareness training courses because they are in the closest contact with the kids and need to know what to do in case of emergencies.  This must be done before the first practice.  To take this training, the following steps must be taken:

    1. Register as a volunteer through Blue Sombrero.

    2. Go to http://www.aysotraining.com/.

    3. Use your Blue Sombrero account to log into the site.

    4. Access the AYSO’s Safe Haven and CDC: Concussion courses from the “My Courses” tab.  There are coach training classes there as well, some of which are available via webinar.  These courses will take about 20-30 minutes each.  

    5. Send Ken an email at coachadmin@littlestownsoccer.org to indicate that this is complete.  

  • If you have taken safe haven training in the past, you do not need to repeat this training.

  • Immediately notify our coach administrator (or any regional board member) and the child’s parents if an accident occurs on the fields or at another location that was an AYSO function.  An accident form will need to be filled out for insurance purposes.  These forms are located in your folder.  Additional forms will be tacked onto the bulletin board in the shed.

  • We are anchoring the goals for safety reasons.  Kids should NEVER CLIMB ON THE GOALS.

  • There are updated first aid kits in the shed.

    1. U5 and U7 will share the use of 5 first aid kits, since they do not travel.  These must stay in the shed when they are not being used for practices or games.  Please bring a first aid kit to the field when you play your games.

    2. U9 and up have their kits attached to their ball bags.   These kits need to be with you at every practice and game.

    3. There will be a box of extra supplies in the shed if you need more.  If you use it, replace it!!

  • You have been given a copy of each player’s registration information.  Keep it with you during every practice and game.  If a player is injured and the parent is not there, you will need that information to get the player the medical help that they need.  Please be respectful of this information, as it is very personal and should be kept confidential.  Please read through these forms now.  Be aware of any medical concerns your players may have.

TRAINING

  • Online coach training is available through http://www.aysotraining.com/.   You will need your Blue Sombrero account to access this training.

  • All coaches must be trained to at least the U5 level to coach soccer.  To enter the Antietam Cup or any regional tournament, you will now be required to be trained to the appropriate level.  

  • U6/8/10 coach training is available online and through in-person classes (U8/U10 require the in-person class for certification).  U12, intermediate, and advanced training must be taken in-person.

  • In-person coach training is made available throughout the season and can be added upon request.  Watch your email for dates!  

  • Please let us know that you want and need training!  Your certification improves the reputation and level of instruction available at the Littlestown AYSO.  Help us maintain a great set of trained, prepared, and motivated coaches!

  • The coach section of our web site contains links to free soccer drills and other coach information.  Suggestions for new links are welcome.

GAMES

  • Coaches are responsible for addressing any problems with players or parents during a game.  If you have any problems with a player, parent, coach, or referee, please let Ken Wootton know about it ASAP.

  • If a player receives a red card during the game, the team plays short the rest of the game, and that player cannot play the next week.

  • Please be respectful of all of our referees, especially the youth refs.  They are volunteering their time and doing the best they can.  When they make a call there should be no feedback from the coaches or sideline.  If parents are too loud and out of line, it is your job to address the parent and ask them to quiet down or they will have to leave.  If they continue and don’t leave when asked, the game will be stopped until they leave.  For added support, we will attempt to have an adult responsible for each game that a youth referees.

ONLINE RESOURCES

  • ayso.org contains a list of good coach resources for your perusal, including a great set of training games for younger age groups.

SPORTSMANSHIP

  • U5s and U7s – If one team doesn’t have enough players or subs, teams should share players, switch players at each quarter, and wear pinnies to differentiate the teams.  Work together!

  • U9's and up – If the opposing team is short players and you have extra, you should offer to either play down or share players to evenly match the teams.  Switch players at each quarter.  Work together!

If your team is “crushing” the other team, there are many things you should do to make the game more challenging for your players and keep the score down:   

- Switch offense and defense (if need be, even in the middle of a quarter).

- Ask the players pass several times before they can shoot.

- All players must score before anyone can score more than 3 goals.

- Be creative!

** Your attitude as a coach is passed on to your team!  Stay positive!  Soccer is fun.  Make sure your players know it!

** No matter what a referee, coach, parent, or player may say or do, it’s important not to start the blaming game - we would have won if....  Your players and their parents are looking at you and to you.  Remember that!

Good luck and enjoy your season.