Once you have been assigned your team contact each player by phone or email,
If you know of a parent that would make a good manager you can contact them directly and set up a meeting, otherwise you will need to ask for a volunteer to be manager at your team meeting. Your manager will be taking care of the team details and needs a clear understanding of what you need them to do for you and the team.
Coaches need to have a team meeting with both the players and the parents as early as possible. At this meeting the coach needs present a well thought out plan of what to expect for the upcoming season of soccer. This is a guideline that you set up with your personal expectations for your team. It needs to be clear and concise for you and your team and the parents. It is important that once these team expectations are put in place that you, your team and the parents consistently follow them. Make sure you can uphold your expectations throughout the season.
Have your Team Handbook ready and go through it point by point. Make sure that everyone (parents, players and Team staff) has read it and understands it. That way there won’t be any misunderstandings later in the season.
Have a list of tournaments that you would like to enter with dates included. Remember you have to take into account the number of tournaments and the amount of travel the team (players and parents) are willing to do, as well as what works for your schedule.
Below is an example of a well thought out “Team Handbook”. Feel free to edit it to suit your needs. Have as much detail in each section as you need to get your intentions across.
Remember: You must be able to adhere to your handbook intentions.
Your handbook should include:
Welcome Players & Parents
This season will be an exciting soccer journey which will include: a variety of training sessions (tactical/agility), league play, & tournament play. It is my objective to provide players & parents an enjoyable soccer season.
Committing to play at the premier level requires ‘intrinsically’ motivation; players should not need to be pushed by parents to attend soccer activities.
This section is very important. What you state here is what the players and parents will expect from you. Put a lot of thought into this section and be honest with yourself.
My coaching philosophy is based on the ‘guided discovery’ approach. This approach was developed following extensive research & it is recognized as an effective learning & coaching method.
My coaching philosophy does not support micro management of players or yelling for any reason during games or training. You will hear me asking questions of players &/or supporting player decisions. My silence or lack of yelling should not be perceived as a lack of engagement, I am always intently focused on player decisions and the tactical flow of the game. I encourage parents to refrain from ‘coaching’ from the stands as this results in confusion, for not only your daughter, but for the team. Parents play an important role in player development. I appreciate parent support and encourage direct communication with parents. Training sessions are open to parents. Our players are youth players, not adult professional soccer players, isolating parents from their child’s development is a recipe for failure.
My primary objective is team development, within a competitive stream environment. This is achieved through the growth & development of the player. Player development components include technical, tactical, psychological and relationships. Players complying with team expectations will experience growth and development from both a sport and life perspective.
Training focus: 80% tactical, 20% technical. Motivated players develop skill by practicing skills at home, outside of training. Touches/contact with a soccer ball creates ‘muscle memory’. Donate 20 mins of cell phone time to touches and/or do the triangle drill.
Explain clearly, what commitment level you expect from your team and how you will track this and what consequences are when these are not being met.
This section is important to eliminate potential bad behavior. If left unaddressed you will be dealing with personality issues rather than soccer. This can destroy a season for a player and potentially lead to not playing soccer again. Players should never feel uncomfortable coming to play soccer.
We will create a positive culture. Culture drives behavior, behavior drives habits, and habits drive performance.
Let your team know what you expect here for practice, games, and tournaments.
Make this age appropriate - stress importance of your fitness expectations. It doesn’t matter what division a player is playing, fitness is key to improvement as a player and health of a player.
Stress the importance of this. You can only judge a player’s performance on what you know.