Hi! Welcome to Coaching Soccer at Southside! This page is dedicated to growing and developing as coaches for Southside Football Club!
Our goal is to help Southside coaches develop their skills so we all have fun and grow our skills in the beautiful game. Feel free to reach out and we will be happy to help coaches at any level.
That said, this guide is intended for people coaching a youth soccer team for the first time who may not have advanced skills themselves. These volunteers are likely working with young players, parents experiencing competitive sports for the first time and referees that are likely new to the game. We are here to help.
If you’re looking for some more advanced topics please contact bryan at wokich.org directly.
Before You Start
CHOOSE YOUR TONE
As a Coach, your team will follow your leadership. Are you a happy-go-lucky Coach or someone who yells at kids? Are you stressed out or calm? Are you angry or chill? Players, parents, grandparents, siblings, and the rest of the sideline will follow your lead. Leading your sideline is at least as important as leading your players.
Choose the tone you want to set and make sure you model it from this moment forward. Setting a tone and demonstrating good sportsmanship is the best way to make sure your players and your sideline do the same. Every coach does this differently, so make sure you are setting the example that you want to see.
When you get your roster
We are here to have fun and build community! Contact the parents on the roster as soon as you can. Introduce yourself. Share any philosophy you want to share. Set a tone. Share practice and match schedules to the best of your ability. This is your opportunity to ask for assistant coaches or team parents if you want them.
A common comment to the team is to expect "The 5 S's". This is:
- Soccer Shoes
- Soccer Socks (go OVER the shin guards)
This is the person who is ready to take the team when you go out of town. They help with practices and running the team during matches. They help keep track of subs on gameday. This is a soccer-heavy volunteer helping organize the team on the field. Not all teams have one. The first email is a good chance to introduce an assistant coach, or ask someone to fill the position.
Team Parent - (A.K.A. SNACKS!!)
You may want to see if you can find a team parent to help organize snacks. Most teams have parents bring snacks after the game, with parents volunteering for 1 match a season. The Team Parent help organize this. There is no soccer-knowledge necessary for this position. Not all teams have a team parent.
Most Southside teams are as much about having fun and building community as they are about soccer. Would you like to invite the families for pizza after practice? For some teams, social activities and building an identity can improve overall experience. Other teams will not care about this. Is this something you want for your team? Do you want to organize this or find help from your team?
Soccer has a group of "matches" making a "season". All of it together is the "game". Use "match" to sound like a soccer-pro!
Before the match
You should show up 15-30 minutes early on MatchDay. Make sure you know where your field is, and make sure your team knows when you expect them there.
Warm up your team
Teams that are warmed up at the beginning of the match will start much better off. Get your kids some touches.
Southside is a recreational league. We try and make sure everyone gets roughly equal playing time. There are as many ways of keeping track of subs as there are youth coaches. One that works for me is to write all the kids' names down on a slip of paper. Then, when a kid is subbed out, they get a mark by their name. This helps me keep the subs fair and creates a piece of evidence to show everyone that you’re trying to be fair.
Controlling your sideline
The thing most likely to ruin everyone's day is a coach, parent, sibling, uncle, or grandparent becoming a overly competitive and deciding to yell at kids, coaches and referees. As a coach, you are responsible for leading your sideline and making sure there is appropriate behavior.
The best way to do this is to lead by example. Do not yell at kids, the other coach, or referees. Be a good example.
This can seem at odds with one of the primary responsibilities of coaching, which is giving tactical advice.
We will propose that tactics need to be discussed while the players are NOT on the field. Players on the field need to be watching the ball. This will stop if the player has to look at a coach.
A better tactic is to discuss tactics with the players on the sideline. These players can pay attention to you, and not the ball. Then, when you sub them in, you make your tactical changes.
After the match
After the match, cheer for everyone. Your team may win, your team may lose, but we want to cheer for everyone. We want to lead the sideline, and make sure that everyone knows that we are proud of the team's effort, no matter how the result goes.
Appreciate the other team
Ask the other coach for a team name, and bring your team into a circle. Put your hands in and cheer for the other side. "1, 2, 3, FERNDALE!" Choose a player to "lead the line" and say "everyone line up behind Ellery!" Ellery then needs to lead the line of players to the other team and shake hands.
Once the team is done with handshakes, they can then go get snacks. Some coaches like to speak to their team at the end of the game, but it is likely that the players are now focused upon the team-snacks.
Thanks for coaching! Being a youth soccer coach is a great way to give back to your community, as well as get some exercise and build some long-term memories with your children and their friends.
Southside doesn't happen without volunteers like you. We are here to help, so feel free to reach out with any questions.
See you on the pitch!