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AYSO Region 42 – Newbury Park, CA

For Coaches

The Coach

A coach can be the most influential person in a child's life. In AYSO, Positive Coaching is a fundamental philosophy because of the crucial role that a coach has. Coaching in AYSO is a chance to spend quality time with your own child but you'll also provide an important role model for all the children on your team.

In fact, the joy of coaching is so meaningful, that many AYSO coaches continue coaching long after their own children have moved on from AYSO.

Soccer knowledge is a plus, but AYSO provides training and materials so that even a soccer novice can coach effectively by starting in the younger age divisions. Being a coach involves skills you probably already have in addition to specific soccer knowledge.

Getting Started

Thanks to all of you that have stepped up as a volunteer coach. This can be a tremendously rewarding experience if done right.  A little planning goes a long way and will help avoid some pitfalls. Region 42 is here to help and support you however we can.

Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Register as a volunteer. (The volunteer background check fee will be covered by Region 42 when you select that option when completing your background check portion of the registration.) This must happen before you can move on to step 2.
  2. Visit the Volunteer page for details on how to access AYSOU and take the Safe Haven and Concussion Awareness and SCA (sudden cardiac arrest) certification courses.
  3. Get a Live Scan fingerprint by attending one of Region 42s events. (Details will be on the Volunteer page soon)
  4. Complete the Safe Sport course. Details are on the Volunteer page.
  5. Make sure you are certified for the level you are coaching. If not, please take the age specific training online (5U/6U take 6U, 7U/8U take 8U) and sign up on AYSOU for the appropriate in person coaching courses. Division Directors will let you know when the courses are posted and how to sign up. Dates for in person training are July 20th or August 3rd. Ask your Division Director for assistance if you need it.
  6. Look for emails from your Division Director and remember to reply within 24 hrs. (We are all volunteers and along with many of them also coaching, DDs have taken on an extra task of managing the division and helping you with any issues. Please be kind and patient.)
  7. Read the Coach Manual.
  8. Attend the team distribution meeting July 20th (Boys & Girls Club at Sequoia Middle School, noon). You will not receive your team packet until steps 1-6 are complete.
  9. As soon as you receive your team start contacting the players' parents. Figure out a time for a meeting that suits the majority of parents so that you get the maximum attendance possible. This is very important since it is much easier to recruit volunteers when you sit down with them face to face.
  10. Each team will need at least one assistant coach, a team manager, a sponsor, a field monitor and snack shack volunteer (TBD) (10U and below) and referee(s) 8U and above. We do our best to recruit volunteers prior to to team formation but some recruitment from the parents may be necessary.
  11. Once you have all your volunteers and have filled out the Team information form (Please only fill this out one time per team once you have all your info. A template of questions is available HERE to print and take to your team meeting), and sponsor form you are eligible to receive your uniforms from your division director.
  12. Typically, the uniforms arrive around the middle of August, but they could be as late as the first week of September.

Practices may start on the first Monday of August.

  • Have your cones, bibs, soccer balls, clipboard ready to go.
  • You should have a registration form (also called the medical release form) for every player on your team. You must have these with you for every game, practice or any other team function.
  • Know what you are going to do during practice, at least the night before. Attempting to run a practice on the fly usually doesn't go too well.

Gauging Success

We all have different opinions on what constitutes a successful season. For some, only a 10 win no loss season equates to success. If this is you, then statistically, you have very little chance of being successful. Others are content with just winning more than they lose.

It is a fact that most coaches, parents and players when asked if their season was successful, will somehow relate it to the win/loss column. After all, we teach at the coach clinics that the primary objective is to score goals and prevent the opposition from scoring. Still, there are many better ways of gauging success.

AYSO used to be known as a Youth Development Program using soccer as the tool. I'm not sure why the organization got away from that because it seems so appropriate.  Start with buying into the notion that development is more important than winning. Now everyone has a realistic chance of having a successful season. At the end of the season ask yourself some basic questions:

  • Did your players improve their technical ability?
  • Are they fitter?
  • Are they physically stronger?
  • Did they make new friends?
  • Will your players sign up again next year?
  • Will you sign up again next year?
  • Did they have fun?
  • Did you have fun?

If the answers to the questions above were all 'yes', then please consider your season a resounding success.

Remember, the teams handed out to you have player abilities from either end of the spectrum and some in between. Even though teams are balanced on paper, they might not have the chemistry to gel together. Also, we rely on subjective ratings from the previous season coach. All you can do is your best and keep plugging along.

One of the biggest rewards for me is shopping at the grocery store and I hear a "Hey Coach!" Along comes a young man that I had coached about 15 years ago, now with his own family. We joke about how bad that particular team was and some of the characters on the team, but never dwelt on the win/loss column.

It always amuses me how a coach is quick to share his coaching secrets when the team wins all of their games. However, this same coach the following season blames the unbalanced team for not winning any games. A great coach once said "No amount of coaching will overcome a lack of basic skills". As said previously, you sometimes get these types of teams handed to you. Was the coach great one year, but not the next? I don't think so.

Here's the reality: two coaches are given average teams, one is a professional coach and the other a rookie. The professional coach will probably end the season with 6 wins and 4 losses. The rookie coach will likely end up 4 wins and 6 losses. That's about all that can be reasonably expected.

Concentrate on development over winning and every season will be a success for you and the young players entrusted to you.


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AYSO Region 42 – Newbury Park, CA

P.O. Box 709 
Newbury Park, California 91319

Email Us: [email protected]
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