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Parent Coaching Guide- Club Excel

Thank you for coaching!  You are a key person with regard to our club program.  Please take some time to read through this guide.  The guide is a compilation of best practices observed by our parents and administrators.  They are recommendations only but have proven to work over many years with our volunteers.  I hope you find it helpful.

Parent coaches responsibilities:

1)     Communicate with your co-coach.  You and your co-coach should be communicating regularly throughout the season.  Divide up responsibilities if needed.  Below are some Best Practice recommendations. 


a.       Best Practice –Week prior to game:  One coach should have the responsibility of sending the pre-game reminder and collecting any “no” responses.  Parents should be reminded to let you know if player can’t attend a game by mid-week.   The other coach can be responsible for post-game congrats to the team/newspaper article.


b.       Best Practice - Pre-game:  one coach can focus  on warming the kids up in a professional manner while the other coach takes responsibility for (a) making sure the players are where they supposed to be when they arrive, (b) greeting the referees/other coaches and (c) establishing a starting line-up.  Both coaches should decide on formation, particular positions and strategy.


c.       Best Practice - In-game:  one coach can be the primary tactician; the other coach can be responsible for providing encouragement and instruction to the players on the sideline and for establishing and maintaining a smooth substitution pattern.


2)     Professional Trainers.  The team’s professional coach trains your CE team during the week at practices.  Take the time to reach out and introduce yourself to the professional coach/trainer.  All contact information is on the website on your team page.  Feel free to take direction from him/her with regard to helping the team.  We also encourage you to observe your team’s practice from time to time to the extent you can work it into your schedules.  The professional coach/trainer will be required to attend at least two games per season. 


a.       Best Practice: Email your professional coach after the game to let them know how the team played.


b.       Best Practice: Let them know if there is anything in particular that you think they should be working on (set pieces; throw-in’s; spacing, etc.)


3)     Coaching.  You are the Game Coach on Saturdays.  It is extremely important to the players’ experience that you are “on your game” each and every week of the season.  Here are a few tips to help in that regard:


i)       Be prepared. 


a.       Best Practice:  Arrive extra early to the game and have your team arrive at least 15 minutes before kick-off; late arrivals don’t start.


b.       Best Practice:  Keep a Coach’s tote bag that has (a) First Aid kit, (b) Ice, (c) Ball pump, (d) coach’s board (see below), (e) Pinnie (for goalie), (f) game ball.


ii)     Pre-game - Have a pre-game warm up in mind.  Having a good warm up will keep the players focused and easier to manage. 




iii)   Goalies - Pick a keeper for each half.


a.       Best Practice:  have another player or the 2nd coach warm him up a few minutes before the game and at half-time.


iv)   Line-ups - We recommend the following line-ups:  3rd/4th 2-3-2 or 2-4-1.   5th/6th 2-3-2 or 2-4-1.   7th/8th 4-4-2.  Speak to your co-coach on game plan, formation, positioning etc. 


a.       Best Practice:  invest in a $10 erasable coach’s board.  These are extremely helpful in showing your players what these formations mean, where they should be lining-up, etc. You can also use it to keep track of subs.


v)     Roster - Have copies of the roster ready for the referees (not needed 3rd/4th)


a.       Best Practice: as noted above, have one of the coaches be responsible for dealing with Referee


vi)   Subbing -  Make sure, in general, players are getting equal time.  Our policy is that players will play equally during the game if possible.  Switch players’ positions (offense and defense) around so no one is “stuck” as goalie etc.


a.       Best Practice: as noted above, it may be easier for one coach to do subbing; possibly keeping a hand-written log of player movements if.


vii)  Respect the referee -  Introduce yourself.  Shake hands at end of game.  Have players shake hands with the referee as well.  Absolutely no yelling at the referee.  Fill out a Referee Evaluation Form under CE on website if you have a comment.


viii)  Instruction- try to instruct your players at the sidelines.  Constantly yelling instructions from the sidelines to players on the field is ineffective and may disrupt the game.



4)     Fair Play – please try not to run up the score by more than 5 goals.


a.       Best Practice:  if you reach that point, instruct your players (in a low-key manner) to pass the ball around and not to shoot; move your better players to the back and the wings.


5)     Code of Conduct – Ensure that each parent and child reads and signs the code of conduct.  This is important for a positive atmosphere.  Please make sure these are collected from each player.


6)     Referee Evaluation - Complete the on-line referee evaluation/report on DSA website at least several times a season.  This is quality feedback for the program and helps in the success of the league