Youth Soccer Coaching Manual for an Instructional Soccer Program
This Instructional Soccer Program is designed for Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and First Grade boys and girls, roughly equivalent to ages 3, 4, and 5, playing together in a “co-ed” environment. If there is a sufficient number of players, they should be assigned to the three age groups, based on the “school-year” age-group system – covering August 1 of one year to July 31 of the next year. (If there is an insufficient number of players to establish exact age groups, every attempt should be made to combine younger players in one group and older players into another group.) The program may be offered in the Fall and Spring seasons of each year or just one season. A season generally consists of approximately seven training sessions held over about ten weeks. There are usually “black-out” dates involved due to holidays or tournaments, during which the fields may be unavailable, and a make-up date, to be used if necessary due to inclement weather.
Sessions are held on Saturdays at 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 12:00 Noon, which are intended to correspond to the respective age groups. Sessions may last from 45-minutes to one hour each. Up to ten “teams,” consisting of between eight and twelve children each, are assigned to each session. Volunteer coaches are assigned to each team.
Teams are established using rough geographic boundaries based on elementary school district. In addition to a shirt or jersey, the Club provides the opportunity for each player on a team to have individual and team photographs taken by a professional photographer and to receive a participation trophy, medallion or certificate. Coaches are required to attend certain youth-coaching training and are expected to attend Instructional Soccer program classes, as well. Coaches should expect to undergo background checks, and/or to attend specialized classes for basic first aid and how to recognize possible concussions, based on Club policy.
The objectives of the program are to provide each child with a fun experience, outdoor exercise, developmental growth, and an introduction to the game of soccer and its fundamental skills. Additional practice days during the week may also be made available by the Club.
Coaches are not restricted to a proscribed, rigid, program of instruction. On the contrary, coaches are encouraged to recognize the individual talents and needs of their players and team and to tailor their own instruction for the season accordingly.
© Copyright, John C. Harves