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Coaching Aids - Game Day

Introduction

  • Please review our Positive Coaching page. It's a critical component of AYSO that all coach volunteers must follow.
  • Remind parents and players of equipment requirements, especially about shinguards (and having them completely over socks), no jewelry, and the importance of bringing their ball, water bottle and their jersey on game days.
  • Know the game-play rules by reviewing the Referee Resource & Guidelines page and the Division-Specifics pages under the Coaches section, which includes guideline by age group, such as kick-in's for U6, no goalkeeping in U8, no punting in U10, no heading in U12
  • U6 DivisionU7/U8 DivisionU9/U10 DivisionU12 Division
  • Keep your coaching positive, instructional and encouraging during games.
  • Let the kids play. Avoid the tendency to Remote Control your players with a steady stream of play-by-play instructions. Practices are for you – Games are for the kids

Game Day Q&A

Can Coaches be on the field with the players?
It depends on the age of the players. Coaches in the U6 divisions are often on the field to help restart play when the ball goes out of bounds or a goal is scored, essentially acting as referee. U7 players might need some assistance early in the year, especially if they're just learning the game.
For all other divisions (including the U7 division by Week 3), a referee should be managing the game on the field. Coaches should stay on the sidelines with their team, coming onto the field only when there's an injury.
What if there is no referee for my game?
We understand that there is a shortage of volunteer referees (please help us recruit!), and coaches sometimes have to do both jobs. If your game has no referee, the team with multiple coaches present should have one act as the center referee. If both teams have multiple coaches, a coach from one team can manage the first half and a coach from the other team can manage the second half.
There should only be one center referee at a time. And while refereeing, you should not be actively coaching. Wait until the substitution and halftime breaks before discussing strategies or offering coaching tips.
Where should coaches stand? Where should players sit when they are not playing? Where should parents sit?
The coaches and players should be located at least two yards behind the touchline on one side of the field. Parents should be at least two yards behind the touchline on the other side of the field.
Players should sit with their team and their coaches. This allows the coaches to make quick substitutions at breaks or in the event of an injury, and helps teammates build camaraderie. Remind them to get their water bottles before the game starts!
Coaches should not cross the halfway line into the opponent’s side of the field, or place themselves behind the goals, or venture to the opposite touchline with the parents to call out instructions.
What should coaches do during the game?
Offer positive encouragement to the players, but don’t “over-coach” or dictate every move. Sometimes the players will make mistakes, and that’s okay. Sometimes we learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. The most important thing is to let the players have fun, make new friends, and develop their physical skills.
Remember, let them play!

Game Card

Track your players time and assignments throughout the game with this handy AYSO game card. Download and add in your player names. Printing it out on card stock makes it easier to handle and make changes throughout the game.
NOTE: the Goals Scored column does not apply in the younger (U8 and below) divisions.
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