2612568276918. COACHES MANUAL





Thank you for agreeing to be a coach in the YMCA Youth Sports program. As a YMCA coach, you will introduce a group of young people to the game of soccer. We ask you to not only teach your players the basic skills and rules of the game, but also make learning the game a joyful experience for them.

You see, we want them to play soccer not only for this season, but also for many years to come, and we want you to have fun teaching soccer because we’d like you to help us again next season.

Okay, let’s get started. In this guide, you will find essential information about teaching soccer the YMCA way. In the first section, we will explain the philosophy of YMCA Youth Sports.

Next is your job description for being a YMCA soccer coach, with reminders about how to work with this age group. Then we will show you how to teach soccer and provide you with a season plan and a complete set of practice plans for this age group.

In the next part we will explain how to teach the YMCA Youth Sports Values. In the last section we will discuss risk management procedures.

Please read the entire guide carefully and consult it regularly during the season. Your YMCA offers you the opportunity to participate in a YMCA Soccer Coaches Course. The three- and one-half-hour course will help you use this approach to teaching soccer and values.


What we want youth sports to be at the YMCA is stated in our Seven Pillars of YMCA Youth Sports.

Everyone Plays. We do not use tryouts to select the best players, nor do we cut kids from YMCA Youth Sports. Everyone who registers is assigned to a team. During the season everyone receives equal practice time and plays at least half of every game.

 Safety First. Although children may get hurt playing sports, we do all we can to prevent injuries. We’ve modified each sport to make it safer and more enjoyable to play. We ask you to make sure the equipment and facilities are safe and to teach the sport as we’ve prescribed so the skills you teach are appropriate for children’s developmental level. We ask you to gradually develop your players’ fitness levels, so they are conditioned for the sport. We also ask you to constantly supervise your young players so you can stop any unsafe activities.

Character Development. Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Caring, Faith are about playing by the rules and more. It’s about you and your players showing respect for all that are involved in YMCA Youth Sports. It’s about you being a role model of sporting behavior and guiding your players to do the same. Remember, we’re more interested in developing children’s character through sports than in developing a few highly skilled players.

Positive Competition. We believe competition is a positive process when the pursuit of victory remains in the right perspective. The right perspective is when adults make decisions that put the best interests of the children before winning the contest. Learning to compete is important for children, and learning to cooperate in a competitive world is an essential lesson of life. Through YMCA Youth Sports, we want to help children learn these values, and parents to do the same.

Family Involvement. YMCA Youth Sports encourages parents to be involved appropriately in their child’s participation in our sports programs. In addition to parent’s helping as volunteer coaches, officials, and timekeepers, we encourage them to be at practices and games to support their child’s participation. To help parents get involved appropriately, YMCA Youth Sports offers parent orientation programs.

Sport for All. YMCA Youth Sports is an inclusive sport program. That means that children who differ in various characteristics are included in rather than excluded from participation. We offer sports programs for children who differ in physical abilities by matching them with children of similar abilities and modifying the sport. We offer programs to all children regardless of their race, gender, religious creed, or ability. We ask our adult leaders to encourage and appreciate the diversity of children in our society and to encourage the children and their parents to do the same.

Sport for Fun. Sports are naturally fun for most children. They love the challenge of mastering the skills of the game, playing with their friends, and competing with their peers. Sometimes when adults become involved in children’s sports they over organize and dominate the activity to the point that it destroys children’s enjoyment of the sport. If we take the fun out of sports for our children, we are in danger of the kids taking themselves out of sports. Remember the sports are for the kids; let them have fun.



Here are your seven duties as a YMCA soccer coach:

Teach the skills and tactics of soccer to the best of your ability. We want you to teach children the physical skills and tactics to play the sport to the best of their ability. Kids value learning these skills and tactics, and they respect those who can help them master them. Be a good teacher but remember that not all children have the same ability to learn. A few have the ability to be outstanding, many to be competent, and a few to barely play the sport. We ask that you help them all be the best they can be.

Help your players learn the rules and traditions of soccer. We will ask you to teach your players the rules of soccer as they learn the basic skills through the modified games of the sport. Beyond the rules, we’ll also ask you to teach the basic traditions of the sport. By traditions, we mean the proper actions to show courtesy and avoid injury—in short, to be a good sport.

Help your players become fit and value fitness for a lifetime. We want you to help your players be fit so they can play soccer safely and successfully. However, we also want more. We want you to do so in a way that your players learn to become fit on their own, understand the value of fitness, and enjoy training. Thus, we ask you not to make them do push-ups or run laps for punishment. Make it fun to get fit for soccer and make it fun to play soccer so they will stay fit for a lifetime.

Help young people develop character. Character development is teaching children the core values—caring, honesty, faith, respect, and responsibility. These intangible qualities are no less important to teach than kicking or defensive skills. We ask you to teach these values to children by conducting team circles, which are built into every practice plan, and demonstrating and encouraging behaviors that express these values at all times.

Ensure the safety of your players. You are responsible for supervising every aspect of your players’ participation in soccer. Make sure the field is clear of hazardous objects and that the kids do not engage in activities that might injure themselves or others. You have not only a legal but also a moral responsibility to supervise them closely.

Help each child develop a sense of self-worth. An essential goal in conducting YMCA Youth Sports programs is to help children gain a strong, positive sense of their worth as human beings. For each of us, our most important possession is self-worth. Please teach our children soccer in a way that helps them grow to respect themselves and others.

Make it fun. Make learning the game a fantastic positive experience so your players will want to continue playing for many years to come.



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