Volunteers Needed

PYSL Needs You! We have volunteer positions open, if you are interested in volunteering please contact Vickie Norris at vnorris02@gmail.com

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Information for Coaches & Parents

If this is your first time, Thank you for volunteering. PYSL wouldn’t be nearly as successful without people like you. Don’t worry if you don’t have any experience–it only takes enthusiasm and a desire to make a difference in the lives of the children on your team.

Step 1 – Fundamentals

  • You will need to attend a coaching clinic in order to receive your youth module license. PYSL will provide you with information about when and where the next available class will be held. Licensing clinics are $15 and will take about 4 hours of your time (usually a Saturday).
  • You will need to be fingerprinted  in order to comply with CYSA-South’s risk management program. Risk management is a program developed by CYSA-South that is designed to reduce the chance of harm to our children. Fingerprinting and photographs will be coordinated by PYSL. You will be notified of the date and time. One component of this program is to ensure that children do not come in contact with adults in a coaching or managing capacity who have been convicted of crimes against persons. A second, equally important, component of this program is to ensure that coaches learn the fundamentals of teaching soccer to young children in order to reduce the risk of injury.

Step 2 – The Parent Meeting

  • Once you have received your player registration sheets, contact all parents by phone and invite them to join you for an hour-long meeting. Make sure the meeting place can accommodate children, such as one of the parks around Poway or perhaps a child-friendly restaurant. As you call to invite the parents to your meeting, be sure to ask them for permission to put their phone number and address on a contact sheet.
  • Prepare a contact information sheet with the names of all team members and their parents with corresponding addresses and phone numbers.
  • Prepare a parent information sheet and include the following information:
    • Information about you (with your phone numbers), including why you want to coach the team.
    • Information about your assistant coach, if you already have a volunteer. If you don’t have one, ask one of the other parents to volunteer. They will need to attend a licensing clinic as well.
    • Discuss your expectations for the team, your focus and objectives. Stress the learning, team building and enjoyment aspects of the game rather than competition and winning.
    • Practice days and field(s) location.
    • Equipment to bring to practices (ball, shin guards, water). Note: Explain to parents who are new to soccer that the socks go over the shin guards.
    • Schedule of games and picture day (if known).
    • Other parental obligations and needs (sponsorships, snacks, etc).
    • Prepare a handout that identifies Team Rules. This is more important with the older children, however it can be useful with Division 6 and 7 teams as well. Here are some examples:
      • Players must call if they will miss practice.
      • Team line-ups for games are made on Friday evenings before games. Players must call by 8:00pm on Friday if they are unable to make the game.
      • Players are expected to show positive attitudes and to follow directions given by coaches. Coaches will not permit grumbling, horse-play or other disruptive actions during games or practices.
      • All players must be willing to play all positions (particularly at lower Division levels).
      • During games, players are expected to show courtesy to opponents and referees. The decision of the referee is binding, so don’t complain about missed calls.
      • Parents should express only positive remarks to players, coaches and referees. All comments should be general in nature (Good job! or Nice kick!), rather than specific instructions on how to play. Otherwise, the comments may be interpreted as coaching which will result in confusion for the player on the field.
  • Distribute and discuss the PYSL Code of Conduct for parents and coaches.
  •  Identify volunteers on your team who might be willing to help as the need arises. You’re going to need a Team Manager. This is a person who is willing to coordinate additional activities with the parents such as snack schedule, team banner, trophies, etc; and someone who is willing to contact parents in case of a practice schedule change. In short, this individual will prove to be the most valuable member of the team.
  • Discuss the kinds of snacks you’d like parents to bring on game days. Usually each family will be assigned a particular day to bring snacks for the entire team. The schedule can be worked out once you have the game schedule available.
  • Stress the need to have at least one other parent at each practice in case of injury or the need to escort a child to the bathroom.
  • Discuss what should be done if a parent doesn’t pick-up their child at the end of practice. In order to protect both players and coaches, parents should make every attempt to be punctual when picking-up their child from practice.
  • Although we all wish for harmony among the players and parents, you need to be willing to take a parent aside and discuss privately his or her behavior. Sometimes you can address parents as a group, particularly if several have been yelling coaching instructions to their children during a game, but occasionally you will have a parent who is just a tad too aggressive or belligerent toward players and/or the referee. PYSL stresses sportsmanship and enjoyment for all players and their families, and the Board is unwilling to compromise those principles. If you need advice or assistance, contact the Board President.
  • Sponsorships. PYSL asks that each team (both competitive and recreational) find one or more sponsors willing to help the league defray some of the administrative costs associated with running such a large program.  The team receives 40% of the contribution and 60% goes to the league for field maintenance and improvements.

Step 3 – Equipment

  • PYSL will provide you with 2 soccer balls and a series of colored cones to be used as field markers. This year, PYSL will also be providing your team with practice bibs and a bag  as well
  •  Have the children bring a soccer ball (stitches are better than molded), shin guards ($10-$15) and tennis shoes or soccer cleats (about $20).
  • Have them label their ball with a permanent marker.
  •  Ask parents to make sure they bring water for the children. Most fields around Poway will have drinking fountains, but it’s easier to have bottled water available while taking a break.
  • As a coach, you will need a few items of your own.
    • A few extra bottles of water (just in case)
    • A first aid kit. PYSL will provide you with instant ice packs, but Band-Aids, tissues and antiseptic for cuts would be helpful as well.
    • Sunscreen and a wash cloth.

Step 4 – Practice

  • Always prepare a list of drills and skills you wish to accomplish during practice.
  • Check the children for loose clothing and jewelry or earrings before starting practice.
  •  A 90 minute practice might consist of:
    • Warm-up (5 min)
    • Stretches (5 min)
    • Fitness (10 min)
    • Rest period (5 min)
    • Skills Practice (25 min)
    • Small Sided Practice – 2v2 or 4v4 (20 min)
    • Rest period (5 min)
    • Scrimmage (10 min)
    • Team talk (5 min)
  • Your practice should be modified to fit your age group and needs of the players. In most cases, you’ll always want to start with warm-ups and stretches, but the skills, small sided practice and scrimmage can be adapted to fit the objectives of your practice.
  • Try to close each session with a brief discussion of a rule or skill concept so that the children have the opportunity to discuss and ask questions.
  • Take the opportunity at the end of practice to talk to parents about an upcoming game or tournament, or perhaps a drill they can practice with their child at home.