You'll Love Every Minute

Welcome and thank you for stepping up and volunteering your time and efforts toward making this another fun and exciting Fall Recreational Soccer Season. Still thinking about it?  Make a difference in a child's life!  Coach!

Calling Assistant Coaches
:  If you signed up to assistant coach with a head coach, email Damien Murray at damo33458@gmail.com to let us know with whom you want to coach. 

Certification:  All coaches need to be certified by the National Youth Sports Coaching Association.  You can do it for $25 online at https://www.nays.org/nyscaonline/

Mandatory Coaches Meeting: The Mandatory Coaches meeting to cover this years' rules and guidelines. The Meeting will be held on on two nights.  You can attend either Wednesday or Thursday night, august 14th or 15th.  The meeting will be held at the lakeside Center.  This is the building off Military next to Burns Rd Rec Center.  

Background Check:  All coaches must go through a background check.  The release form will be at the mandatory meeting or you can donwload it from the links box on the right.  The background check must be completed before you can coach.   

U5/U6 Clinic: On Friday August 16 at 5:30 pm, there will be a clinic at Klock Field for the U5/U6coed group. We urge all coaches for that age group to come out and assist with the clinic and get to know the parents and the kids that show up.  

Evaluations:  On Saturday Aug 17th, We will start our Evaluations for ages 6 and up at Klock Fields. Below you will find the times for the Evaluations so please make a note of them so that you will be prepared for your draft nights the following week. We spaced the times out a little this year to assist with parking. Please be early!!!!!

U8 Boys --> 8:00am
U8 Girls --> 8:45am
U10 Boys --> 9:30am
U10 Girls --> 10:15am
U12 Boys --> 11:00am
U12 Girls --> 11:45am
U14 Boys  --> 12:30pm
U14 Girls ----> 1:00pm
HS Coed ----> 1:30pm

Draft Nights: The draft nights will start on Monday evening August 19th and go through Thursday evening. All Drafts will start at 6:30pm. The draft days are as follows:

Monday Evening U8 Girls & U8 Boys
Tuesday Evening U10 Girls & U10 Boys
Wednesday Evening U12 Girls & U12 Boys
Thursday Evening U14 Girls and U14 Boys
Thursday Evening High School Coed

We will let you know at the coaches meeting in which room your draft will be. Practice times will also be set at the draft meetings.

Coach Training: We will are scheduling a coaching introduction in September. Both are optional and more details will follow. 






The generally accepted outline of a soccer practice is the following:

Warm-up, 5 min

Individual Activities, 5-10 min

Small Group Activities, 5-10 min

Scrimmage, 20 min

Cool-down, 5 min


Warm-up should involve the soccer ball. Although standard stretching can also be done, I would limit it at the younger ages. Include the ball when stretching.

There are many good warm-up exercises for soccer practice. You can play “fetch”, in which the coach throws or kicks the ball and the child must return it using both feet, or left or right foot only. You can have them stand and roll the ball with their feet, kick the ball back and forth between their feet, or do foot traps with alternating feet. Dribbling in a box using “Simon Says” is good for warm-up.

Another great resource is the Strongsoccer website. They have free video clips and explanations of turns, fakes, and warm-up touches.

Individual Activities

Individual activities are those involving everyone with their own ball. There is a large gray area between the warm-ups and this category. This is a good time to work on dribbling, turns, or fakes.

Many good dribbling games and drills are designed as individual activities. Avoid lines if at all possible. Keep everyone moving or involved in some manner.

Small Group Activities

This is a good opportunity to begin working in groups of 2 or 3 people. Passing and receiving are good skills to work on here, although you can find drills for whatever skill you want to focus on for that particular soccer practice. The purpose of small group is to begin the transition from the individual to the team concept. Emphasize working together and make sure the weaker players are properly supported and teamed up.


This is an easy one. PLAY SOCCER! Use small sided teams of no more than 4 and no goalie (at least until U10). Rotate kids often between offense and defense to let every kid have several shots on goal. Try playing without boundaries, use cones to make up to 4 goals, or anything else creative to keep the kids excited.


A little stretching with the ball is a good idea. I usually give handouts and discuss the soccer practice briefly. It is also a good idea to give a little homework like a juggling target, maybe to use their knee and foot before the ball hits the ground, or to practice a particular turn.

Finally, the New Hampshire Soccer Association has some really good advice for new coaches in the following manuals. The information is very specific to each age group.




Here are Some nicely done soccer coaching manuals for volunteer soccer coaches.  These manuals are courtesy of the Boyne Area 4H Youth Soccer.  They are in PDF format and readily used by anyone - a must read!  Here are the links:





Coaching Tips: 

The Parents Meeting

Put yourself in their shoes. What do you want to know as a parent from the soccer coach?

There are two general categories of information to give the parents: Hard Facts and Soft Facts.

    Hard Facts:
          Practice Schedule
          Game Schedule
          Equipment for Soccer (ball & shinguards)
          Cancellation Policy
          Contact Information
          Team Roster
          Uniform Color/Sponsor

     Soft Facts:
          Coaching Philosophy
          Volunteer Help
          Disciplinary Guidelines

Coaching Philosophy – Discuss the goal of the soccer program, your goal(s) as the soccer coach, and the upcoming season. Speak to the soccer parents in general terms about the team size, how substitutions will be done, and how players will be rotated through the various positions. For the younger teams there may be only one or two positions( on the field or goalkeeper) or you may have three. Use terms like offense, defense, and goalie. You will lose them with anything more technical like midfielder or striker. This website has outstanding references on this subject.

Volunteer Help – Don’t be bashful about asking for help! Most parents are glad to help the soccer coach if you will specifically tell them what to do. Nine times out of 10 their reluctance to help is related to a feeling of inadequacy or ignorance. Educate them! Let them borrow your soccer coaching resources or recommend material the parents can purchase. Some areas in which parents can help: bench management, refreshment schedule, help at practice, party planning, and making phone calls.

Refreshments – You may want to discuss a refreshment schedule with the parents and bringing vs. buying.  Traditionally at the PBGYAA after each game a parent brings a drink and a snack for each player.   

Disciplinary Guidelines – No one likes the subject but it is vital that everyone understands the rules and the consequences. This makes the game more enjoyable for everyone.



Knowing the Rules: Basics

1. No Hands, please

I bet you knew that one. Most people who know nothing about soccer still know that you aren’t supposed to use your hands unless you’re the goalie.

A couple of points to clarify.

First, the rule for a hand ball includes using any part of the body from the tips of the fingers to the shoulder.

Second, the proper way to look at this soccer rule is that a player cannot “handle” the ball. A ball that is kicked and hits a player’s hand or arm is not a hand ball. This means that the referee must use his or her own judgment to some extent in determining whether or not a hand ball is accidental contact or a purposeful attempt to gain an advantage.

Believe it or not, there is also a situation in which the goalie cannot use his/her hands. This is sometimes called the back-pass rule. Goalkeepers cannot pick up a pass that came directly from one of their teammates. In this case, the goalkeeper must use his feet. Infraction of this soccer rule will result in an indirect kick from the point of the infraction.

2. Throw-ins

A throw-in is taken when the ball crosses a sideline and leaves the field. The two basic soccer rules for a proper throw-in are to have both feet on the ground and to throw the ball with both hands over the head.

For teaching purposes it is common to allow players under the age of 8 to take more than 1 attempt.

3. Corner Kicks & Goal Kicks

A corner kick or goal kick is taken when the ball leaves the field across the endline – you know, the end of the field.

If the offensive team kicks it out, play is restarted with a goal kick. If the defensive team kicks it out, play is restarted with a corner kick.

The goal kick is taken from anywhere inside the “goalie box” as it is affectionately called. It can be taken by any player, not just the goalkeeper.

The corner kick is taken from – yes, you guessed it – the corner nearest to where the ball left the field.

You may be confused at times in youth soccer games to see a goal kick retaken. This is because the FIFA soccer rules state that the ball is not back “in play” until it leaves the penalty area, the large box outside of the “goalie box”. No one can touch the ball until it leaves the penalty area, and if the ball is not kicked properly to leave the area, the kick must be retaken.

4. Fouls

The common rule of thumb on fouls is “If it looks like a foul, it probably is.”

Too true. A player cannot kick, trip, jump at, charge, strike, push, hold, or spit at an opponent.

So what’s the problem?

Soccer can be a physical, contact sport when two opposing players both want the soccer ball and no parent likes it when little Johnny loses the ball and ends up on the ground!

Foul!” cries the parent. “Little Johnny was pushed!

What you need to know is that bumping or going shoulder-to-shoulder while competing for a ball is not a foul until the hands or elbows come up. This is a bit of a judgment call and not all referees will call it the same way. Some soccer rules are actually not black-and-white.

Remember though, the referee is ALWAYS right.

5. Direct and Indirect Free Kicks

The simple difference between the two is this: On a direct kick you can score by kicking the ball directly into the goal. On an indirect kick you cannot score. An indirect kick must be touched by another player before it can go into the goal – that is the kicker and a second person.

You can tell whether the kick is direct or indirect by looking at the referee. For an indirect kick, the referee will hold one arm straight up in the air until the second person touches the ball. No arm up, it’s a direct kick.

There are many soccer rules around what causes a direct or indirect kick.

In general, a direct kick comes from a contact foul or hand ball. Everything else is indirect.

6. Penalty Kick

A penalty kick results from a contact foul or hand ball by the defending team within the penalty area – the large box on either end of the field. So it’s a type of direct kick also.

The ball is placed on the penalty spot, 12 yards in front of the center of the goal.

All players must remain outside the penalty area and the penalty arc until the ball is kicked. The goalkeeper must have both feet on the goal line until the ball is kicked.

If after the ball is kicked, it rebounds off of the goal or the keeper and stays on the field, the ball is “live” and anyone can play it.

7. Two-touch Rule

A player cannot touch the ball twice in a row when putting the ball in play. You will see this called many times in youth soccer. It applies everywhere. You will see it frequently on kick-offs or direct and indirect kicks. If a kid barely hits the ball and decides to take another swipe at it, that is a two-touch.

This also applies to throw-ins. A kid cannot throw the ball in and then kick it. Nope. No way. No can do.

8. Yellow and Red Cards

This is the way punishment is given in soccer. The FIFA soccer rules give the guidelines for when to give a yellow card to a player and when to give a red card. I’m not going to get into the specifics here.

If a player is given two yellow cards in the same game, that is equal to a red card. A red card can be given at any time without the player first receiving a yellow card. When a player gets a red card, they must leave the game and their team must play short. An ejected player cannot be replaced.

9. Offside

I decided to leave the best for last.

This is without a doubt the least understood rule by parents and coaches alike.

This rule won’t be called for the U8 or younger teams. You may be off the hook for now. However, if you are a U8 or U6 coach you still need to know this rule so you can begin teaching your players not to be offside.

The first thing to know is that you cannot be offside on a corner kick, goal kick, or throw-in. Don’t ask me why. Just accept it and go on. The explanation is too long. 

Also, it is not an offense for a player to be in an offside position. The player must be involved in active play as determined by the referee to be called offside.

As quoted from the FIFA soccer rules:

A player is in an offside position if: he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent.

Clear yet? I didn’t think so.

Try this. An offensive or attacking player can’t be ahead of the ball and involved in the play unless there is a defender between him and the goalkeeper. Or, you can’t hang out at the other team’s goal waiting for the ball.

A few other buts. You can’t be offside if you are standing on your half of the field. Also, the offside rule applies when the ball is kicked, not when the player receives the ball.

To be honest with you, this can be a hard rule to understand. Don’t get too hung up on it. Trust the referees. Download the FIFA Laws of the Game . They have good diagrams of what is and isn’t considered offside.

If you really want to learn the offside rule, either attend a referee clinic or buy a video on soccer rules. The video will show you several examples of real situations and will logically detail why they were either offside or not offside. It would be a great idea for your local league to purchase one and show parts of it at a coaches’ meeting or clinic. The more people that understand soccer rules the better.

Copyright (c) 2015 Palm Beach Gardens Youth Athletic Association