Additional Coaching Information


Positive Reinforcement:

Positive reinforcement works and it creates a positive atmosphere. When you want everyone to listen, find the players who are not talking and say “John isn’t talking,” “Susan is holding her ball still,” “Steven is looking at me.” In my experience as a coach and teacher, this technique works very well. During practice and games, find at least one positive thing each of your players has done and praise them for it. Write good comments on referee cards for their hard work. (From Alan Grothaus, Director of Coaching, NWCCSAY)

Playing Time:

All players should play a minimum of one-half of each game for maximum participation. Refer to Rule 12 – Participation in the SAY National Rulebook.

Coaching Tips:

1. Keep soccer fun

2. Develop positive relationships

3. Be organized and prepared

4. Players should have a ball at practice and games

5. Give specific instructions

6. Keep players active


Inside of the foot passing is a technique used for accurate shorter passes. The ball should be pushed using the inside of the foot. The non-kicking foot should be placed alongside of the ball with the toe pointing toward the target. The angle of the kicking foot should be stiff with the toe locked pointing up. The passing leg should bend at the knee before the pass in order to create some power. You should make contact with the ball halfway up the ball. Follow through toward your target and make that step your first one to move into a space where the receiver can return the ball to you.


Players should be encouraged to dribble using all of the surfaces of both feet. The front part and laces are used for fast, straight ahead dribbling and the sides, bottom and laces for changing directions. Dribbling with speed in the open field is an important aspect of the game. Encouraging players to push the ball out in front of them so they can run without touching the ball helps them move faster and they can see more of the field. As players get closer to defenders they will then need to keep the ball closer and learn to cut around the defense. This skill should be practiced at all levels.


Every player is on defense in different parts of the field when their team does not have the ball, therefore everyone should practice defense.

The 3 P’s of “D” are:

Pressure – Get close to the player with the ball in order to force the player to look down at the ball. The defender’s strides should get shorter as the distance to the ball handler gets smaller.

Position – The defender should be on the toes with knees bent. The feet should be staggered at a diagonal to the ball slightly to the side of the attacker. You want to force the attacker to the weak foot, or to the sideline, or to your teammate.

Patience – Good dribblers often wait for defenders to lunge at them and then cut the ball to the side and dribble past. Good defenders are patient waiting for the attacker to make a mistake of pushing the ball too far in front and then stealing the ball. Even if you only manage to slow the attacker down, you have given your teammates time to get back to help you.


Please do not argue with referees and teach your players’ parents to use their energy for cheering and not commenting on or arguing referee decisions. Our referees have been through many hours of training, but they can make a mistake. Sign the referee’s game card immediately after games, before addressing your players so the referee can go to his/her next game. Write positive or constructive comments on game cards if you have concerns with referees.

Times Two Policy:

SAY National rules are that at least 2 adults (coach, assistant coach or parent) must be on or near the field during practices and games.


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