Coaching Guidelines

Thank you for coaching!

The essential coaching guidelines for Mt Tabor Soccer Club coaches are listed here. Please check our resources page for links to other sites with drills, practice plans, and general coaching wisdom.

The Ground Rules of Coaching with MTSC

Players Must Be Registered

No child may participate in any MTSC activity (game or practice) until the child has completed registration with the Club and with PYSA. As a coach, you must have the white registration sheet from our Registrar, for every one of your players. Further, you should have the registration sheets with you at all activities -- both to establish that your players are registered, and for the medical background information and authorization which is included on the form. Failure to adhere to this policy has the potential to:

  • injure a child with no insurance to pay for treatment,
  • expose a child to illness or injury with inadequate medical information in the hands of adult supervisors,
  • expose the coach to extreme civil penalties in the event of an injury, and
  • expose the club to extreme civil penalties as well.

You are doing no one a favor if you allow unregistered players to play. Insist your players be registered.

Always Follow the Two-Adult Rule

Two adults must be present at all club or team activities involving children/youth. This is primarily to ensure that there is sufficient supervision in the event of an injury, an external threat of some kind, or any other interruption in the normal flow of the activity. It has the excellent side-effect of protecting the coach against any suspicion of improper conduct. Our club insists on the two-adult rule. Please let your parents know about it, so that they are more inclined to volunteer to be that second adult.

Child-Sport Psychology

Thanks so much to Nigel Chaumeton for his insight. Please read his 2008 presentation to our coaches.


Returning Coaches

You are welcome to keep your club-owned equipment if you are going to continue coaching next season. Otherwise, cycle the gear back through our equipment rep Dale Montgomery, for proper inventorying. Keep equipment dry and clean, and know what you have in your safekeeping! The important club-owned items are nets, popup goals, corner flags, pinnies, and goalie equipment. Cones and balls take a lot of abuse and generally need replacing after a year or two anyhow, so they don't matter as much.

New Coaches

For equipment to use at practices and games, our Equipment Representative is the guy you need to get to know. He can set you up with our standard set of team equipment for your team's age group. Contact info for the equipment rep is on the equipment page.

For equipment expectations and policies, and for contact info for our equipment rep, see the Equipment Page.

Safe Rosters

You will have a Game Day Roster available to you online. You must have a printed, signed copy of your safe roster that you [rprovide to the referee and that you can exchange with the opposing coach prior to each game. This is the method by which PYSA guarantees that only rostered players are playing at games.

Changes and Cancelations

Match locations sometimes must be changed owing to field conditions. Occasionally a match will be just plain canceled. PYSA's web site will list the change or cancelation by Friday at 5:00 p.m. To avoid disappointments, coaches should check the PYSA website every Friday evening.

Phoning the opposing coach

You can contact the opposing coach to confirm the time and location of the match, review responsibilities for nets and flags, and discuss any other special considerations. If you must forfeit, contact the opposing coach ahead of time, preferably before game day. Phone numbers are not listed online. If you need contact info, generate your Game Day roster and it will be appear there.

Be friendly, cooperative and creative with the opposing coach. Imagine that you and the other coach are team-teaching; in fact you are! If we are the away team and the home team cannot fulfill their duties (corner flags, a decent ball, etc) it is OK to offer help. An opposing coach has the right to play at full strength even if you are short-handed. An opposing coach has the right to refuse to accept guest players even when his team is short-handed and you have too many players. Remember that there are no consequences to winning or losing in this league. The coaches, cooperating with one another, are the foundation of a civil and productive match. Work with, not against, the other coach. It is a good idea to locate both benches on one side of the pitch and all spectators (anyone without a member pass) on the other. This allows the coaches to work together if necessary. You will still be responsible for the behavior of your parents, so cultivate a sense of respect (or at least the ability to zip it!) in your parents.

Unruly Parents and Coaches

Soccer is a player's game. Please remember that this game is for the kids. If you want to yell while they are playing, do it at practice. Be quiet at matches. The kids often learn as much from a blown call as they do from a correct call. This is especially true at U13 or U14 where discussions of the hypothetical blown call or non-call will run for minutes on end. And the last thing any of us wants is a ref who changes his mind based on which coach yells louder.


Our referees are learning. Many of them are themselves youth rec players. There is a proper way to provide feedback to referees: the PYSA Referee Report Form. Please fill one out if you have something you would like to say to the referee, or the referee's employer. They are available online on the PYSA web site (see Links). The coaches are the adults in charge. As coach, if you feel the referee is unable to control a violent or abusive match and your players are in serious physical or emotional danger, you might decide to abandon the match. Remember there are no consequences to winning or losing in this league.

Those of us who have coached in MTSC for many years take great pride in the way our club carries itself. When we are at our best we are the model of sportsmanship. We want to be the club others prefer to play against - win or lose! As a Mount Tabor coach you are an ambassador for our neighborhood and a role model for your players.


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