I have been asked to re-post this, so here it is!
Below is a plan I have drawn up for season 2011-2012. Communication is key to this working. Gather the information received from the players and parents and then draft based on what they say. Put it all in writing and hand it to each parent at your Pre-season meeting. Time spent with the parents will be a worthwhile exercise, quality time.
Write your pledge about the playing time each player will get and those parents who want only the best to play can see in advance what your about. This will let everyone know where they stand. Remember breaks are important, so always schedule a break in the season. Playing soccer is just one part of a family life.
Plan for season 2011-2012
- Explain how the trials will work
- Explain how the teams will be chosen to the players and parents.
- Who will be in charge of evaluating the players?
- New season is a clean slate for all players.
- Players will be evaluated based on their overall season performance and their skills at the time of the trial not based on previous clubs, how much they have won or who their parents are.
- Explain how playing time will be determined – Be specific – don’t just say everyone will play. Commit to giving each child at least half of every game and if a player doesn’t start a game then make sure he starts the next for example.
- Defend how we play and develop versus long ball tactics and winning.
- Move players around in positions, this will help them develop an understanding for the other positions on the pitch.
Poll your Players
- Ask the players what they want and need?
- What is their favourite thing about playing football?
- What is the least favourite?
- How important is winning? 5 being extremely and 1 being not important
- How important is it for you to play equal time versus minimum meaningful time?
- Ask players for 5 ideas that will make training and games more fun?
- Ask players to define what would be a successful season for him/her?
- Do you play other sports?
- Are thinking of taking up any other sports?
Poll the Yourself
- Why did you sign up to coach a team?
- What is your favourite thing about coaching?
- What is your least favourite?
- How will you organise the team?
- How do you define a successful season?
Poll your Parents
- How many training sessions per week do you think is sufficient?
- How many games per week?
- Is there anything we should know or understand about your child?
- How do you define a successful season?
- What days suits you for training
- Any further comments or issues?
You may be surprised at some of the Answer you get, including yourself!
Gather the information received from players and parents and daft a plan for your team for the season ahead.
- Put your plans, commitments, in writing – your pledge.
- Make a copy for everyone and set up a pre season meeting. Time spent with the parents will be a worthwhile and essential.
- Write a pledge that states clearly how playing time will be divided. Write that everyone will get a minimum amount of minutes, it will keep things honest.
- The parents that want to play the “best” can see in advance what you’re about and how the team will be played. The parents that want everyone to play “everyone the same” can see where you stand.
- Explain how places will be defined, I know this can be difficult, the better you plan in advance and commit on paper, the better off you will be during the season. This helps to take personalities and politics out of the picture.
After reviewing the survey explain to players and parents..
- How many training sessions per week, how long each practice will be?
- How many weeks the season will last.
- Plans for post season tournaments, trips etc?
- Players and parents to get days off during the season. Breaks, rest , family time is just as important. Lets players and parents know that organised football is a small part of a balanced family life. Parents may have other kids to keep happy.
- Be clear about what you expect from the parents and players.
- State rules for missing training or games, what the procedure is to notify the coach (the need to know in advance) and what the consequences are for missing training and games.
- What players get suspended for and the reason why they might be asked to sit-out a match.
- Being good in School can bring rewards.
- Define your overall ethos and coaching methods.
- Communication is key, but you don’t need to get personal with parents. Getting to personal makes it harder if you ever have to release a player.
Invites players and all parents along to the meeting, don’t complicate things. Parents are about to place their child in your hands, the least they can do is get to know you a little and know what you’re about. At least one parent on any child should attend the meeting.
- You’re number one aim should be to let parents know that primarily kids should be having fun.
- It’s also a good ice breaker
- It also reminds parents how much they know and don’t know about the game.
- It should stop all that screaming and shouting at kids on the sidelines.
- Allow about 20 minutes for your talk.
- Then take questions until there are no more.
Good Luck and remember its just a game..