How to Become a Coach -- Step by Step

  1. Also apply as a volunteer in eAYSO each member year (an AYSO member year is from August 1 to July 31). For step by step eAYSO registration instructions see Volunteer Registration.
    • Please note that the Division Coordinator (see board) is responsible for team formation -- assigning players and coaches to teams. They are the ones first responsible for achieving Balanced Teams (one of AYSO's Philosophies).
    • The Regional Coach Administrator (RCA) makes sure all coaches are trained and get the support they need to succeed.
    • As soon as you are an applicant in eAYSO, you may take AYSO courses online and in person using your AYSO ID # (from eAYSO) -- this is so AYSO can record the courses you have completed (otherwise your training history will be lost!).
    • IMPORTANT: Just filling out the application is not enough -- you must also have one of our CVPAs verify your ID, call your references, and approve your application. You must finish your registration before your first practice and you must register every year that you are a volunteer.
  2. Complete the AYSO Safe Haven course at aysotraining.org (see Training). 
    • You must complete Safe Haven in order to be protected by the U.S. Volunteer Protection Act, AYSO insurance, and AYSO legal assistance. This course makes sure you understand how AYSO works and protects both you as a volunteer as well as our kids. You must complete Safe Haven before your first practice. If not, your team may be disbanded!!! You only need to take AYSO Safe Haven just once in your lifetime but it can be helpful to take a refresher every few years.
  3. Complete the appropriate AYSO coach training for the division (U6, U8, U10, U12, U14, U16, U19) you are coaching (see Training).
    • Since you are an AYSO coach, it is important to take AYSO coach training. AYSO's coach training is a key reason AYSO's youth soccer programs are world class. You must complete division training before your first regular season game -- if you do not your first game may be cancelled and team disbanded!!!
  4. Be authorized (accepted/registered) by the Region as a coach. 
    • Coaching in AYSO is a privilege, not an automatic right. It is essential that we have high quality coaches in AYSO for AYSO to be a success. Coaches are the heart of AYSO. Volunteers who do not complete AYSO's requirements cannot coach.
  5. Attend the pre-season Coach Meeting:
    • At least one coach from each team (but preferably all) must attend their division's pre-season coach meeting to pick up their team information and coaching equipment for the season. See our Region Calender for exact dates, times, and locations.
    • As soon as you can after this meeting, call all of your players and parents to introduce yourself, confirm they are still playing in the fall, set up a team meeting, and establish the best time(s) for your weekly training session (practice). U5/U6 just have a practice combined with their game. U8 has 1 practice/week, U10 1 or 2/week, U12 and up generally 2/week but may vary.
  6. Hold a kick off meeting for your own team to set expectations, educate your parents about AYSO, and layout your plans for the season.
  7. Recruit a team parent who will in turn recruit all the other volunteers necessary to run your team (it takes a team to run a team). If you have no team parent than you as coach will have to do the recruiting.
  8. Support our AYSO Region, Regional Commissioner, Division Coordinators, Coach Administrator, Coach Instructors, Referees, and all other volunteers in our region so we have a successful soccer season for our kids.
  9. Prepare for and attend your team's games and run your team practices:
    • This is the most fun part that you do with your kids! Thanks for coaching!
    • For times and locations of Games & Practices see Fields or Schedules.
    • Follow our region's Game Protocols.
    • Abide by the Laws of the Game.
    • Use the Coach's Game Card program to keep yourself organized and re-enforce Positive Coaching.
    • Every coach should have a set of signed player registration/medical release forms with them at every training session and game.
    • If an incident or accident happens make sure an incident/accident form is filled out. Scan or fill out electronically and email to our Safety Director at safety@aysofc.org
    • Do whatever it takes to be a coach (help parents, help players, schlep equipment around, send emails, talk on the phone, print & carry the necessary forms, etc.)
    • Be an outstanding AYSO role model for your kids and parents (practice all AYSO philosophies).
  10. Attend post-season Team Evaluation meeting.
    1. MANDATORY Coach Participation for your team to play in Hirschel Cup.
    2. At the end of the season, we determine player ratings so we can balance teams next season.  This process is essential for us to maintain balanced teams.
  11. The approximate time commitment for an AYSO coach for a 10 game season ranges from 40-160 hours depending on the division. 
    • Coaching is usually the largest time commitment of any volunteer role in AYSO except for certain board positions like Region Commissioner, Registrar, Region Coach Administrator, Region Referee Administrator, and a few others.
    • Due to the time involved to do a good job, we recommend that a coach handle only one team per season if possible. 
    • Please also read the Coach, Assistant Coach, and other Coach related job descriptions, our Area and Section Coach pages, and the information AYSO National provides on its Volunteer site
    • All official coaches and assistant coaches must be 18 years or older (per AYSO National Policy and Safe Haven). Youth who want to assist coaches are Youth Soccer Trainers and must register and take the same training that coaches would take for the respective division. There must always be 2 adults present (per Safe Haven) whenever the Youth Soccer Trainer works with the team.