Becoming a Coach

Coaching children is a very rewarding experience. And coaching your own child's team can be one of the most rewarding experiences of all! Coaches are pivotal to having children get the AYSO experience. If Regions don't have enough coaches, registration is scaled back and kids who want to play in AYSO are turned away.

Do you have little or no experience with soccer? No problem! AYSO will teach you, based on the age level you are coaching. Unique age-appropriate coach training is one of AYSO's specialties. If you plan to be at your child's soccer practices and games, you'll also have time to be your child's coach.

To become an AYSO coach, you must be certified in the age level you are coaching. Certification takes three easy steps. First, fill out a volunteer form. Then either attend a short Safe Haven™ course in person or online. Lastly, you must attend a brief age-specific coaching course. It's only a few hours. We also have brand new Coaching Manuals that help you with training plans and activities for the age you are coaching. 

Coaches are essential to the game. They teach children soccer skills and help develop a healthy, positive attitude, teamwork and good sportsmanship. Coaching is a rewarding experience because you have the opportunity to build a child's self-esteem, help them learn new skills and just have a lot of fun.

Contact your Region's Coach Administrator or Regional Commissioner if you are ready to become a coach.

Please review AYSO Guidlines and Policies by clicking on the links below.

Code of Conduct

Coaches & Referee Guidelines

Regional Guidelines

Instructions for New Coaches

  • Register yourself on eAYSO. This website will provide you with an AYSO ID number.
Get Training:
  • Go to the online training portal on the AYSO website. You'll need your AYSO ID number (which you got after registering on 

  • Once you're in, click on View Courses. You must take the appropriate level coach training and also the Safe Haven and Concussion training.  All three are mandatory.

Pre-Season Checklist

  • Get your coach bag:  Pick up your coach bag at the fall season kick-off event.

  • Contact your team: Send an email or personally call each family on your team to introduce yourself as the coach and advise pratice dates/times/locations.  Give contact info for you and your assistant coach(es) to parents.

  • Schedule practices (not for U5 or U6):  Try to hold four practices in the two weeks prior to the start of the season.  For ideas on drills for your practices, visit AYSO's Coach

  • Hold a brief parents’ meeting:  This should take place at your first practice (or at first game or before for U5/U6).
(Download: Sample Parent's Meeting Agenda)
  • Confirm parents have schedules:  Once the schedule is available, send out the schedule personally to your parents.


AYSO coaches will be subscribing to the "If in doubt, sit them out" policy when it comes to possible concussions.

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth — causing the brain to bounce around or twist within the skull. This sudden movement of the brain can cause stretching and tearing of brain cells, damaging the cells and creating chemical changes in the brain.

For more info, please download this flyer published by the CDC.  (Download: Concussion Fact Sheet)

Game Time Tips

  • Be the first from your team at the field.

  • Instruct your players to arrive early to the game (10 minutes, 15 minutes or more if you prefer).

  • Start your game on time.

  • Fill out your lineup card.

  • Play down if the other team is short players, or loan them some of your players.

  • Bring a whistle and timer if possible.

  • If you have a referee, show them respect and demand the same from your team.

  • Be prepared to help ref the game if needed.

  • Ball sizes for games are the same as those for practices.
  • If you see lightning, immediately have all players leave the field.  If no lightning is observed for 20 minutes, play may resume.  If lightning continues, the game should be stopped. If the stoppage occurs after halftime, the game is considered complete.  If the stoppage occurs prior to halftime, the game should be rescheduled continuing from the point of stoppage.

  • Game cancellations are decided by the coaches at the fields.

  • To reschedule a game, contact the opposing coach.

  • Remember that during the game, the referee is in charge.  If you do not have a referee, you as the coach are in charge.  It is your responsibility to deal with unsportsmanlike conduct by players, coaches and fans.  It is also your responsibility to deal with any emergencies that may occur.  Please think ahead about what to do in the case of an emergency (weather, injury, etc.).  If any spectator is not following desired conduct (as specified in the AYSO philosophies), you may ask them to leave the field.
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