BLOOMFIELD JUNIOR SOCCER ASSOCIATION

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1 BLOOMFIELD JUNIOR SOCCER ASSOCIATION RECREATION LEAGUE COACH S HANDBOOK

2 Table of Contents 1. Mission Statement 2. Season Calendar 3. Team Roster 4. Attendance sheet 5. Game Schedule 6. Field Map 7. Inclement Weather Policy 8. BJSA s Code of Conduct for Coaches and Volunteers 9. Organizing your team 10. Tips for good practices 11. Warm ups and Drills 12. BJSA Board and Volunteers

3 A Note to Our Coaches Thank you for volunteering to coach Recreation League Soccer with BJSA. This is an exciting and rewarding opportunity for coaches, as well as the players they support. This handbook was arranged to provide you with some helpful tips for coaching and effectively running your team as well as some policies of BJSA. Please read through this document carefully and if you have any questions please bring them to the attention of our President or one of our Board members. We all wish you a great season. Sincerely BJSA Board of Directors BJSA Mission, Goals and Soccer Development Approach: The mission of BJSA, a non-profit, volunteer organization, is to provide all Bloomfield children the opportunity to participate, enjoy, learn and benefit from the game of soccer, in a safe and wholesome environment with an emphasis on FUN. We strive to provide each child equal opportunity to play and develop regardless of the abilities.

4 The following pages are in separate documents Season Calendar Team Roster Attendance sheet Game Schedule Field Map Code of Conduct BJSA Volunteers

5 Inclement Weather Policy In the event of inclement weather, a decision concerning practice cancellation will be made, at the latest, by 5:00 pm on the day of practice. Game cancellation decisions will be made, at the latest, one hour prior to game time. If you do not hear from your coach prior to practice or game time please check our website for a weather cancellation announcement. In General: No games or practices will be held during thunderstorms. No games or practices will be held if there are continuous showers. Games will be held if showers stop at least one hour before the start of play. Games will be held if there are intermittent light showers. (Bring your umbrella.) Please dress your child appropriately for the weather conditions. Cool weather will not cause game cancellations. Any doubts call your coach or manager. If a game is canceled due to weather conditions, your coach will inform you about scheduling a make-up game. For weather cancellation announcements please check our website CJSA Volunteer Background Check Requirements Connecticut Junior Soccer Association requires that all volunteers working with teams registered with CJSA complete an online background check. This service takes about 5 minutes to complete and is paid for by CJSA. Your background check is good for 3 years. Instructions: Go to On the home page, scroll down to the box in the center of the page labeled: Background Check Click on the box and follow the instructions.

6 Organizing Your Team 1. You are a primary source of information for your players and their parents. Before the first day of practice call your team members or guardians and inform them who you are, and when and where you will meet for your first practice. 2. Important: Remind parents they may not drop off their children. If the parent must leave the practice or games they must make appropriate arrangements with you in advance. 3. Arrive at practices 10 minutes early. Arrive at games ½ hour early. Please start games on time. Let coordinator or other coaches know if you can t make a practice of game so others can step in and help. 4. Wear your team color jersey toall practices and games so that team members and guardians can readily identify you. 5. Distribute your teams color jerseys and game socks at the 1 st practice, and keep records of who has received a jersey and socks. Ask players to wear team jerseys to practice and games. 6. Keep an accurate roster of all team members, guardians and contact information (phone, address, ) 7. Take attendance at practices and games 8. Distribute Parent information packets. 9. Recruit 1 or 2 team parents to assist with coaching and team management. Examples of a team managers responsibility s could include making phone calls and/or record keeping such as attendance. 10. Contact (or have team parents contact) all team members in the event of weather cancellations. 11. Attend coaching clinics and meetings to learn more coaching strategies and techniques 12. The coach is responsible for maintenance and care of all team equipment on loan from BJSA, such as spare balls, cones, pinnies, etc. All such loaned equipment must be returned to BJSA at the end of the season.

7 Tips for Good Practices 1. Praise effort, improvement and a good attitude. Try to motivate kids in a positive way that builds self-esteem. 2. Kids love playing games & keeping score. In practice try to use more games than drills. 3. Everyone should stay active and participate. Avoid long lines that make kids wait for their turn. 4. Try to maximize touches on the ball. At least 100 touches per player per practice for each player. 5. Run games by keeping time (e.g., so they last 1, 3, or 5 minutes) or by keeping score (e.g., first to 3, 12, etc.) 6. A good game should be easy & quick to set up and should be simple to explain and manage. If you are spending too much time on set up or instruction, simplify it. 7. If it s not fun it is not a good game. Keep it simple, keep them active and keep it fun. 8. Some equipment you may want to have on hand for practice includes a whistle, a stopwatch and some cones. 9. You need assistants, the more the better. Ask parents to help, even if just to pick up balls. 10. Some drills and game ideas to play with kids at practice are listed at the end of this handbook. There are many more ideas online or at the library. Research ideas, talk to other coaches, attend coaching clinics, watch coaching videos. The resources are boundless.

8 Typical Practice Outline (5/6 Age group) Arriving at the field and getting ready. 10 minutes 6:00 p.m. Free play. Players get out onto the field with their ball. Players get all talking and socializing out of the way now. At 6:10 p.m., no more socializing Basic Running and Stretching 10 minutes 6:10 p.m. Jogging All players jog around the field twice with their ball Or you can get right into drills (following pages) 6:15 p.m. Stretching Or you can get right into drills (following pages) Soccer Games & Drills (See drills and games in the following pages) 6:20 p.m. Individual Skills (ball skills) 20 minutes Ball control, dribbling, passing, shooting, Games to apply skills, competitions to keep up pressure and pace. 6:45 p.m. Water break, Take attendance, Announcements, Q & A 6:50 p.m. Team skills and Rules of the Game Spacing, passing, defending, team play concepts Games to apply skills (can be small sided games or full field scrimmages) Training Goalies 7:10 p.m. Running Races, or keep scrimmaging 7:15 Players collect all their belongings and are dismissed.

9 Warm ups and Drills (mostly 5/6 age group) 1. Getting players to focus and pay attention This simple drill is good for getting players to settle down, listen to the coach and focus on practice. Players in a single line (can use the side line to line them up) one foot on the ball, spaced out until they can not touch each other s hand when their arms are outstretched. Take your time, and make sure everyone is doing their part and is listening (no talking.) Once you have this line formation you can do the next two drills. 2. Toe tapping: Alternately tap the ball with the tip of each of their feet. Start slow then increase speed as the players get the hang of it. Do for one to two minutes at a time (or count to 20 or 40 taps at a time). 3. Inside of the foot touches: Touch the ball lightly and keep it between the feet using the inside surface of each foot. Relax legs and feet, toes slightly inward, knees slightly bend and loose. Develop a rhythm. Two-minute intervals, or count to 40 or so. 4. Random dribbling All players, each with a ball, dribble in random directions while trying to avoid running into each other in a confined area use center circle, or one half of the field if there are many players, or use cones to set up an area the size you need. Encourage players to use different parts of their feet and to keep the ball close and keep the ball rolling. No kicking. 5. Kiss the ball All players, each with a ball, dribble inside one half of the field (or the full field if there are many players). After a minute coach calls out two kiss the balls and each player needs to find another player (partner), and they dribble the ball until their balls kiss (their balls touch and they each have a foot on top of their ball and stop). Then coach calls out dribble and the players dribble their ball, after another minute coach can repeat two.kiss., then one minute of free dribble, then three kiss the balls (three players and balls), so forth. 6. Follow the coach Every player, each with a ball, follows the coach dribbling around the field. Along the way, coach does goofy things like hopping on one foot, rolling on the ground, sitting on and spinning on the ball, etc. Show players that coaches have fun too. 7. Dribbling to targets: Coach can use other targets for players to dribble to; center circle, sidelines, end lines, cones, etc. Also after the players have become familiar with the drill the coach can place time limits (players must get to their targets before a count of one

10 to five), and can say don t be the last one to get the players to focus and work harder. 8. Bring it back to the Coach Coach has a pile of 6 or 7 balls and one by one kicks or throws these in all directions. The players should chase any ball and dribble it back to the pile at the coach s feet. The player s objective is to never let the pile get down to zero. Emphasis here is on visual tracking and dribbling to a designated area. 9. Two with a ball -- basic inside of the foot kicking/passing: Place cones to form a small (2 yard) goal between two players. Ask them to strike the ball back and forth to each other through the goal. 10. Two with a ball trap, dribble, pass (advanced 5/6, or 7/8 and up): a. Pairs 30 yards apart, 1 ball. Pass ball to partner who dribbles to your position while you run to partner s position. Repeat many times. b. Pairs, facing one another, 10 yards apart, 1 ball. Pass the ball to your partner who traps it and runs backwards 10 yards as you run forward 10 yards to the ball and pass again. Repeat 5 times on way then 5 times the other way. This drill can also be done along a line. 11. Dribble across a square 2 lines facing each other and spaced about 10 yards. Or can use the 2 sides lines of a 5/6 age soccer field. Each with a ball and all from both lines dribble across at the same time. Stop when get to the other line. Turn around and dribble back across. Continue for about 10 times. Teach pullback, stop/turn, inside turn, outside turn when the players are ready to learn them. Games (various age groups) 1. Knockout Eight or more players, each with a ball, dribble inside the center circle and keep their ball moving at all times while trying to kick the other players balls out of the circle. When a participant s ball leaves the circle, he must retrieve the ball and complete a relatively simple challenge (such as fast footwork, ball taps, or a set number of juggles) before re-entering the game. The winner can be the last player to have his ball kicked out, the player whose ball leaves the circle the least times in a set time frame (60-90) seconds), or the player who kicks the most opponents ball out in a set time frame. 2. Red Light Green Light All players stand on the goal line with a ball while facing the midfield line about fifty yards away. When the coach yells green light the players dribble forward at full speed while maintaining control of the ball. On the coach s command Red light

11 each player stops the ball with the bottom of a foot. Any player failing to do so returns to the starting line. The first player to stop the ball on the midfield line is the winner. 3. Numbers game (any age) Coach keeps all the balls. Line players on a single row (can have them stand on one side line of the field). Number players sequentially (one, two, three, etc.) Test calling out numbers to make sure they know their number. Thow out a ball and call any two numbers. The two players will compete to win the ball and pass it back to the coach (to score). Coach calls out stop or done and players go back to their position on the line -- either after a score or after a minute of play (if no one scores). Coach throws out another ball and calls another pair of numbers. Can send out more players and more balls at one time: can send (call) out more than 2 players at a time competing for one ball. Can also thow out another ball and call another set of players (while the first group is still competing for their ball), and so on. So at one time there might be two or three groups of kids with each group compete for their ball. Variations: having two teams and different ways of scoring: have all odd numbered players on one team, and the even numbered on the other team. Then coach can call for 1v1, or 2v2 (two odd numbers against two even numbers), or 3v3. For scoring: a) can use a pair of goals for players to score and defend (one for odd team, and the other for even team) can use small goals with goalies, or large goals with goalies, or b) play zone soccer: players called will compete in a 15 x 10 yard area with 2-yard deep zones at either end (with each zone belongs to a team); whoever is in possession attempts to score by stopping the ball with the bottom of a foot in the opponent s zone, or c) which group accumulates the first (5) passes, or d) pass to the opponent s zone and a teammate running onto and receiving it there, etc. 4. Multiple Goal Dribbling (any age) Four six foot wide goals made up of flags or cones are positioned inside a 20 x 20 yard grid, set up as the coach chooses. Eight players are divided into pairs, each pair with a ball. One player begins as the attacker, the other as the defender. Four simultaneous games of one-v-one therefor occur, with players attempting to score as many times a possible by dribbling through any of the goals, in either direction while maintaining possession as play continues. If the defender wins the ball, he returns it to the attacker. A player may not score consecutively at the same goal. Change the player s roles (switch the attackers and defenders) after 60 seconds and start again. After each player has had a turn on both offense and defense, the player who has scored the most goals is the winner. Switch partners and play again.

12 5. Monkey in the middle (any age) Four disk cones are positioned at four corners for a 10 x 10 yard grid. 3 players each positions at a cone passing a ball to each other, while one monkey in the middle is trying to steal the ball. Teach outside players to always form a triangle for effective passing: each time someone has the ball the two other players move as necessary to occupy the two adjacent cones (one on each side of the player with the ball) and be ready to receive a pass. Once the monkey steals the ball the player who loses the ball (or the player making a poor pass) becomes the monkey. Variations: can have a different number of players (say 2 in the middle and 5 on the out side, etc.). Another variation is not allowing the monkey to go beyond the boundary. For advanced players: coach can limit touches by outside players (one or two touches), or instead of stealing the ball the monkey only needs to make contact with the ball, etc. Instead of cones the coach can use the center circle of the field, or other boundaries as appropriate. 6. Dribble, turn and shoot (5/6 and 7/8 groups): Place 2 cones, each cone at 2 large steps inside of each goal post. These are the two small goals. Place 2 cones, each cone lining up with each goal post and spaced 10 yards (10 large steps) from each post (toward the inside of the field). These are the turning cones. Line up 2 teams, behind the end line with each team near their goal post. Each player has a ball. On go first player on each line dribbles to their turning cone, turns around it and dribbles back toward her goal and shoots. Players may shoot as soon as they think they can make the shot. Ball has to go through their goal (their goal post and the cone next to) to get a point for their team. The next player can go as soon as the prior player takes a shot. The player who shoots must run to pick up her ball and go to the back of her line to get ready for her turn to go again. First team to reach 10 goals wins. Can repeat the game, re-balance the teams, adjust distance of the turning cones and the size of the goals as needed. 7. Scrimmage, small sided games: Use small sided games: 2 v 2, 3 v 3, up to 5 v 5 for age 5/6 players. Size the field appropriately. It s easiest to scrimmage against the other teams (different shirt colors). Goalies are optional. Coach can teach positions, passing, ask goalies or kickers to pass the ball wide to build up attacks, rather than just kick and run after the ball. But refrain from giving too many instructions as young players can not process and apply too many instructions at a time. Also you don t want to interrupt the game too much (keep the game moving along and let the kids have fun). Encourage control of the ball, using moves learned from drills, and use passes to deliver ball to teammates. It s common for 5/6 age players to bunch up, coach can occasionally stop play to make a point or reposition the players. Or serve balls to different parts of the fields to spread players out. Don t forget to offer praise and encouragement on good efforts. Small-sided games let players get a lot of touches in a game environment. And players will also get better by simply playing a lot soccer.

13 Additional drills for all age groups: Common drills using a grid set-up (disk cones, 8 ft distance for square grids): 1. Running/fitness: without the balls, 2 or 3 on each side (one behind the other) in between 2 cones. a. A player goes to end of opposite line once finishes the sequence. Then 1 st player on the lines goes. Repeat. b. Simple running forward, jogging back. c. Variations: any combinations: twisting, shuffling, back pedaling, high knees, tapping hands to: inside of feet, shoe laces, heels Vary running patterns: touching corner cones, circling the cones, etc. 2. Footwork with cones: a. Same setup, move players each near a cone. b. Do offensive moves: stopovers, scissors, etc. imagining the cone is the ball. c. Then repeat the moves with balls instead of cones. 3. Keep same set up, add a ball. a. Dribbling across, lay the ball off to the other player on opposite end, goes to end of that line. Repeat. b. Rep That player dribbles across to mid-cone pass off, and back pedal, the other player now takes turns. 4. Player and a partner, 1 ball, for each grid (on 1 side): a. Two touch passing. b. One touch passing. c. Long - short - long passing, and its variations. d. One passing the other receiving on the run: run up to mid drid, on touch back, back pedal, and repeat. Switch roles. e. Various ball control drills: one player serves high balls, low balls, etc. for heading, chesting, various control and pass back. Receiver steps in various sequences and controlling ball. 5. Add 1 player to the middle for him/her to practice more 1 st touch, turning and short passing. One ball on each partner on opposite sides. 6. One v one v 2 (remove middle cone), then 3 v 3. Long passing drills: 1. 2 with a ball: overlap with a ball: diagonal passing and overlapping with a ball: pass and move

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