Hello Coaches, Assistant Coaches, and Team Managers,
Welcome to the GNWSA Soccer and thank you for volunteering your time to coach. I have a few comments to make about the upcoming season…
-COACH/MANAGER REGISTRATION: If you haven’t registered, access your account or create a new one, uploaded a picture or submitted a background check please let me know and do so immediately so we can get badges printed and to you. Only coaches or managers with badges are allowed to coach a game and a badged coach must be present at all practices. You will not have access to your roster until we have a completed registration / background check.
-CONTACT TEAMS ASAP: Please reach out to your teams as soon as possible as parents are contacting us to see if their kid is on a team. If you don’t know how to log into your team’s gotsoccer account please contact me.
-BLACKOUT DATES: If you have a blackout date, only one is allowed per team, per season. Please email your commissioner with your request as soon as possible, definitely before the schedules are live.
-ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY: All volunteers must sign and return the Zero Tolerance Policy please do so and return to your commissioner ASAP. It is located on the Rules page. It is also important that you cover this policy with your parents and other coaches during practice. I encourage you to have parents also sign. I also recommend that you plan to review the coach / volunteer code of conduct and also get your parents familiar with the parent code of conduct. If you cannot locate a copy of the parent code of conduct – let me know and I will send you the link to the code. https://o.b5z.net/i/u/10082050/f/GNWSA_Zero_Tolerance_MT.pdf
-REFEREES: We desperately need referees. If you know any children ages 12 and up or even yourself that are interested, please sign up for a class. Available classes are listed on the North Texas Referee website: https://ntxreferees.gameofficial.net/public/class/classsearch.cfm Additional information is available on the referee’s page on GNWSA.com.
Remember our referees are mostly new and young so it’s our responsibility to manage our team and parents. If you have an issue with the referee please politely discuss during halftime or after the game and if the issue remains please let your commissioner as well as the Director of Referees know. If a referee is late or doesn’t show up within 5 minutes of your game start time, please play the game with coaches refereeing as this is all about having fun and learning and scores aren’t being kept. If you are particularly pleased with a referee – please let the director of referees as well as your commissioner know. We want to also encourage them with positive feedback. Tell them on the field if you like something they are doing.
-INSURANCE POLICY: The league has a rider policy for any injury that occurs during practice or games. If you are aware of an injury it must be reported within 24 hours in order to be covered. Please contact your commissioner should an injury occur and work with the parents to complete the online application found under downloads. There are instructions on how to complete properly.
-HEAD COACHES JERSEYS: If you are a new head coach this season and have not received a coaches jersey please let your commissioner know what size you need ASAP. Please wear your jersey at the game. Due to the costs, the coaches jerseys are primarily for head coaches. Having your jersey on at the game assists the referees, board members and field marshals with who to speak with should there be a problem that needs to be addressed.
-COACH BADGES: These need to be displayed and worn at every game. Any team manager, assistant coach and/or coach must have theirs on if they are going to be on the sidelines. Please have your assistants register ASAP so that we can get the badges printer prior to games starting. Having your badges on is a requirement per the bylaws. If you historically misplace it - take a picture of it to bring to the game with you in your phone.
-U4 RULES: Please read the bylaws and rules. There is a quick guide also available that has the rules by age group, I encourage you to pull it from the website and print it off - it is located on the Referee page. A few brief rules are, one coach will be on the field during play, 4v4, no goalies (you can have a defensive player but keep them close to the play and not drop back to be a goalkeeper-this doesn’t help them learn), substitutions at any stoppage of play, and coaches on opposite sides of the field from parents except Harmony field 10. (We encouraged each of your teams to look the rules up)
-PRACTICE SCHEDULE: It is recomended at this age group that you select no more than one hour per week for practicing. Anything over 45 minutes and the children often lose thier focus. Please review the practice schedule to confirm your practice is scheduled at the right time and location. You can find the link to it on the Coaches Page. You need to make sure it was entered in correctly. Don’t show up for first practice without having looked; this will prevent onsite conflicts. If you have not selected a practice time, please email our league president at firstname.lastname@example.org. I encourage to look at the field reservation list under the Coaches page for available times / locations prior to reaching out.
-PRACTICE FIELDS: Maps are located on the Fields Map page. No Friday practices per Trophy Club and Roanoke policy. Children U6 and under should only be practicing one day per week for about 45 minutes to an hour. Children U7/U8 may begin to start 2 days per week.
-MEDICAL RELEASE FORMS: Each player must fill out a NTSSA Medical Release Form. You can find a link to it on the Coaches Page. Take a copy of the completed forms with you to each game/practice. This ensures that if your parents aren’t present and a child gets injured, you have the appropriate information you need to seek medical treatment for the child. https://o.b5z.net/i/u/10082050/i/youthmedicalrelease.pdf
-EQUIPMENT: Please make sure your players bring water (not sports drinks), have soccer cleats or tennis shoes, wear shin guards underneath their socks, don’t wear any jewelry, and have the appropriate uniform on during games. Their socks must cover the shin guards completely.
-PLAYER SAFETY: Please make sure the field is safe for play before each practice. Nets are secured to the ground, no debris is located on the field, watch for ants/bees, and any holes on the field. Please bring those to our attention. Also, watch the weather. If there’s lightning please cancel or stop practice and make sure all players are moved to a safe location. Also watch to see if you have kids who are pushing. Encourage them to play with “hands down”. Referees call this as a foul at the older ages so teaching them the appropriate way to use their bodies (shoulder to shoulder contact) will only help the team in the future. If you see other kids pushing during a game, please feel free to discuss with the referee during halftime and email your commissioner to address with the coach after the game.
-PARENTS: It is your responsibility to set appropriate expectation with the parents as we all do get excited. We want to encourage execution of the skills we’re working on with our players during the game. We also want to encourage good play from both teams so we can continue to grow our association. Remember these kids will all play together at some point as they progress up into High School.
-RAINOUTS: Sign up at www.gnwsa.com for twitter notification and/or watch the website for notifications.
-UNIFORMS: For our new teams and new players to teams these will be ordered. For returning players to the same team you will use your same uniform from the fall season. No modification especially adding names should be made to the uniforms.
-PICTURE DAY: The dates/times will be posted on the website. Our league president will send out an email when the day is scheduled. Please plan to sign your team up to have individual and team photos taken this season.
-SCHEDULES: These should be available on the website about one week before opening weekend or league play start based on age group.
-COACHING TIPS: Review the age appropriate Commissioners page for helpful coaching links as well as find additional ones below…
-COACHES TRAINING: Coaches are encouraged to get a coaching certificate and can be reimbursed. See the webpage for a link to training. Please let me know if you plan on attending and I’ll confirm reimbursement with the board for you. The league offers reimbursement for one U8 and under certification and one U9 and up certification.
-LAWS OF THE GAME There were modifications to the Laws that started in the Fall of 2016. Please familiarize yourself with these changes. There is a link to the NTSSA Player Development Initiative on the website that you can review.
The most important thing to remember and encourage is to make the practices and games energetic and fun for both teams so our players continue to enjoy the game and grow their skills.