Junior Coach Day
We asked a pair of experienced junior coaches to provide a guide for new coaches and parents who may have just taken up coaching or managing a children's team. You could add to this and use it as the basis for your school or club guide for junior coaches.
Day before match day
- Check that all the team has been contacted
- Does each player have transport?
- Do players know the ground that they are playing on and the time of the match?
- Do they know when the game finishes so they can be picked up?
- Give out maps to players if the ground is in an unfamiliar location
- Arrange with manager or parent for water to be available.
- Ensure First Aid kit is available and with a responsible parent.
- Check on any injuries from last week.
- Have parent prepared to be referee if referee doesn't turn up.
- Visit the ground to be aware of parking, toilets, changing rooms, etc.
- If videoing game, revise key points with parent.
- Ensure you have all names and phone numbers of the players.
- Ensure that players are registered to play.
- Check the weather forecast.
- Be at the ground at agreed time before the game.
- Check cancellation service or have parent assigned to do this.
- At the ground check players' gear, mouthguards, etc.
- Check that the referee is present.
- Remind youngsters of key game plan points before the game but don't overload them.
- Keep it enjoyable.
- Allocate touch judges.
- Prepare team for substitutions.
- Remind captain for the day to thank the referee.
- Warm up activities should be fun and relevant.
- Make sure posts have pads and ground is flagged appropriately.
- Collect players' valuable e.g. watches.
- During the match
- Make key points in your coach's notebook about players' strengths and needs.
- Record areas of law that youngsters don't understand in the game.
- Observe decision makers in your team.
- Read the game and respond to this.
- Scrutinise safety aspects of the game.
After the match
- Emphasise positive comments.
- Look for something positive in each player but be realistic about their needs for training and skill improvements.
- Ensure players don't stand around cold and wet.
- Thank parents and supporters.
- Check that things went to plan and make a note of any that didn't.
- Congratulate player of the day and explain the positive reasons why this player was selected.
- Personally thank the referee.
- Check that each child has had a secure way to get home. Do not leave a child unattended at the ground.
- Make sure the gear is properly checked and packed away.