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Junior Coach Day

juniorWe 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.

Match Day

  • 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.