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AYSO 116: Bonita/East Chula Vista

Coach Information & Training

Head Coach General Information:

There are a few different ways to become a head coach. Most volunteer, some are recruited, some are even drafted. Those that have marked their child's registration form indicating that they would like to volunteer to coach. The volunteers can also speak with a board member at any registration day.

Once all the volunteers have been processed and assigned, there is often a shortage of head coaches. That's where the division representatives come in. They start reviewing the registration forms and calling potential head coaches. Many are found this way before the teams are formed.

Once the head coach is identified, the first order of business is to select an assistant. This can be someone they know or can be a total stranger. It is not required that the head coach pick an assistant however some coaches feel more comfortable with a partner. 

The region provides training for all coaches, so even if you have never been a head coach, we will provide the training you need is make you feel more comfortable with your decision. All head coaches must have coaches training and have completed their Safe Haven certification.


1. Volunteer Application (must renew each year)
2. Safe Haven (once in a lifetime certification)
3. Age Specific Training
  - U6 (Good for U5 and U6) may be taken online or in person
  - Basic (Good for U5 through U12)
- 8U & 10U may be taken online or in person.  However, 10U MUST attend a separate field session training course
- 12U MUST  be taken in person
  - Intermediate (Good for U5 through U14)
  - Advanced (Good for all divisions) 

**Please take note, Basic and above courses must be completed in order as there are prerequisites for the next course**   To enroll in a class, log onto and locate the course title. 

COACHES CLINIC  **Updated 7-17-18**


Safe Haven

(Mandatory for All Coaches)

6U, 7U, 8U Coaches Clinics (Mandatory for 6U-8U Coaches)

July 18th (Wednesday)
August 15th (Wednesday)

attend only one session


5:00pm – 8:00 pm

Bonita Vista Middle School (BVMS)


10U, 12U Coaches Clinics (Mandatory for 10U & 12U Coaches)

July 28th (Sat)


August 18th (Sat)

attend only one session

11:00pm – 4:00 pm

8:30am – 12:30 pm





Intermediate Coaches Clinic - August 2018

(Mandatory for 14U Coaches)

August 25th (Saturday)

8:00am – 6:00pm

Bonita Vista Middle School

Advanced Coaches Clinic - August 2018

(Mandatory for 16U & 19U Coaches)

August 11th (Saturday)

8:00am – 6:00pm

Bonita Vista Middle School

For 10U Divisions and up:  Draft and the General Coaches Meeting take place in July.  The Regional Commissioner, the Regional Coach Administrator, and the Safety Director all address the coaches.  Team packets are handed out with general information and forms.  Often, this meeting is where uniforms are distributed.

Next order of business is the draft. This almost always takes place the last week of July. The head coach's child is automatically on his/her team. If there is an assistant coach, that child is also considered a "preselect" player. Coaches will be given detailed instructions on how the draft will be conducted before the actual draft commences. The draft is designed to ensure that the teams are balanced and that no one can take advantage of their position or influence within the league. Once the draft is complete, the head coach is able to contact players and develop a practice schedule. There are registration dates that fall after the draft. Players that register after the draft are evenly dispersed among the existing teams. A great deal of effort goes into making sure teams are balanced with late registrations.

Once the coach has a team, he needs to schedule the first practice. The coach introduces him/herself to the players and their parents. The head coach should explain his philosophy about coaching and his goals for the team. This is also a good place to find an assistant coach, team parent/manager, and volunteer referees if they have not yet been identified. No team is allowed to practice before August 1st of each year. There is no insurance before that date and coaches are forbidden to conduct any practice. The coach should make sure the players know to wear cleats and shin guards, and to bring water and the age-appropriate size ball.

The month of August is for practices. Coaches can arrange scrimmages with other teams, but there are no official games played. August in San Diego can be quite hot, so please make sure the players keep hydrated. Coaches determine their practice schedules. Some coaches plan practices once or twice a week. Please be aware that younger players (especially) can burn out on soccer long before the end of the season if you practice them too often and too hard. By the last week in August, the head coach should have a good idea where each team member will play.

Even though the coaches have had uniforms since the draft or the general coaches meeting, they should not be handed out until late August or early September. There are often late additions to the team and if the uniforms have already been handed out, the remaining uniforms may not fit the new player. It is not recommended that the coach allows the players to select uniforms based on the player's preference or jersey number. The jersey numbers are sequential by size. A number 2 is much smaller than a number 15. It is recommended that the coach lines up the players in shortest-to-tallest order and assign the jersey numbers sequentially. The shortest player gets number 2 and the tallest player gets the largest number. Exceptions are at the coaches discretion but should be kept to a minimum to avoid the impression of impropriety. Sometime before the first game, the division representative will ask the coach for a roster. This is simply a list of players and their jersey numbers.

The official games start the first Saturday in September after Labor Day. The head coach is responsible for supplying the referee of the game with a lineup card. The blank cards are given to the coaches by the division representatives. On the card, the coach should indicate who the goalkeeper (if 10 division and up) is and who the captain and co-captain are. After the date/time/location and team information are filled in, the coach must list the players with their numbers in numerical order. The coaches will not get these lineup cards back.  It is recommended that each head coach plans their lineup and substitution schedule long before the game starts. New coaches will find it exceedingly difficult to remember who has played how many quarters and at what positions while in the heat of the battle.
A pre-planned substitution chart will ensure that each player gets the league required 2 quarters of playing time. A pre-planned substitution schedule can help in other ways as well.

  1. If shown to the players before the game, they will know when they go in, when they go out and where they will play
  2. If the coach sticks to his pre-planned substitution chart, he will never pull a player for poor play and humiliate the player
  3. Alternate fourth quarters plans can be devised based on different scenarios (your team ahead, game tied, your team behind, etc.)

Take it from experience, a pre-planned substitution schedule will make the game much more relaxed for the head coach and make for happier players.  During each game, the head coach has other responsibilities as well. The head coach must make sure his assistant coach and parents conduct themselves in a positive manner. He must make sure his players are properly warmed up before the game and before they enter the game after being on the sidelines. He must make sure the spectators are at least 3 yards back from the touchline (sideline) and do not interfere with the game. Above all, he is the ultimate person responsible for making sure that his/her players are not put at risk of injury or verbal assault.

Late in the season, the division representative will call a coach's meeting. The purpose of this meeting is two-fold. First, the coaches must submit their ratings for each player. The forms used to rate the players are explained. Electronic copies of these forms can be found on the Coaches' page on this website. The purpose of the player rating forms is to help the coaches for next years draft and to help the coach of this year's all-star team.  The season officially ends the Saturday before Thanksgiving. 

With only one or two weeks remaining in the season, the head coach should coordinate with the team parent/manager to organize the team party. The head coach can delegate the organization to the team parent, or participate directly. The date, time and location must be selected. The coaches and the team parent/manager must decide what food will be offered (potluck, restaurant, other), and what will be done for the players (certificates, trophies, etc. - see 'Team Parent' section below for ideas). The head coach should also select a gift for the team parent/manager at this time. Possible choices are gift certificates, plaques, etc.

Once the season is over, there are two types of coaches that continue on. Playoff teams (first and/or second place teams) will continue to practice for area playoffs that usually start in January. These playoffs can go through March if the team is successful. The other type of coach is the all-star coach. The area all-star games start just after the playoff games and also can go through March if the all-star team is successful (wins). The way the all-star coach is selected varies from division to division and will be voted upon at the pre-season draft.

All coaches should remember that AYSO is not a competitive league. Although we all want to win, balanced teams and 'everybody plays' philosophies are much more important. If a coach, player or parent becomes obsessed with winning, then they should consider trying out for the EXTRA or Matrix programs.  If everyone has fun and the kids learn to love soccer, then we all win!

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AYSO Region 116

P.O. Box 1277 
Bonita, California 91908

Email Us: [email protected]
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