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Welcome to Madison, AL AYSO Region 498

Positive Coaching

Positive Coaching is One of the Six Philosophies of AYSO

This is what we mean when we say positive coaching:

Setting the Tone

Good sportsmanship and team spirit begins with you.

You are teaching these kids much more than just soccer, so always be aware of you behavior, because your players will be watching.

At Practices

Set the right example for the kids.

  • Arrive at the field early.
  • It is okay to expect kids (and their parents) to come on time, too. They should respect your time.

Come prepared 

  • Have a practice plan ready with drills you want to run and what you want to accomplish. Kids get easily distracted when standing around.
  • Focus on drills that involve most or all of the kids at the same time.
  • Understand the level of your players. You can’t teach the whole thing in one season. Focus on one or two skills that are age appropriate. Reinforce and praise good performance. Be patient when correcting a player
  • We want to advance the skills of all players, not just the stars. This is the reward of being a coach: seeing all your players shine after a season of hard work.


The coach wins if the kids learned something about soccer and sportsmanship, regardless of the score!

  • Sure, everyone wants to win but NOT at the expense of excluding a player. We are here for the kids and to help them play the game.
  • Limit your teaching during the game That’s what practices are for. Give encouragement and take notes so you can work on skills at the next practice.
  • It is the kids’ game. We want each kid to say they had fun at the end of a game and practice.  They should work hard to win.

Here are some rules to follow:

  • Come to the game with your roster and positions already set for each period of play.  It will eliminate 90% of all squabbling, lobbying or complaining about positions.
  • Say Hello to the refs and opposing coaches before the game. We are all part of the same soccer family
  • Players should play all positions during the regular season. Even your star goalie should play out of goal at least half of each game. Kids who love defense need to play as Forwards, and vice versa.  Players should learn the skills and strategies of all positions. As they get older and involved in more competitive play, they will have plenty of opportunities to focus on one particular position.
  • For younger divisions, substitutions are made between quarters, Quarter Breaks are limited to 2 minutes, so do this quickly.
  • Everyone plays. No players should play 3 quarters before everyone has played 2, and no players should play 4 quarters before everyone has played 3. If necessary alternate which players sit out each week.
  • Make sure that you alternate your starting line-up and your fourth quarter line-up. Players should not be sensing that there are certain times of the game when they are not as welcome on the field.
  • Make sure your players have propper equipment.
    They are volunteers, just like you, doing the best they can. You undermine their authority and set a horrible example for the kids when you cannot control your emotions. Rolling of the eyes, complaining to parents or players on the sidelines is equally poor conduct. Referees will miss some calls. IF you want to talk to the ref about specific or general issues, take him/her over to the side at an opportune time and have a polite conversation about it. Perhaps you do not fully understand the Laws of the Game.
    There is simply no excuse for criticizing players on the field, or barking instructions at them every two seconds. Let the kids play. Take notes. Use those notes to teach at the half and the end of the game. Most players know very well when they commit a bonehead play; there is no need to remind them.
    A good pass. A good shot. Good hustle. Good teamwork. A good defensive play. A nice save. A good kick. Use of the whole field. Nice dribbling. Good positional play. There are dozens of opportunities to praise your players and your team every game, win or lose. Take advantage of some of them.
    Never run up the score. If your team has a victory well in hand, think about putting your goal scorers on defense, and telling them not to go midfield. Or tell them to focus on possession, not scoring. There is not bright line rule as to when to ease up, but it usually isn’t to hard to figure out.
    Whether towards the other team, the ref, or their own team or kid, be considerate, but firm, and remind them of the code of conduct that parents are expected to follow. It may be helpful to have one handy to show them. If a parent continues to be a problem, escalate to the Regional Coach Administrator and Commissioner
    Thank the refs. Thank the opposing coaches and players. And encourage your players to thank the refs too.

Running Your Team

Always focus on positive coaching.

  • It is up to you to set a positive tone for your team.
  • Always be respectful of your players, opposing players, other coaches and refs.
  • Make sure your players and parents show the same respect at all times.
  • Be enthusiastic.
  • Work your team hard, but always have fun!

Get some help with your duties!

  • Get a co-coach and as many assistants as possible to help with practices.
  • Let your team parent handle phone calls to other parents.

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Contact Us

AYSO Madison Alabama Region 498

101 Danvers Dr 
Madison, Alabama 35758

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 256-684-2959
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