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Gilbert Youth Soccer Association

Gilbert Youth Soccer Association

GYSA Volunteer Coaches Resource Center

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Welcome and Thank You!

Welcome to the Gilbert Youth Soccer Association volunteer coaches resource center.

If you are here, you have decided (or are deciding) to give your time and efforts to be a volunteer coach in Arizona's largest youth soccer recreational program. Thank You and we appreciate you! It is only through all of our amazing coaches, families and players that we are able to achieve our mission.

The mission of GYSA is and has always been to foster the social and emotional health and development of young players and families through the sport of soccer.

Please see below for all of the available resources to help you feel confident and learn how to be an effective soccer coach.

Our Responsibility

We must take our responsibility as adult role models seriously.  We need to refrain from yelling at the referees and constantly questioning their calls. We cannot allow ourselves to get into confrontations with other coaches. And we need to encourage our parents to keep their composure. Remember, all of our actions ultimately reflect on our club and our town.

Let's all model the values that we want to instill in our young players.


Season Planning Checklist for Coaches

  1. Find out who’s on your team: If you don’t already have the roster in hand, you are going to want a list about who’s on your squad. 
  2. Get the parents’ contact information: Once you know who’s on your team, you are going to want to know who’s registering the kids and who’s responsible for them. Get the parents’ phone number and email and streamline communication.
  3. Send out the schedule to the entire team: To avoid confusion as to where practices are and when games are, send out the schedule as soon as it’s live to the entire team. This will not only help you prepare your practice and game plan, but will allow ample time for parents and families to mark their calenders. 
  4. Make sure everyone has uniforms and proper gear – send out reminders: Looking like a team is a big part of fall sports. As the coach, you are going to want to communicate to your team and parents what they should be wearing and bringing to practice. Make a list and send it out to the all of the team contacts.
  5. Establish your communication style: As the coach, you are the decision maker and leader. Choose a communication style that works for you and make it clear to your team. If you set expectations early, everyone can better be on board.
  6. Hold a pre-season meeting: Pre-season meetings are a great way to set the season up for success. Organize a meeting and send out an invite in TeamSnap to all of the families and players. This is a good opportunity to lay out your expectations as a coach, any scheduling questions, and open up the floor to the group to ask away.

Player Development

The basic philosophy of the Gilbert Youth Soccer Association is based on total player development. This is only possible if the entire organization agrees to serve this aim. These coaching manuals present an organized and logical progression of teaching the techniques and tactics of the game of soccer that will prepare total soccer players by the time they have gone through our organization.

First and foremost, it must be explained that winning is not the most important goal of our recreational teams. Remember, our organization is about total player development.

The things that allow recreational teams to win a lot of games (booting the ball long from the back to a big fast kid up front) do not best serve our young players’ development. For that reason, we need to encourage our players to work on the things that you address in practice (good control on the ball, creative dribbling).

That must become our measure of success, not simply winning. Also, in the interests of player development, it is crucial that all of our players get exposed to all positions on the field with some regularity. Soccer, unlike any other sport, is truly a game that belongs to the players.


GYSA Volunteer Coaching Manuals

These coaching manuals have been designed as a model for our players to develop throughout the recreational and travel teams in our organization. The philosophies and activities in these manuals have been proven to work throughout the world. There are very few soccer leagues in the United States that are organizations in the true sense of the word. They are just a collection of teams that happen to use the same name. We believe this manual will help our organization continue to be a true soccer organization. We hope you enjoy the manual, and see its ultimate resourcefulness.

GYSA Coaching Manual

U5-U6 Manual

GYSA Coaching Manual

U7-U8 Manual

GYSA Coaching Manual

U9-U10 Manual

GYSA Coaching Manual

U11-U12 Manual





Recognize to Recover is aimed at promoting safe play and reducing injuries in soccer players of all ages. The first-of-its-kind, the program was developed with the help of medical experts to provide coaches, players, parents and referees with information, guidance and additional educational materials to improve the prevention and management of injuries.


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HEAT Guidelines Reference

GYSA Heat Related Policies


  1. Check for local conditions before you leave for the fields.
  2. Pre-hydrate: have your players drink plenty plenty of water hours before their games/practices.
  3. Bring water and shade: If high heat conditions, bring plenty of water (40oz +) per player and something for shade. Get the help of your parents. Work as a team!
  4. Monitor and adapt: Work with officials and other coaches to agree on game adjustments. These can be hydration breaks, player adjustments, or game time adjustments.  Monitor your players for signs of fatigue or heat related illness.


Sign up for a U.S. Soccer Coaching Course through ASA

Why take a coaching course?

Soccer has slowly become part of our youth sports culture here in the United States. More and more adults have grown up playing soccer and are now on sidelines coaching their son or daughter. We all have gotten into coaching for various reasons, you may have been “voluntold” that the team needed a coach, or you have decided to make coaching your career. So, why should you take a coaching course?

Taking a coaching course will help provide you with the coaching “tools” and techniques to help your players succeed. Regardless of the fact if you have played the game or never touched the ball a coaching course can provide you with the tools to be better equipped to deal with the many different situations that will arise over the course of a season. A coaching course will help you empower your players and team to achieve their goals.

Having your coaching license will help you standout. The coaching course pathway will improve your reputation, establish yourself as a true professional and provides an instant layer of legitimacy.

  • You will learn new skills that will allow you to be more effective in player development
  • A coaching course will help legitimize you in becoming an expert in the coaching field, winning more respect and create more opportunities
  • You’ll develop new professional relationships that will help support you when you encounter roadblocks






U.S. Youth Soccer Skills and Development Manuals

US Youth Soccer Development Model - Prepared by the US Youth Soccer Coaching Education Department
Sam Snow, Director of Coaching, In association with the US Youth Soccer Coaching Committee - With support from the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors, US Youth Soccer Recreation Committee, US Youth Soccer Referee Committee, 55 US Youth Soccer State Association Technical Directors and the U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors.

The purpose of this publication is to help youth soccer coaches and soccer clubs raise the level of play across the country. This can be achieved by becoming aware of the capabilities and aspirations of their players at each stage of their development and by creating more positive, player-centered learning environments. The key to modern youth player development can be found in the lessons of the free play era, where children took charge of games, learning and fun. By participating in endless hours of player-centered soccer, the children of the street soccer generation developed a life-long passion and a practical feel for the game that has been all but lost in the transfer to over-organized sport. By returning to the ideals of the free play era, youth coaches and soccer clubs can use meaningful soccer games and soccer-related activities to unlock the potential of their young charges to produce savvy, sophisticated American players.

Age Appropriate Activity Modules
The purpose of these activity guidebooks is to give you the youth coach, an idea of what should be covered throughout the typical season. The activities reflect the philosophy of the original US Youth Soccer Parent/Coach Primer. Sessions focus on development in a low-stress, fun-filled environment giving you an organized structure to apply to the particular needs of your team. You will be able to create your own sessions once you understand the essential ingredients.

Each practice session has four main areas IN A PROGRESSIVE PRACTICE FORMAT:
1. Warm-up: Emphasis on preparing the player both physically and mentally for the training session. General motor ability (i.e., balance, coordination and flexibility) should also be enhanced. All of the above should be followed by stretching of the various parts of the body. Young players don’t need stretching, but it’s a good habit for them to begin early.

2. Individual Activities: This portion will cover fun-filled methods that can improve a young player’s technique in a playing, non-drill manner.

3. Small Group Activities: These games will challenge the player (without the pressure of high numbers) to improve a variety of the needed skills. It also gives players the opportunity to touch the ball more often.

4. Large Group Activities: This time will be used to familiarize the player with the different aspects of playing in a match situation. Each section should last between 10 to 15 minutes (take rest when needed). All activities should start with a brief demonstration, followed by the players moving quickly into activities.

The successful coach at this level is the one who can imagine these activities through a player’s eyes. A coach at this level must create a fun-filled environment that will have players excited to return.

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Skills Building Module

The key coaching points of each major technique in soccer are presented here. There is an example training activity for each technique. Major training concepts for learning specific physical movements are discussed.


Gilbert Youth Soccer Association (GYSA)
Field Location: 4260 S. Greenfield Rd.Gilbert AZ 85297 
Gilbert, Arizona 85297

Email: [email protected]

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