TPSC Coaching Manual

TPSC Coaching Manual


Dear Volunteer Coach:

Welcome to the Tiburon Peninsula Soccer Club.  On behalf of the TPSC Board, we want to express our heartfelt thanks for your enthusiasm, dedication and willingness to volunteer your time for the benefit of the youth of this community.

The goal of the Tiburon Peninsula Soccer Club is to ensure that the youth soccer experience is rewarding and fun for each and every player, regardless of his or her ability or level of competition.  We want to help each youngster improve his or her soccer skills, and to learn the values of teamwork, cooperation and sportsmanship.  We want them to have the fun of competing to win.  But we also want each of them to experience the joy of playing, to grow in confidence, and to appreciate the importance of giving one’s best, win or lose.

These goals can and will be achieved largely through the encouragement, understanding and positive guidance which you give.  Your selfless devotion to the kids is the most important ingredient of our success.

We would like to call your attention to the discipline policy and the suggestion by the Board of using parent help at your practices.

We hope that this manual will provide information that is helpful to your coaching planning and efforts.  We want your season as a coach to be truly enjoyable and satisfying for you. We look forward to working with you and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or need any assistance.


After careful deliberation, the Board of the TPSC has adopted Codes of Conduct for all Players, Parents and Coaches. Each TPSC coach is bound by the Coaches’ Code of Conduct. In addition, players, parents and coaches will be asked to sign their agreement to the Sportsmanship Code at the start of the season.

Coaches, please note! YOU are responsible for the behavior of your fans and players in addition to your own behavior. It is NEVER permissible for anyone to argue with a game official or to verbally give a running commentary of an official’s calls. It is up to YOU to set an example and guide the tone of your fans’ behavior.

Encourage them to cheer for all good plays, to leave the coaching to you, the refereeing to the officials and to be understanding if and when an official or a player makes a mistake. It happens.

You will want to make these expectations clear to parents at the start of the season; via a letter or at a parents’ meeting or both. If you have a fan or player that ’doesn’t get it,’ take them aside privately and reiterate your expectations. If it continues to be a problem, talk to your age group coordinator. Game officials are instructed to hold YOU responsible for your fans. Red cards issued to coaches or fans will be dealt with severely.

Coaches’ Code
Sportsmanship Code
Our Kids’ Game


Coaches, players, referees and TPSC officials are governed not only by the rules of the TPSC, but those of its parent organizations, the California Youth Soccer Association and the local CYSA District V (covering all playing leagues in Marin and Sonoma Counties) and US Club Soccer. All coaches are required to familiarize themselves not only with the contents of this manual, but also the rules and regulations contained in the CYSA Coaches’ Manual.


Each age grouping has an Age Group coordinator who is responsible for the smooth operation of that age group.  The Age Group Coordinators:

1.   Coordinate all team selections

2.   Help Equipment Coordinator distribute all equipment at the beginning of the season

3.   Help Equipment Coordinator collect all equipment at the end of the season

4.   Serve as a coordinator between the teams in each age group.

5.   Act as liaison between the teams and coaches and the TPSC board.

Each age group division has an Age Group Coordinators directly responsible for team activities. The Age Group Coordinators in turn, report to the TPSC Board of Directors. Should you have any questions, please call the appropriate Age Group Coordinator. These coordinators are listed on the TPSC page


Divisional placement is determined by the age of a player on July 31 of that year--the spring newsletter has a reference calendar.  Requests to play in a higher or lower division than that allowed by age MUST be sanctioned by the TPSC Board.  Please contact your Age Group Coordinator with any special requests. 


Teams have been formed by the Age Group Coordinators in the age divisions.  Every effort is made to balance team strengths in each category so that teams may participate equally. To this effect, we ask that you grade your players at the end of each season. The following guidelines are used in order to establish a standard evaluation process.

SKILLS: How good are the technical skills of the player? (controlling and dribbling the ball, anticipating opponents actions, etc.)

QUICKNESS: How fast is the player, and does he/she recognize the advantage of breakaway passing?

KICKING: Does the player shoot with both feet?  How strong and accurate are the kicks?  (long and short passing shots are equally important)

ATTITUDE: Some players have good skills but are neither easily coached nor ever become team members.  Other players will give 100% with lesser skills.

SCORING: Many children show more ability in this area and can be a leader for the team.

Each summer the Age Group Coordinators review the ratings from the last season.  Prior to team formation, the Age Group Coordinators discuss individual ratings with particular coaches.  Shortly after registration, and after late registrations are in and counted, and coaches are found for all teams, the teams are selected. If after the season begins, there is a serious imbalance in team strength, it may be necessary to make some adjustments.  However, no changes or additions to team rosters may be made without the consent of the Age Group Coordinator and the club registrar and all coaches who could be effected by a change or addition. However, no changes or additions to team rosters may be made without the consent of the Age Group Coordinator and the club registrar and all coaches who could be affected by a change or addition.  For insurance purposes, you may not allow any unregistered child to practice or play with your team.


Any player who seeks to register after teams are formed may be assigned to a previously-formed team, if this can be done (1) without seriously disrupting competitive balance among teams in the division, and (2) without making team size greater than is reasonable.

All assignments and decisions will be made by the Registrar and the Age Group Coordinators.  Before an assignment is made, available information about the player’s ability--including last year’s rating--will be obtained, and for U-12 and U-14 a "mini-tryout" for the late registrant(s) may be required.  In U-10 and above, a late registrant with skills significantly above average will not be assigned without agreement of division coaches and the Board; and by similar agreement or decision, the assignment of any late registrant may be accompanied by a transfer of one or more previously‑assigned players from one team to another.  No late registrant may be assigned to a team without its coach’s consent unless such assignment is necessary in the judgment of the Board.  To preserve competitive balance or reasonable team size, assignment of a late registrant may not be permitted, or may be deferred until other late registrants have signed up.

NOTE: A player must be listed on your roster in order to play.  An unlisted player is unregistered and therefore uninsured and cannot play.  Call the Registrar with questions 


Coaches volunteer and are recruited during registration nights and during the late spring and early summer.  The Coach Recruitment Committee interviews and selects qualified volunteers whose names are submitted to the Board for approval.

Training for coaches, both novice and experienced, is done prior to the season.  These are highly recommended for all coaches.  All coaches are encouraged to obtain at least an "F" coaching license.  At least one coach from each team is required to attend the Coaches Orientation Meeting (but all are encouraged to attend).

Training books and videos are available at the Tiburon/Belvedere Public Library.  The videos are excellent in that they not only give visual and auditory description of skills and plays, but they also inspire confidence and encouragement for those coaches who are a bit anxious!


 All coaches will receive the following items:

1.  Team rosters with address and phone numbers
2.  Individuals registration forms with medical consent
3.  Game schedule
4.  Coaches’ manual
5.  Practice balls and a game ball
6.  Cones
7.  Goalie shirt (except for U8)
8.  First aid kit
9.  CYSA Handbook with list of basic soccer rules
10. A set of Coaching Cards



Send a letter at the beginning of the season to players and their parents telling them who you are, when practices will occur, what your expectations are for players and parents, your feelings about sportsmanship, etc.  Ask for parent volunteers for various assignments including team parent. Be sure to tell them that each player is to bring his own ball and wear shinguards to every practice.  Along with the letter include the team roster and game schedule (if available then).  It’s a good idea to plan a parent/player meeting at the beginning of the season to review expectations and get to know each other.

Include the Code of Conduct with your letter and request that parent and player sign it and return it at the first practice.

See the Equipment Page for answers to questions about shoe & shinguard selection, etc.


Your Age Group Coordinator will coordinate the practice schedule among teams to assure your dates do not conflict with other teams.  When daylight saving time ends, fields become very crowded, and coaches using the fields at the same time are encouraged to cooperate in finding adequate space for each team.  One team does not need a large area for practice.  Also, scrimmages between teams can be a fun way to end practices and use a larger space.  Practices cannot be held before Monday, August 2th.


Have your team select a name as soon as possible. We very much encourage teams to take a Shark-themed name. This helps to promote team and Club spirit and cohesiveness.


Select a Team Parent (mother or father) who will help with phone calls and organize other parent volunteers.  Your Team Parent should assign duties to various families, e.g., distributing uniform shirts (and collecting them at the end of the season), organizing refreshments at each game, organizing a parent helper at each practice (if you wish), organizing end of season party, assisting at practices, planning special events like a video/pizza party or going to a pro, college, high school or local select game.


1.  Coaches are encouraged to ask for parent participation at each practice.  The Team Parent can organize a schedule.  These parents can be used for helping run drills, handling discipline problems or anything else a coach needs.

2.  Practices should occur twice a week at a minimum for U-10 and above.  For all except Under 8, length of practices vary with age groups.  Under 8 and Under 10 players can tolerate short practices of 45-60 minutes.  Most older teams practice 1 to l-1/2 hours at a time.

3.  All players must wear shinguards.  Do not allow any player to play without them.

4.  Encourage players to bring their own balls to practice.  Mark each player’s ball with his/her name.

5.  Make sure that all players have access to water during practice breaks.

6.  Clean up your area after every practice and game.

7.  Set a policy about drop-off and pick-up of players for practices and games.  Please remind parents that players should not be dropped off any earlier than 10 minutes before practice.  We have had complaints from the schools about players wandering around the school premises unsupervised.  Make sure parents know when to drop off and pick up their players and what will happen in the event they are delayed in picking up their child(ren).  Also set a policy about rainy day practices.  Rainy days are confusing for parents because some coaches play in the rain and others don’t.  Be sure to make your definitions and policies clear.  Call 789-TILT or logon to this website for field information.  


TPSC’s purpose is to teach soccer to the youth of the Tiburon Peninsula for fun and recreation.  All coaches must keep this in mind when working with their teams.  There are many ways to train a soccer team, and we encourage and applaud creativity.  The following are guidelines that you may find helpful in planning your practice sessions.

l.   Study the written material we have provided.   Each team will receive an age-appropriate coaching book. Much additional information is available through links on the Coaches Page of the website.

2.  Go to the library and look at the videos.  They really will help you. Plan a video-pizza party.  Some of the videos show World Cup teams at practice and in games.

3.  Take time to plan your practices.  Experienced coaches follow the CYSA F and E license approach by structuring each practice around a theme. These practices incorporate a standard nine-step CYSA approach. Using this method serves to reinforce the skills being taught as well as helping the players to anticipate, participate and focus on the practice sessions. A typical practice should include:

A.  Introduction
brief explanation of the day’s theme (2 minutes) “Today’s theme is the ‘pass kick’…briefly demonstrate
B.  Warm‑up and stretching
An active game to get loose, followed by stretching. Always get loose before stretching. (10 minutes) “Knock Out,” but use side-foot kicks. All players get a ball and gather inside a grid. At the whistle, all try to knock other players’ balls out of the grid while protecting their own.
C.  One plus one cooperative instruction
A drill incorporating the day’s theme; two players cooperating (5 minutes) Players set out two sets of cones as goals. They use both feet to pass kick back and forth alternating feet and ends of goals.
D.  One vs. one competition
Add 1 v 1 competition, also with the day’s theme in mind (10 minutes) Players try to score on each other from their own goal lines, must use pass kick.
E.  "Half-time" break and hydration
A 5-minute hydration break and discussion. Mirrors and models the break in the weekend game. (5 minutes) Talk about either previous game or next and/or discuss better control using this kick.
F.  Small-sided games
Approx 3 v 3 to maximize time on the ball. (10 minutes) Use Passing game #13 from “coaching cards” (“5 v 2”)
G.  Scrimmage
Full-team scrimmage. (10 minutes)
Full-sided scrimmage. Use this time to demonstrate good throw-ins, free kicks, etc as they come up.
H.  Warm-down
Full-team warm down and stretch (5 minutes)
All players dribble once around the field using the inside of their feet.
I.  Summarize & End Practice
Goodbye and last words (2 minutes) Remind all about showing up on time for this week’s game.

All players love soccer games.  You will learn games which teach and perfect soccer skills at the coaching clinics.  The pack of “Coaching Cards” that each team receives has dozens of great drills and games that you can use to structure your practices.

Read the information on Player Conditioning and Physical Development

You should teach your older teams the basic rules of soccer.  Every player should know the major fouls.

4. Follow the “Three L’s” of good coaching: “No lines, No lectures, No laps.” There is nothing worse at these ages than seeing a team of players standing around waiting for their turn at a drill or listening to a long-winded explanation of a play. They will learn best and be conditioned best by getting as much ball time as possible. We guarantee advance preparation for your practice sessions will undoubtedly result in just that: maximized player time with the ball.

5. Take your team to watch an advanced soccer game.  Local college and high school games are also excellent.  Call the Physical Education or Athletic Department at UC Berkeley,  SFSU, USF, and Redwood High School for game schedules.  You can also check the links here for Stanford, Cal, USF and pro team schedules. Our select teams play on weekends.  Their games are shorter than the college and pro games. Two semi-professional teams, the California Victory and San Francisco Seals, play Spring and Summers.   


The Season begins during the last week of August, when practices commence.  The games are scheduled from early September through early November.  You will receive a game schedule with your team practice field and time.  All players should arrive 30 minutes prior to game time.  In order to compete in the games, a player must wear his/her uniform, soccer cleats, and shinguards.  Jewelry, watches, chains, or hard prosthetic devises may NOT be worn during practices or games.


Every player must play at least one-half of every game as long as he/she complies with the following: (The purpose of this policy is to foster significant playing time for each player in each half.)

1.  Attends practices regularly and participates positively

2.  Is not injured

3.  Is prepared with the proper equipment and frame of mind

4.  Is on time for games

5.  Is not ejected from the game

Before the start of the game, introduce yourself to the opposing coach.  Set a friendly, cooperative tone.  Both coaches should introduce themselves to the referee and discuss any business or special circumstances about the game or players.  Many of our referees are very knowledgeable about soccer and are happy to do some on the spot teaching.

During the game, keep all coaches and players within 10 yards of the midfield as all substitutions are made from the midfield sideline and only during your possession of the ball or as otherwise allowed by the referee.  Ask the referee how he would like to make substitutions before the game.

Please keep in mind that the recreational concept of the TPSC can only be fulfilled when all children are encouraged and allowed to play.  Children should be given the chance to play all positions (forward, midfield, back and goalie) during the season.  On game day, encourage your team by reinforcing positive gains and complimenting individual/team skill and effort.  No matter how disappointed we may feel at times as coaches, it is not helpful to the players to receive negative comments during play.  Stress sportsmanlike, skillful soccer.

We encourage coaches to recognize their responsibility not only to their own players, but also to those of their opponents. Not all teams will be equal and, particularly in the younger house divisions, scores can "get out of hand." It is important for coaches to have a plan before the game to deal with such a situation. Please read our handout, "Coaching 101: Dealing with Blowouts."

After the game, all players should shake hands with the opposing team players.  You should also shake hands with the other coach and then both of you should thank the referee.  Your team is responsible for cleaning up the debris on the field and the area of the sidelines you used.

You will receive season schedules in late August or early September from the Age Group Coordinators. Be sure to get copies to the parents of players on your team.   For several divisions TPSC teams will play some games at home and some away against teams from Mill Valley.  Our U-14 and U-16 teams will be playing in a club with teams from other communities in Marin and Sonoma.  There will be an end of the season jamboree for these two age divisions.

Referees have been scheduled for every game at U-10 and above. However, on very rare occasions, U-10 coaches may be called on to officiate their games. U-9 games are officiated by our junior referee program. Not all of these games will have referees. U-9 coaches are responsible for game management as the junior referees are not licensed. If any referee does not show up for a game on time or if you have any concerns about refereeing please call John Gulick at (415) 945-0940 or via cell at (415) 385-8734.

What to do when both teams are not at full strength:  Under applicable rules, if one team shows up with less than the maximum number of players allowed on the field at one time (4 for U-8 and U-9, 8 for U-10, 8 for U-12 House, and 11 for U-14 Competitive and all older House teams), the other team may still play at full strength.  However, in the spirit of sportsmanship, TPSC recommends, for house-level play, that when one or both teams are "short" the allowed number, the team with the larger number be willing to play at less than full strength if and to the extent this will leave the "short" team with only one substitute.  Example:  If one team showed up with nine players, both teams would play eight, so that each team has one substitute.  Another option would be for the larger team to give the "short" team a few players to even the team sizes. 


TPSC’s Rules and Regulations state as follows:  Coaching from the sidelines - giving direction to one’s own team on points of strategy and position - is permitted provided:

1.  No mechanical devices are used.

2.  The tone of voice is informative and not harangue.

3.  No coach is to be anywhere but within 10 yards of the center stripe during the game.

4.  No coach is to make derogatory remarks or gestures to the referees, other players, substitutes or spectators, or use profanity or incite, in any    manner, disruptive behavior of any kind.

5.  Coaches and parents need to stay five feet from the sidelines.

On game day, parents must be instructed to be positive spectators.  In the past, some of the greatest problems have been caused by over excited parents.  Shouting instructions or otherwise admonishing players is strictly forbidden.   This is  clearly stated in the

"Parents Code".  It is your responsibility to control you team parents so that they do not disrupt the players on the field.  Referees will look to the coaches to control both players and parents so that soccer is a positive experience for everyone.


Injuries to players will occur as soccer is a contact sport. If in doubt about the seriousness of an injury, do not move the player. If there is an ankle injury, do not remove the shoe.  If the injury looks serious, have it attended to immediately. Your First Aid kit has the basic essentials which can be administered at the field.  Remember the first few minutes are critical in treating an injury.  Keep your kit stocked.  If you need additional supplies, contact your age group coordinator.  In the event of the need for urgent medical care,  call the paramedics (911) and look at the player’s registration form for further medical information.  It is crucial to keep your player registration forms (with the medical consent) with your first aid kits at all times.  Any serious injury must be reported to your Age Group Coordinator.  Insurance is carried by the club through CYSA and covers all players, coaches, referees, and administrators.  This insurance helps with costs of hospital and medical care resulting from injury sustained in Club‑authorized soccer practice or play, to the extent that such costs are not covered by other health insurance.

Read the first aid information supplied with your kit.  The following is a good rule of thumb for treating NEW minor injuries.

                                    I - Ice                             Apply ice.

C - Compression               Wrap the area firmly, not too tight, to hold the ice in place.

E - Elevate                      Elevate the injured area to prevent swelling.


ALL INJURIES MUST be reported to both parent/guardian and the club. You may email or phone your age group coordinator.

Casts and splints: Per CYSA regulations, splints and casts (no matter soft or hard, metal or air) are not allowed. Please do not ask the referee or other coach to “waive” this rule, no matter if the parent tells you that the “doctor said s/he can play.” The referees and club officials are not permitted to waive this rule.

Jewelry of any kind, including earrings, watches, necklaces and bracelets (including rubber or plastic ’live strong bands’ are not permitted. Parents, coaches, referees or club officials are not permitted to waive this rule. 


Equipment (balls, cones, goalie shirt, etc.) will be issued to you by the club.  It is your responsibility to maintain all of the equipment given to you by the Club.  Please label all your equipment.  Over the years, we have lost thousands of dollars in balls. Please try your best to keep track of your equipment.  At the end of the season you will be asked to return all your equipment to your Age Group Coordinator.  It is a good idea to count the team balls you use during practice.  We would not lose nearly as many balls if every player brought his/her own ball to practice.

This year, each house team will also be given a set of game shirts.  These shirts are the property of TPSC and must be returned to TPSC at the end of the year.  The shirts will be given to your team parent for distribution.  When the shirts are distributed to the individual players, the team parent will collect a check from each player’s parents, made payable to TPSC.  Each check will be held by the TPSC, until the shirt is returned.  When the shirt is returned, the check will be torn up or returned.  If the shirt is not returned to TPSC, the check will be deposited and the money will be used to purchase a new shirt.


The field assigned to your division is rented by the Club for your use.  You are responsible for it.  Should you have any doubts about whether the field is too wet to use, call 789-TILT or check this website for information.  There will be a message on that line and on the site letting you know if your field is closed due to rain.  Field crews start setting up the fields at 7 a.m. on game days, or the previous evening.  If your field is not set up, do not play on it.  Whenever possible, alternative fields will be set up.  Your Age Group Coordinator will advise you.  Please use your judgment during practice days.  Do not allow your players to "rip up" a wet field.  A good way to test the field is to see if the grass feels spongy beneath your foot.  If this occurs, the grass will give way and rip.  Remember, at the end of every practice and game, your team is responsible for cleaning up the part of the field you have used.


Do not allow your players to damage the landscaping on or surrounding the field during warm ups and games.  Do not allow your players to kick balls against the wooden fence.  Should a ball go over the fence, send a coach to ring the bell.  Never allow players to hop over the fence to retrieve an errant ball.


Last coach on the field MUST put away the goals. They must be completely off of the grass. Failure to do so will mean that the goals will be locked up during the week. 


Our policy is as follows:  Set out and discuss your expectations with your team.  Be clear and concise about what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior.  Emphasize behavior, that is how a child acts, not who they are as people.  Spell out the consequences of non-conforming behavior, in a graduated manner.  For instance, for a first infraction give a warning.  If the child persists, have them sit out for ten minutes - or longer for repeated infractions.  Missing game time is a powerful tool.  Involve the parent, if necessary, especially if they will be missing some game time.  Above all, be consistent and fair and remember that much non‑conforming behavior is an attempt to get attention.  Try not to lose your composure.  If a problem persists, take action early and contact your Age Group Coordinator who may in turn contact the Board to try and help out.


Tiburon Peninsula Soccer Club does not endorse its coaches, either professional or volunteer, transporting players either to or from the players’ homes to practices or games.  Transportation of groups of players to and from games is permitted with parental permission and within CYSA rules. 


On those rare occasions when concerns, complaints or problems are raised that do not seem to be easily dealt with by the involved parties, the TPSC Board has created an Executive Committee to help resolve the issue.  Coaches, parents, players and/or Age Group Coordinators should, as early as possible, request a meeting with at least one of the members of the panel to attempt to resolve the issues. Contact your Age-Group coordinator.  


House teams may enter US Club or CYSA post-season tournaments as available. Deadlines for entry are usually at the end of October.  Interested coaches should contact their Age Group Coordinator in early October.