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WAYS Guidelines for BAYS Travel Coaches

Prioritize a positive playing environment and good sportsmanship

Winning is nice but we ask that the primary goal for all coaches is to teach the kids about putting forth your best effort and displaying good sportsmanship. Keep in mind that kids learn important lessons when they lose. Ideally teams win as many games as they lose. Please check your own competitive juices at the door.

WAYS playing time and field position policies – IMPORTANT!!

Remember... its more important to build their confidence than to win the game.  This is a developmental soccer program.

  • Grades 4 and 5 - all players get equal playing time and coaches should try to have all
    players at all the positions, including goalie.
  • Grades 6 to 8 – all players play at least ½ of the game. ​Our objective is that players play
    at least 2 lines (Lines are defense, midfield, and striker). The goal is to develop well
    rounded players.  Don't hinder the development of young players by trying to just win the game.

The challenge of multiple coaches – who takes the lead?

  • One coach needs to take the lead for each team.
  • The first coach listed on your roster is our recommendation for the “head” coach. This person is listed as the contact person for your team in the BAYS web site, as well. However, please work together to fully utilize your individual talents and interests and availability. ​
  • We suggest only two coaches on the game sideline and request no more than three. Please help us to avoid the worst case scenario: multiple coaches on a sideline all yelling at the kids. It looks ridiculous and it is ridiculous! Players get confused and upset when they hear a constant barrage of what can be mixed messages from different coaches. It is not helpful to them and not fair to them. Let the kids play. 
  • Regardless of how many coaches are on the sideline, Only one coach speaks to players while they are on the field 
  • Support and encourage when kids are playing, teach when they are off the field.
  • It is critical that you let kids make their own decisions especially when they have the ball.
  • Please reign in your enthusiasm and let the kids play!

PARENT CONTROL - Coaches coach and parents cheer

  • ​​Let parents know that for the kids’ sake, parents must limit their involvement to cheering, NOT coaching or criticizing.
  • Let them know at the beginning of the season. Do not hesitate to remind parents as necessary.

KID CONTROL: practice and games

A frequent challenge for coaches is managing the behavior of your players. You have volunteered to coach, not babysit at practices!

  • If a child becomes an ongoing problem at practice and is not responding to your efforts to bring him/her under control, call the parents to discuss the situation.
  • If you are at wits end, please also do not hesitate to call a Commissioner or the President to get suggestions or assistance.

WAYS & BAYS Zero Tolerance Policy - IMPORTANT!!

  1. This policy states that no player or parent is to direct any comments to the referee at any time before, during or after a game.
  2. WAYS goes a step further in the WAYS Zero Tolerance Policy to add that no parents/spectators are to address an opposing player or coach either.
  3. Coaches may only ask for subs or point out an injured player on the field.

Consequences, and how to handle issues:

  • Violating this policy will result in action by WAYS, including the possible dismissal as a coach or spectator being banned from attending games if the circumstances warrant.
  • WAYS has a Coaches' feedback about referees button on the website. Communicate concerns about any referee this way, not on the field. The actions of both your players and parents are your responsibility. Please make the WAYS/BAYS Zero Tolerance Policy clear to all at the beginning of the season. Should a parent become a problem during a game, please address him/her directly. If the problem persists, contact a WAYS Commissioner or President.

WAYS Recommended Reading List For Coaches and Parents

  • The Fulfilling Ride: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Athletes Have a Successful Sport Experience, Greg Dale Ph.D. (Duke University)
  • Whose game is it, anyway?, Richard Ginsburg Ph.D. (Harvard Medical School, MGH Sport Psychology Program)


updated 8/24/13