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Coaching Philosophy

The coach is at the heart of our player’s success in life and soccer. We share the important responsibility to develop our players to be outstanding soccer players and individuals. We submit the following game plan, which will achieve this goal through a common philosophy and style of play. 

  1. Respect the sport and share your love and excitement with players and families. Promote the lifelong enjoyment of the sport by modeling positive behavior and being a positive role model for our players.
  2. Put players first and develop their character; keep in mind that your players need to be the center of attention and be committed to what is best.
  3. Promote a positive environment while boosting the confidence of each player; win, lose, or draw. All coaches and staff are to provide a positive psychological motto for our players while constructive criticism is encouraged only at the right time and place.
  4. Provide functional and fun exercises within organized training and practice sessions so that players learn and are excited to return to the field.
  5. Help players shorten and ease the learning trial-and-error process by focusing on effort first and embracing their mistakes. Help players embrace a growth mindset where their mistakes allow them to see growth opportunities.
  6. Ensure our players receive a well-rounded soccer experience by playing all positions and receiving at least 50% playtime.
  7.  Uphold the highest level of moral and ethical conduct and sportsmanship toward parents, players, officials, and clubs at all times.
  8. Build a partnership with all players and be willing to listen to all of them, hear criticism, and respond by acting rather than reacting.
  9. Teach all aspects of the sport in both practice and game; technical, tactical, physical, and mental toughness. Take time for teachable moments and approach them through a growth mindset. 
  10. Develop players by focusing on technical and tactical skills. We will utilize coherent lesson plans to introduce them and exercises to practice and perfect them. Practices need to be organized around the required repetition for each and every player. Player development and engagement is the primary objective and winning is the intended by-product but should not be the main focus.
  11. Select and train only the highest quality coaches that promote our club’s philosophy and curriculum. Our hiring process is technical and tactically challenging and cultural fit is of paramount importance. We believe that our coaches will provide top quality coaching experience for every player and team. 

Style of Play

We will utilize a possession style of play that focuses on 360° short passes to build, possess, penetrate, and score. Just as important is teaching our players how to think strategically about defense exploitation. We will not be rigid in our approach and embrace an attacking mentality using through balls and quick counterattacks when appropriate. This approach requires mental toughness, concentration, and physicality on and off the ball. We will primarily use zones to defend and utilize our goalkeepers as a “relief valve” when a defender is under pressure. The style should be flexible and allows for individual freedom.

Coach Committment

As a coach, I acknowledge that I am a role model and play an important part in the development of our players on and off the field. I am an impactful person in shaping a youth’s success and confidence. How I approach games, practices, and the overall experience will greatly influence our youth’s understanding and enjoyment of the game of soccer, their desire to continue to play, and their ultimate success in the sport. I acknowledge that my job is not only to teach the game of soccer but also to teach life lessons through the game of soccer, including integrity, fairness, respect, hard work, sportsmanship, leadership, and overcoming challenges. I also acknowledge that when at practice, at games and when dealing with parents regarding Club matters, I represent SYSA and will do so with the highest level of respect for the game, referees, opposing teams, players, and parents. 

As part of this acknowledgment, I pledge to: 

  • Learn the rules of the game and teach the rules of the game to my players. I realize that referees are people, they make mistakes and I will teach my players to honor the game and not blame the referee for the outcome. I will not interact with a referee in a degrading manner. 
  • Protect the health and safety of my players by insisting activities are conducted for their physical and psychological well-being. 
  • Prepare for practices with a well thought out practice plan. I will arrive early to set up and greet my players with an engaging activity to welcome them to practice. I will complete practice on time in order to respect the lives and commitments of my player’s family. 
  • Set a good example for players and fans to follow by refraining from arguments in front of players and fans and always holding myself to the highest standards of morale and ethical conduct. 
  • Shake the hands of the opposing coaches and officials prior to the game and lead my players to be good sportsmen after the game by shaking the other team’s hands, wishing them the best, and by thanking the official for officiating the game. 
  • Win modestly like ladies and gentlemen and lose like a champion by walking with confidence to overcome our obstacles. 
  • Hold a parent meeting at the beginning of the season to review the parent meeting checklist found on our website. 
  • Provide regular feedback to parents in a positive and constructive manner so that there are no surprises at the end of the year regarding placement and progress. 
  • Address parents in a respectful manner and try to encourage them to be positive and supportive versus critical of their son or daughter. 
  • Adhere to a ratio of 5 positives for every 1 constructive criticism. I recognize boosting confidence and morale is an important part of an athlete’s psyche, their desire to play, and their ability to confidently express themselves and expand their horizons. 
  • Use encouragement and positive reinforcement as your primary method of motivating.* 
  • Learn to give “kid-friendly criticism,” such as providing feedback in private, asking permission if they want feedback, using the Criticism Sandwich (where you sandwich the meat of criticism between two positive comments) and avoiding even constructive criticism in non-teachable moments.* 
  • Place development ahead of my personal desire to win. I will focus on rotating players to various positions and I will provide at least 50% playtime to those who attend practice, maintain a positive attitude, and put forth their best effort. I will reward the effort put forth by my players rather than the end result of the game. 
  • Focus on lifelong learning through a growth mindset that recognizes mistakes are teachable moments. I will work with the player to overcome obstacles in a constructive and positive manner through support. I will have effort goals for my players.* 
  • Complete the necessary educational and coach licensing requirements set forth by SYSA for me to be a coach within the organization. 
  • Ensure that I comply with all state and league legal requirements to coach for SYSA-PFC. 
  • Adhere to the mission of SYSA-PFC and will act in the player's and SYSA’s best interests. I will not use equipment or Club property for personal use or for the gain of others outside the organization. 
  • SYSA expects you to be a Double-Goal Coach, who strives to win (one goal), while pursuing the more- important goal of teaching life lessons through sports.