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Coach FAQs

Coach FAQ's

Q: I'm interested in coaching and/or I have questions about coaching or the coaching program. Whom can I contact?
A: The Regional Coach Administrator for AYSO Region 418 is Jeric Johnson. You can reach him via email at We welcome any and all inquiries about coaching in our region, so please do not hesitate to contact our Coach Administrator!

Q: Can I coach in AYSO if I've never coached soccer before? What if I've never played?
A: Yes! No playing experience necessary. We will train you, and we will provide you the resources you need. Please see our Volunteer page and our Coach Training page for current information on training and certification opportunities. For coach resources, please see next question.

Q: Do I need to conduct a practice? How to pick a practice time? Where do I conduct my practice? How do I handle player practice conflicts?
A: For U6, there is no need for a separate practice day or location. The entire U6 program takes place on Saturday. Your team will have a one hour time slot, of which 30 minutes will be a practice and 30 minutes a game. Both the practice and the game occur on the same field.

For U8 and above, we ask that coaches conduct a separate practice. You are not required to practice at the fields at Margate Park. You can conduct your practice anywhere you like, but please note that you may need to get a permit or permission from whomever manages the field. AYSO does not have any permit / permission arrangements with any parks, schools or other fields, other than the fields at Margate Park. Furthermore, we do not reserve practice times / locations at Margate Park.

Practices at U8 and above should be approximately one hour long. The day and time of your practice is ultimately at the discretion of you, the coach. We recommend that you try to identify 2-3 days/times that work for you, and then work with your families to figure out which one works best for all of you. That said, if you as the coach have only one day/time that works for you, then set that as your practice day/time.

If there are any players who can't make that practice time and would like to be switch to a team with a different practice time, please notify your Division Administrator. If and ONLY IF there is a player on a team that can be swapped 1-for-1 for your player, then we will move players around. No exceptions.

Q: Can you recommend some websites for me to learn more about coaching youth soccer?
A: Please check out our Coach Resources page for some great materials and practice games / drills.

Q: How much training is involved?
A: For the lower divisions, U6-U12, total training time runs 3-5 hours. That's all AYSO requires in order for you to obtain your basic coach certification.

Q: Who oversees the Coaching Program?
A: The coaching program is delegated by the Regional Commissioner to the Regional Coach Administrator and the Regional Coach Trainer, who oversee all facets of our coaching program and report to the Regional Commissioner and Regional Board. Aiding the Regional Coach Administrator is the Coach Advisory Board, which is made up of volunteer coaches, some with many years of experience, and some who are new coaches, advise and assist the Regional Coach Administrator. If you are interested in joining the Coach Advisory Board, please contact the Regional Coach Administrator at Lastly, each age division has a Division Administrator who assigns coaches to teams, assigns players to teams and handles all division administrative matters.

Q: Does AYSO provide coach training equipment? Cones? Soccer Balls?
A: AYSO does not provide much training equipment. When you pick up your uniforms, the box will also contain 1 ball, 6 disc cones, a ball pump and a first aid kit. At the U10, U12 and U14 levels, the box will also contain one goalkeeper jersey and one set of gloves. Any additional equipment must be provided by the coach. We recommend that you have at least 20 cones and 3-4 extra age-appropriate-sized soccer balls. Anything else is at your discretion. You can obtain additional cones and balls at any sporting goods store, including Chicago Soccer, where you will pick up your uniforms.

Q: I'm a coach, and I'm interested in getting more involved with coaching at the regional level. What can I do?
A: No matter what your experience level is, you might be a good candidate for the Coach Advisory Board, which assists and advises the Regional Coach Administrator. If you are an experienced coach, and you either have your U12 Coach Certificate or are willing to obtain it, then you might be a good candidate to become a Coach Instructor. Coach Instructors are experienced coaches who are authorized to conduct Coach certification courses.