Fundamental Youth Soccer

What To Do On Game Day

Coach (Game Day) Pre-Game


  • Arrive early
  • Check weather and field conditions
    • Establish team sideline area
  • Greet team manager
    • Check equipment and paperwork. Game card, player passes, etc.
  • Greet players
    • Check equipment & injuries
    • Pre-name team captains (each player should get that honor)
    • Have your starting line-up ready and substitutions scheduled
    • Rotate all players through the goalkeeper position during the season
  • Greet opposing coach
  • Greet game officials
    • Prepare players for equipment check, players pass check and coin toss

Pre-Game Warm-Up Routine

  • Prepare players Mentally and Physically
  • Mental…
    • Give specific game instructions to: Individuals, Groups and Team
    • Motivate – review game assignments
  • Physical…
    • Assign light running
    • Assign stretching without bouncing
    • Provide gradual build-up toward game action
    • Team Cheer


  • Become an observer!
  • Look for strengths and weaknesses in your team
  • Look for strengths and weaknesses in the opposing team
  • Take notes of the strengths and weaknesses
  • Keep accurate time of everyone playing 50% of the game
  • Prepare to make adjustments at half time


  • Gather the team in a defined, secluded area
    • Allow players to relax .. and seek feedback
    • Encourage players to replenish liquid
    • Check for injuries
    • Give specific adjustments to:
      1. individuals
      2. group
      3. team (as necessary)
    • Give / Review 2nd half assignments
    • Show enthusiasm and support


  • Continue to observe
    • Substitute at appropriate times so that everyone plays 50% of the game
    • Look for major weaknesses in team
    • Write down the weaknesses
    • Prepare to improve those weaknesses at the next practice session

Soccer coaches are traditionally great observers.
They seldom become emotionally involved in the action – they avoid managing players not do they assess or assist the referee!


  • Thank the game officials
    • Check game card for accuracy – usually kept by the Referee
    • Get players passes for safe storage and next game
  • Thank and Praise your players and ask them to “Cool Down”
    • Replenish liquids (more water)
    • Have the players Cool Down: Mentally & Physically
  • Thank the opposing coach and players
    • Remind your players to “thank” the opponents
  • Thank and help the team manager
    • Leave the facilities cleaner than when you arrived
    • Players, Parents & Team Manager should help!
    • Join the players at the post-game social event, regardless of the score

Start preparing for the next practice session!