Coaches Corner

Hello Fellow Coaches!


Coach Manual:

 Please find a link to our Coach’s Manual:

The website is a great source of information for coaches and parents.

Please use it as a reference or direct parents there for additional info. If you have any suggestions, please forward them to us and we will be happy to make adjustments. When corresponding, please include your age group and jersey color.


Uniforms will be distributed on the first day of the season. If your team has any questions about uniforms, the team manager should contact the division coordinator for direction. Coaches will receive a team matching jersey. Cleats are no longer mandatory across all divisions (but proper footwear is). Shin pads are mandatory.

 **All uniforms will be retained by the VRCA to reduce waste and unnecessary costs.  The team manager or Jersey coordinator (if there are enough volunteers) will collect all jerseys at the end of each practice.  Shorts and Socks will no longer be provided.**

Coaching Kits

Will be distributed at the shed before your first game. Each kit, should have a ball for each player and coach, an air pump, whistle, cones, and a first aid kit. If you have any issues, please let me know and we will try and resolve them. We will be asking coaches to sign the kits back in at the end of the season to avoid clogging up your garages in the off season.

Cancellation Policy

We sometimes have a large number of weather-related cancellations. At times, these cancellations were unnecessary as the weather does change quickly in Calgary. While a team can decide to cancel prior to game time, we highly recommend that this decision be made at the field, just in case the weather turns around. Heavy snow days are pretty obvious cancellation-worthy occasions. Coaches, please make contact with the opposition coach to get a better idea as to how you would like to proceed if you are unsure, or are not showing up. The website has our policy in greater detail, which you can direct parents to.

Also, for U4 teams, please note that Wednesday evenings are available from 5:15 to 6:00 p.m. and can be used to make up missed Monday field time. Since the U4 division only plays one night a week, the weather-related cancellations have a greater impact. It is advisable to have the younger kids bundled up, even with toques, in the early weeks given the chilly air.

Field Set Up

Let the parents know that it is appreciated when they can help set-up/tear down the nets (some teams have field set-up coincide with the snack schedule).

– U4 and U5 use larger pug nets.

– U6 and U8 use the smaller metal nets

– U10 use large nets

Outline for Game Days – U4, U5, U6

20 mins of drills/games

5 min break

20 min game

Generally 5 players + 1 goalie(rotation), your choice. U4 – No goalies.

The 2 teams coaches can decide pre-game how many players (with or without goalies) to play with, depending on the turn-out.

Having all players on the field is chaos at any age. However, coaches will be the best judge for the U4 game.

Outline for Game Days – U8, U10

20 mins practice

5 min break

35 min game

Generally – 5 players + goalie

U8 – 4 vs. 4 works well also!

General Rules

Have one coach on the field/sidelines to help with flow and encouragement, while the 2nd coach/parent manages the bench for subs.

U4 – Just have fun. Try and get them to score on the proper net!  Consider using more than one ball on the field to encourage more kids to play.

Throw-Ins – Should we be teaching this as early as U5?

From MVP Soccer: “It is part of the game and so the earlier it is introduced, the more confident the players will be when it becomes a requirement of the game’s rules. However the key consideration is to get the ball back into play and children playing. So if it is easier to play it in with the feet, then so be it.”

Throw-In Technique: When coaching throw-ins, the important consideration is to use two hands and bring the ball from behind the head in one fluid movement while keeping both feet on the floor. Just like being the goalie, each player will want to throw it in. Spread the love.

An idea for Goal/Corner Kicks – “As for goal kicks, our rule was that it didn’t matter who kicked it out behind the goal line, we made it a goalie kick which allowed us to pull players back and give the defending team a chance to regroup and bring the ball down the field.” It’s worth a try.

If you have any questions please contact the Coach Coordinator.

Have a great season! Again your hard work is so important to the kids.

THANK YOU ever so much!!!

Valley Ridge Soccer Club