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American Youth Soccer Organization Providing world class youth soccer programs that enrich children's lives.

Central Michigan AYSO Region 862



All AYSO coach volunteers must complete the following:

• Current AYSO Volunteer Form (online)
• Safe Haven Training (online)
• CDC Concussion (online)
• Sudden Cardiac Arrest (online)
• AYSO Coach Training (Team's Age Division appropriate)
 U10 & above requires field training and online training
Online training and certification at AYSOU

To Volunteer as Head Coach. You will need to log in to your account, click the Volunteer Tab, then the Volunteer Button on the bottom which will direct you to navigate to (2023-2024 Soccer Season), Click (View Divisions) under here navigate to the age division and region you want to volunteer as Head Coach. Check the box and select, this will volunteer you in the appropriate team. 
Once you have volunteered, under your account and the volunteer tab you will see the courses that you need to take and if they have been completed.
We as a region will pay for your background check.

To access AYSOU training courses online. Go under your Account, Volunteer Tab, on the Right will be a button (AYSOU). This will take you to the online training courses, search under Training for the needed courses for your division. After you complete the Head Coach training, be sure to download and save your PDF manual for coaching as it has valuable information and sample drills for you to use.



Playing soccer is FUN. Children love free-play. It enhances the development of individual and cooperative DECISION MAKING, crucial to the flow of the game. Adults can help this development by not shouting negatively from the sideline. Shouting divides the player's attention away from the action on the field. Allow the children to make their own on-the-field decisions. 

Your objective as coach must be to facilitate the development of players to play attractive soccer. Attractive soccer is the skillful / cooperative actions of ALL players on a team to maintain possession of the ball with accurate passes to each other using ALL areas of the field in a concerted effort to maneuver the ball toward the opponents goal and SCORE. If we are ultimately working toward well-paced ball circulation, then 1st touch (reception) ball control is our highest priority. Formulate your coaching methods with that technical skill as the primary objective. A well executed reception, turn and pass has much more value than a ball kicked with reckless abandon and no target in mind.

Go out there and have fun!

Managing a Blowout

AYSO is for your kids to learn soccer, not to win games at any cost. The biggest win for AYSO is when our kids have fun learning the beautiful game of soccer.

Blowouts (unbalanced games) hurt all of us. Players get discouraged, parents get upset, coaches complain, players & parents leave AYSO and we have fewer teams. Let's all work to prevent blowouts and maximize balanced games.

If a team wins over another team by 5 or more goals, that's a blowout.

Winning games is fun, but the biggest win is when all of our kids learn to be better soccer players. That's why many of us are in AYSO and not some other league. It's for our kids, not for maximizing game wins. If we wanted to maximize wins for a team, we would stack teams. But where is the sport (and learning) in that?

Kids learn best when they are challenged, have fun, and experience success as well as failure. That is the primary goal of AYSO's Balanced Teams philosophy. Games that are blowouts are a loss for both teams. For the team that "lost" it can be disheartening and frustrating. For the team that "won", the players were not challenged and so did not learn as much from the game as they could have. Plus a game is no fun if it is too easy to win every time -- it becomes boring. Ideally only well matched (balanced) teams will play each other. Since this is not always possible it is important for every youth sports team to have a blowout  strategy.

In AYSO we work hard to Balance Teams so that every game should be a challenge with a good chance of winning some and losing some. However, successful balancing, despite the heroic efforts of our division coordinators, is sometimes impossible to achieve because:
- players develop at different rates and in unexpected ways,
- some teams click and some don't,
- player ratings from prior seasons are sometimes inaccurate or missing,
- players are constrained by when and where they can practice,
- sometimes parents pressure coordinators to put friends on the same team,
- we don't have time or resources to assess all the players at the beginning of each season to figure out how to balance teams better.

We rely on our coaches at game time to be our last defense to ensure that AYSO achieves Balanced Teams (as well as Everyone Plays, Good Sportsmanship, Positive Coaching, and  Player Development).

A blowout situation is when good coaches really shine -- demonstrating Good Sportsmanship and great AYSO values by being exemplary role models with mature attitudes. Players and parents will do as their coach does.

It is the coaches' responsibility to recognize the signs of an impending blowout and work together to make sure blowouts are minimized -- although it is most incumbent on the "winning" coach/team.

Here are some techniques the stronger team can use to prevent blowouts as well as better improve their skills:
- Positions -- Put players in positions where they are least comfortable (most challenged), play strong scorers as defense or goal keeper, play weak scorers as forwards and mids.
- Opposition – If a player has scored 3+ goals already and your team is way ahead, be sure to sit that player for at least a quarter. If that is not an option; try telling that player to pass the ball to a teammate to score or put them on the defensive side. At no time should a player be scoring 5-8 goals a game! Letting that player play the entire game if you have subs is a sign of poor sportsmanship.
- Passing -- Must complete 5, 10, or more passes before shooting.
- Passing -- All passes must be done with the players' weaker (off) foot- Shooting -- Only take shots from outside the opponents penalty area
- Shooting -- Each player can only score 1-2 goals, must pass to a player that has not yet scored for a shot
- Shooting -- Only 1 designated player can take shots until they score once, then another player becomes the designated shooter
- Shooting -- All shots must be with the players' weaker (off) foot
- Ball control -- Players must only use their weak (left) foot for dribbling, passing, and shooting
- Do two or more of the above at the same time

These techniques will force your players to play harder and learn more in the process. It is after all just a game and they are likely to have more fun too. 

Every game is an excellent learning opportunity. Please help your team by making the most of each one.

A special note for the coach of the "losing" team: your approach and attitude can turn a loss into a win for the kids. If they are able to shrug it off and have fun anyway, you are a great coach!

Coach Tips


Coaching AYSO soccer is about the kids having fun and developing their skills. 

How Should You Coach a Game?
Your conduct, mandated by AYSO, is to be:

• positive
• instructional
• encouraging
• let them play

kids zone

Coach Admin


Coaching Questions or Concerns:

Coach Administrator