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



Coaching children is a very rewarding experience. And coaching your own child’s team can be one of the most rewarding experiences of all! Coaches are pivotal to having children get the AYSO experience. If Regions don’t have enough coaches, registration is scaled back, and kids who want to play in AYSO are turned away.

Do you have little or no experience with soccer? No problem! AYSO will teach you based on the age level you are coaching. Unique age-appropriate coach training is one of AYSO’s specialties. If you plan to be at your child’s soccer practices and games, you’ll also have time to be your child’s coach.

Coaches are essential to the game. They teach children soccer skills and help develop a healthy, positive attitude, teamwork and good sportsmanship. Coaching is a rewarding experience because you have the opportunity to build a child’s self-esteem, help them learn new skills and just have a lot of fun.

To be an AYSO coach, you must complete three easy steps:

1.)  Complete Volunteer Form Online 

  • Log in to Sports Connect  (can use same userID/Password that was used to register your child) 
  • Select Volunteer from menu on left-hand side of dashboard. 
  • Select Find Volunteer Roles 
  • Find Head Coach (or Assistant Coach), and select SIGN UP 
  • Complete the Volunteer Form as prompted 

2.)  Complete Background Check

After registering as a Coach, you will receive an automated email from Sterling Volunteers to complete your background check.  Simply follow the instructions provided in the email to complete the background check.  The $25 fee will be payed by Hopkins AYSO to complete the background check.  It is important that this is done as soon as possible as it often takes a few weeks for the cleared background check to come back.  For the safety of our players, coaches cannot hold practices until their background check has cleared. 

3.)  Complete Certification and Training

All Coaches and Referees must be trained and certified to comply with AYSO’s SAFE HAVEN Policy. The SAFE HAVEN Policy complies with the CHILD PROTECTION ACT OF 1993 (volunteer screening) and the VOLUNTEER PROTECTION ACT OF 1997 (this provides protection to volunteers from lawsuits as long as they are trained and certified, following their job description, and are acting within the scope of AYSO’s policies, procedures, and guidelines).  All Coaches and Referees must also be trained and certified in Concussion Awareness, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and Stewards of the Game.  These trainings are available online and can be completed within the Sports Connect portal.  These training sessions are required every few years, so be sure to check your certification status each year to make sure you’re current (items with a checkmark with a circle around it are current, items with the yellow triangle with the exclamation mark in the middle need to be completed).

  • Log in to Sports Connect  (can use same userID/Password that was used to register your child) 
  • Select Volunteer from menu on left-hand side of dashboard. 
  • Select the "AYSOU" button on the far right-hand side of the screen. 
  • A new window will open with AYSOU.  This is where all of your online training will be completed.  Under "My Training" there should be the following modules to complete (if needed):  Safe Haven, Stewards of the Game, Concussion Awareness, and Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  Complete these trainings at your own pace.  As long as these modules are completed prior to starting practice, you're all set.

 Optional: attend a local age-specific coaching course. It’s only a few hours, it's FREE (Hopkins AYSO will cover any registration fees), and you’ll learn how easy it is to provide a great learning experience for our kids!  Available coaching courses can be found under "In Person Training" on the website.  If you need help finding a course, please contact your Coach Administrator (Ashlee Lust - [email protected]).

For RETURNING Coaches:  The AYSOU Training courses need to only be completed once every few years.  Please check the "My Training" page on your AYSOU profile each year when you complete the volunteer form to ensure you're up to date on your trainings.  Also, please consider taking additional training courses as needed as you and your child move up through the divisions.

AYSO Coach Welcome Packet

Coach Manuals & Training

COVID-19 Return to Play Coaching Activities
Ages 5-8
Ages 9-12
Ages 13+

Traditional Play Coaching Activities:
U5 Coaches Refer to U6 Coach Manual
U6 Coach Manual
U8 Coach Manual
U10 Coach Manual
U12 Coach Manual
Intermediate Coach Manual
Advanced Coach Manual

Drills, Training Plans, & Resources

Sample Practice Plans - Includes Fun, Age Appropriate Games/Drills (kids learn soccer skills best while having fun!!)

Sample U6 Practice/Drill Schedule
Sample U8 Practice/Drill Schedule

These are only sample schedules.  Ultimately, it is up to each individual coach to decide on a practice plan that works best for your team.  These sample schedules are simply provided to help provide an array of options for teaching various soccer skills to your players.  Look for feedback from your team to see which drills/games they enjoy.  Players will absorb the soccer skills best when they are participating in an activity that they ENJOY!  These schedules and drills can be used for younger and older divisions as well, just tweak for the number of players you have on your team and the length of your practices. 

Coaches Corner

AYSO Lineup Cards PDF – This pdf may be useful for coaches of older divisions to create your lineups. Tip… Fill out the first form with player info. Then, print out multiple copies for the rest of the year, and leave them in your coaching bag. Then, on Game Day, just fill in the date, field, and opposing team info.

AYSO Online Training

AYSO Incident Report Form (Safety Coordinator: Tiffany Jablonski)

National Partners

Contact Us

Hopkins AYSO Region 1350, 1350
Hopkins, Michigan 49328

Email Us: [email protected]
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