How do we run pro clinics and team practices for U9 and above?
Pro clinics are run like the U6-U8 practices, with Brendan distributing a practice plan prior to the practice and leading the coaches through it at the start of the clinic. There is less direction (and therefore more flexibility) for team practices. You can repeat exercises from the pro clinic. Or you can create your own practice plan from exercises in the coaches section, tailored to your team. Note that you will not have access to the Pugg goals for team practices; some coaches purchase their own.
Do we need to reserve fields for team practices for U9 and above? How and when do we do this?
Coaches do not need to reserve fields for pro practices and games; this is done by LUSC. However, they do need to request field space for their team practices with the field scheduler. This should be done before the season starts, but can be changed during the season if space permits. Consider reserving a field alongside another team from your division, so you can join up and support each other as needed.
What are the differences in the various fields around Lexington?
Besides location, fields will vary by what types of games they support and type of surface. For example, Lincoln fields have artificial turf, which means they are playable even after a heavy rain, but the smooth surface changes the ball dynamics from natural grass. Also be sure to note on the schedule when some fields might be going offline for maintenance or conflicting events.
What happens to evening practices as the days grow shorter?
LUSC will have access to lighted fields later in the fall season when the sun sets early. The schedule will be reworked at that time, although effort is made to keep practices on the same day.
I can’t make soccer three times a week. Should I still coach?
Having more coaches on a team makes it easier for everyone. Missing the pro clinics but supporting the team practices is still a big boost for the other coaches, so please consider volunteering even if you cannot make every meeting.
For Division Directors
What is the maximum team size for U9 and U10 (7v7 games)?
Ideally, the maximum team size is 12 for Division 1 and 2 travel teams, and 13 for Division 3 and 4 travel teams and for In-town teams. Players are getting more serious now, and attendance is close to 100% for games barring bad weather and holidays. Having 14 or 15 players on a team makes it harder on the coaches to manage substitutions and ensure a player is not sitting too long.
How do I get more coaches to volunteer?
The coaching attrition from U8 to U9 is much greater than the U7 to U8 transition due to the greater commitment of U9. One thing to do is to encourage coaches to bring parents on as unofficial assistants in U8, so they get a taste of coaching before they might be asked to volunteer in U9. Another thing is to encourage coaches to volunteer even if they cannot make it to all soccer sessions. Very few coaches will be able to make all practices and games, and letting hesitant volunteers know that it’s okay if they miss some meetings will get more to volunteer.
BAYS Zero Tolerance and Player Safety
Please see our BAYS Zero Tolerance and Player Safety page for some FAQs addressing the appropriate response for a coach who is concerned about players being injured due to rough play.