If you are the trainer for numerous teams who require your assistance on game-day make sure you give the ref your pass personally and ask for it back at the end of the game. Be sure to manage the teams passes if required to do so (typically a team manager handling is better). Be aware of which days and which teams you have games for so you can organize the passes the day before and place them where you won't forget them. Turning up to games without your teams passes can also end in a forfeit according to some league rules.

Parent Coaches

The relationship you build with your parent coach (if your team has one) will determine the outcome and the future of the team you're training.

It's important to be on the same page with the coach so that there isn't a conflict of interest with the team. It is best to discuss a philosophy and style of play your team will strive for prior to the season and. Coaching roles and responsibilities can differ from team to team. Some parent coaches will want to take a backseat and allow the trainer to be in charge of the whole process during gamedays. Some coaches look to be heavily involved during game-days. It is typically better that you as the trainer instruct the players on the field wherever possible.


Trainer and parents relationships can be very tricky. A lot of parents feel as though because they pay they should have unlimited access to the trainer and also try to force their point of view on soccer on to you. Some parents will become very demanding and try to dictate where their child should play on the team. As the trainer you should be clear in knowing what your plans are the team and its players and that may differ from the view of a parent. Play your players in positions which benefit the team and do not waiver from your decision, but look to explain your decision if approached.

As a trainer if there are any issues during games or after games I will tell my players to approach me and not to run to their parents who will then approach you, build a relationship with your players to the point where they will become comfortable in approaching you about soccer related issues. If players or parents do have an issue during or directly after the game ask them to adhere to the 48 hour rule (address any situation 48 hours after the game). This rule gives everyone the opportunity to calm down and to think logically.  When dealing with the parents remember to address them respectfully as the topics you'll be speaking on with parents tend to be sensitive subjects.

Arrival times

Work with your parent coach (if relevant) to clearly detail player arrival times to the team and their families. Arrival times are typically between 30 and 60 minutes prior. Gaige the general punctuality of your team and assign extra time accordingly. Plan your warm up and cool down sessions prior to arriving and look to gradually assign team captains the responsibility of setting up equipment and where you feel comfortable, running warm up.

Team meetings

Team meetings are generally used when attending a tournament. They provide an ideal great situation to go over team goals and tactics. Team meetings will usually be mandatory and just for players and coaches.

Topics from practice sessions relayed over into games

A quality  will ensure that the topics and themes within weekly practices carry over into games. There are certain themes which naturally lend themselves to being coached on game day, defensive shape and individual tackling technique are key areas that can clearly stand out when performed correctly. For themes such as combination play it may not be possible to see direct repetition from practice but the principles and techniques taught can still shine thru.

Make sure to challenge your players in games with questions (to subs or pre /post game). Ask if they noticed any of the topics worked on during practices and how they relate to the current game. Reminders of recently worked on topics should be mentioned in pre and post game chats. Also, make sure the parent coach is up to date with the topics so he / she knows what to look for during games.

Watching your team play and use their soccer brains to perform certain skills and situations that you worked on during practices is definitely one of the best feelings in soccer coaching.

Adjustments on the field

This topic separates the good tactical coaches from the not so good ones. While game day coaching it is important to pay attention to both your team and your opponents. Look to make suitable adjustments during games and take time post games to reflect on the changes you made. Of course changes can relate to the players who are on the field, could be tactical or a formation change.

Be aware of where your strong and weak points are on the field and how you may target or counter the respective strengths and weaknesses of your opponents. Again, the need to manage competitiveness and playing time is a common challenge.

In sum, your work in the week is designed to train your team for a positive game-day experience. Game day coaching should be what you look forward to at the end of the week. It's the most fun part of coaching. You get to see if your philosophy is working and if the players are developing in game play. Make the most out of your game-day experiences and learn from your errors in order to become a better game day coach, also look to build and be pleased about your achievements too.

Be a positive role model, be strong in your decisions and look to reflect as to your success after every game.

Brian Emans - 21st September 2015