Know Your Role: Managers Edition

Team managers are one of the most important and unrecognized parts of a team. They are the glue that holds a team together. It does not matter if you are managing an under-9 girls team or an under-15 boys team the job is just as important to both. As a manager you have an extremely important part in the success of your team so it is vital that you know your role, responsibilities, and have an understanding of what it takes to be a successful team manager.

Role

The role of the manager is to be the liaison for the team. You are the liaison between the coach and the parents as well as liaison for your team with any competitions you are participating in. It is your job to keep the team running smoothly by looking out for the parents’ concerns while allowing the coach to do their job. Coaches come to practice to coach, not to talk to parents. If a parent has concerns over their child’s development or playing time then that is a conversation to be had between the parent and coach. The daily gripes of the team parents however, are for the manager to either sort out or to bring to the coach’s attention at the appropriate time.

Understand that you are not the coach. You are the manager. As the manager you are in charge of all of the team’s administrative functions. The team manager and coach are a team within the team. Together they keep the team functioning. The coach is in charge of the game. The manager is in charge of the paperwork and welfare of the team families. If you and your coach have a clear understanding with one another the team will function as it is suppose to.

The keys to being successful in this role are communication, dedication, organization, and knowing your team. A lot of responsibility is placed upon team managers and if you do not possess all four of those qualities it will be easy for you to faulter.

Responsibilities

Depending on the club’s expectations of you, a team manger can be asked to wear many, many hats. As a team manager, you can count on being a treasurer, scheduling coordinator, and registrar in the very least.

At the beginning of the season you are responsible for registering players to the team at or after tryouts and from there it is your job to register the team for any and all tournaments/competitions. Player cards, rosters, and score cards are also part of the registrar’s responsibilities. Be sure to maintain all team records, results, and information relevant to competition throughout the year.

Your club should have an official treasurer, but at some point you will be in charge of handling and keeping track of your team’s finances. The collection of monthly club fees can be a pain, but someone has to do it and chances are it’s you.

As scheduling coordinator, you are in charge of scheduling practices and also securing practice fields if your club does not provide a secure location every week. This can be a hassle coordinate with what’s easiest for the coach and what works for the parents, and chances are you won’t please everyone. You will be in constant communication with your team regarding practice time and game schedules.

 

Being a team manager can be overwhelming, but just remember that you are there to help the team be successful.

Parental Guide to Youth Soccer Tryouts

It comes around every year, bringing parents nothing but stress and anxiety, the dreaded soccer tryout. Tryouts can be just as stressful for the parents as it is for the players. As parents all you want is the best for your children so you want to see them succeed. How they perform at tryouts is up to them, but there are a few things you can and should do to help them be successful in their tryouts. This year, keep your stress level to a minimum and your support to a maximum by following this parental guide to competitive youth soccer tryouts…

1) Register Early

You don’t want little Jack to have to spend the first 20 minutes of his tryout sitting next to you on the sideline as you fill out paperwork because you forgot to do it before hand.

2) Be Realistic

Being realistic and honest with yourself as well as with your child is the most important thing you can do before, during, and after tryouts. From watching countless hours of your child playing soccer, you know how they compare to their peers. Do not set little Jack up for failure by pushing him to believe he should be on the A team when in reality his skills would be better suited for the C team.

3) Talk to Your Child

Tryouts for youth are just as emotional as they are physical. Communicate the possibility of getting cut. It’s not the end of the world if they don’t make the squad, but they might feel like it is. So mentally prepare them for either outcome just to be safe. Remember that your attitude will reflect in your child’s attitude so stay positive.

4) Have Options

Trying out for multiple teams is always good practice. Even if a coach has already guaranteed your child a spot on the team before tryouts have taken place, it is still a good idea to tryout with at least one other club if not two. This is a general rule to follow every year. By doing this you familiarize yourself and little Jack with other coaches and clubs. This extra tryout could lead to invitations for Jack to guess play with other teams as well. At the end of the day though, it’s always good to have options.

5) Coaching is Key

There are a lot of good coaches out there and there are some bad ones as well. Some coaches stress winning while other coaches focus on player development and every coach has their own unique style. Before you commit to a team be on the same page as the coach, because if the coach’s style isn’t what you were looking for or not what Jack responds to than you’re in for a long season. To know if this coach would good for your child to play for talk to the coach and to players/parents that have experience with the coach too.

Follow these five guidelines and tryouts will be easier on both you and your child.