The role of a Whitehorse United FC Youth Coach

Coaches take on many roles when leading a team. However, youth coaches need to understand their role within the overall player development process. Coaches who understand the player development process and the differences that exist between age and ability characteristics are more likely to positively influence and effect the development of a player.

The role of the Whitehorse United FC Youth Coach based upon the principles of player development are: 

Serve as a facilitator

  • Set up the conditions and environment for learning.
  • The training environment and equipment needs to be safe and age appropriate.
  • Activities need to be engaging for the player with realistic expectations.
  • Design and execute a session plan where the activities and games relate back to the main topic.
  • Players need to receive positive feedback that is clear and specific.• The coach must be enthusiastic.
  • The coach must be able to communicate to individuals that have different learning styles and personalities.
  • Activities need to be geared toward achieving success.
  • Players need to train individually and in a team environment.

As a positive role model

  • Demonstrate respect for team members, opponents, referees, parents, spectators, and opposing coaches.
  • Demonstrate respect for team members, opponents, referees, parents, spectators, and opposing coaches.
  • Demonstrate a responsibility to the game itself.
  • Be prepared – session plans are available from EPIC(WUFC online coaching resource).
  • Dress appropriately and be on time.
  • Use age appropriate language, have compassion and show respect.
  • Use the players name as much as possible, it will help to build a connection.

Understand who you are coaching

  • Recognize the children/players are not defined by chronological age only. They mature and develop at their own pace. There are also growth differences between genders.• Recognize the children/players are not defined by chronological age only. They mature and develop at their own pace. There are also growth differences between genders.
  • Treat each person as an individual.
  • Recognize that every player’s needs are different, and they participate for different reasons (at any level).
  • Recognize that individuals do not all learn the same way. Some players are better at following verbal instructions while others need to see an example of what they should do. Some players need to see and hear to be clear on what they are to do. The coach that recognizes these factors and tailors their coaching to meet the needs of the individual player will help each player reach their best sooner.

The role and responsibilities of a coach associated with a competitive program will be expected to follow and expand upon the principles explained in the document “The role of a Whitehorse United FC Youth Coach”. The coach must also be able to clearly define, deliver and uphold the expectations and standards associated with this program to both the families and the players. It is essential that the coach exemplifies all of the requirements asked thereof. The coach needs to be able to create a learning environment where the players are challenged mentally, physically, technically and tactically on a consistent basis. The coach needs to be able to recognize the specific needs of a player for their development to continue. It is also necessary for the coach to understand when to advance a player and when to reassess a player’s abilities.

Listed below are some other key responsibilities:

  • To clearly demonstrate the concepts and application of soccer techniques and tactics.
  • To clearly demonstrate the concepts and application of soccer techniques and tactics.
  • To maintain current coaching credentials or to seek out coaching certification courses.
  • Have an ongoing education plan that may include attending workshops/seminars or online courses that are specific to working with youth athletes.
  • Works cooperatively with club head coach, technical coordinator, assistant coach, team manger and board members.
  • Is professionally well mannered when interacting with players, parents, members of the community, officials and persons associated with opposing teams.
  • To demonstrate knowledge of current thinking in areas of conditioning, fitness, wellness, nutrition, leadership and program management.
  • To develop a player that can perform and think quickly under pressure with great execution.
  • To design sessions that are “game realistic” that challenge players in limited spaces or with fewer touches.
  • To be able to make the appropriate adjustments or progressions during a session based on the players successes or failures.
  • To be able to maintain an ongoing player development or progression log.
  • To challenge and develop a players decision making abilities by Q&A and problem solving.
  • To introduce and implement the tactical concepts associated with team play.
  • To be able to collaborate with both the club head coach and technical coordinator to select games and tournaments that suit the developmental needs of the player and team.
  • To be able to manage a team when traveling to games or overnight tournaments.
  • To be on time and prepared for each coaching session and available to travel for games and tournaments.

If you are interested in becoming a team manager pass your name along to your child’s coach. Generally, it is the coaching staff who appoints the manager as they will be working closely together. The coach can then pass your name along to the Whitehorse United FC Board for approval. As a note, many team managers stay with a team season after season as it provides continuity for all involved, therefore depending on the team this position may already be filled.

What does a team manager do?


  • Ensure all players are registered with the team properly
  • Send out registration emails/links and following up with players who have not registered


  • As requested by the coach, act as the liaison between coaches and parents regarding team concerns, ie. athlete playing time, schedules, uniforms, travel, etc.
  • As requested by the coach, act as the primary contact for your team/age group 
  • Establish and manage TeamSnap account and/or email standards for all team activities
  • Send out communications to the team regarding start of season dates; times and locations; end of season dates; team fundraising efforts; team travel; club policies; etc.
  • Respond to emails from parents (forwarding concerns to coach, Technical Director and/or board as required)
  • Send out communications from coaches as required
  • Maintain positive and professional communication between coaches, parents, players and club
  • Respond to communications in a timely manner
  • Keep communications concise, fair, accurate and professional at all times  


  • Coordinate fundraising efforts, collect fundraising monies, create fundraising summaries, drop monies to the club for depositing
  • Forward summaries to the treasurer for accurate record keeping and account balance updating
  • Relaying account information to parents and players regularly


  • Tournament registration, including uploading rosters
  • Travel arrangements, including booking hotels and car rentals, itineraries, meals, etc.
  • Request travel deposits (account top-ups)
  • Create player cards and acquire signatures from YSA as required
  • Acquire medical and travel consent forms
  • Manage travel documents and insurance needs
  • Travel with the team when possible and manage team expenses by paying for team expenses, keeping all receipts and submitting trip expense breakdown for reimbursement upon return


  • Assist with uniform needs by ensuring players are purchasing correct pieces in accordance with WUFC standards
  • Act as liaison between parent/player and uniform supplier, as required


  • Attend coaches and managers meetings as required
  • Assist with venue/time changes for practices and booking additional practices/games as needed
  • Work with other team managers in regards to joint travel, fundraising, practices, games, training, team building endeavors, etc.
  • Work with club Treasurer regularly in regards to fundraising deposits, account balances, travel reconciliation, etc.
  • Provide input on club policies as per board’s request 


  • Complete Respect in Sport training as soon as assuming the role of team manager
  • Occasionally the role of manager can be stressful and you may have negative interactions – it is important to remain professional at all times as you are representing the club as a whole
  • Must review/draft communication responses with the coach and/or Technical Director that are more serious in nature, as well as CC one or both so that communications have been reviewed prior to sending and all team parties (coach, manager, and Technical Director as required) are communicating in a concise, unified manner
  • Occasionally, matters will need to be passed on to WUFC Board for review prior to any further communication going out