Coaches and Managers Meeting
Before the fall and spring seasons, we have a meeting for all U8 coaches and team managers. We’ll explain how the U8 Recreational Program works and answer any questions.
Our club’s philosophy is developmental. Winning is not the goal. The goal is to make sure each player has fun, is safe, and develops as a soccer player. At the U8 age group we focus on developing the individual skills of the players. Players, coaches, and parents should be having fun.
You will receive an email from our registrar with your team roster. Contact all of your parents to give them information about the season, share roster and contact information, confirm contact information for all the familes, and decide how to communicate with the team. U8 rosters are strictly limited to 12 players. With more players, each player does not get enough playing time during the game. We don’t make exceptions to this policy. For liability/insurance reasons, do not let unregistered players participate in your games or practices.
Medical Contact Sheets
You must have a roster and medical contact sheet for each player at every practice and game. The medical forms are given out at the Coaches meeting. If you don’t attend the meeting, contact our registrar to get your forms.
Coach Contact Information
Check that your contact information is correct in sportability. Other coaches may need to contact you to reschedule or cancel a game. Also, if your email address isn’t correct in sportability, you won’t receive coaching announcements. To change your contact information, log in to your sportability account, go to the Team Info section, and click on your name in the Team Contacts section.
Players purchase East Bay United U8 recreational uniforms. The U8 uniforms are the same as the U6 uniforms, so if a player has a U6 uniform that still fits, she/he doesn’t need to get a new uniform. The team Uniform Coordinator gathers requests from the team, fills out the Uniform Order Form (here), emails the form to Soccer Post, and collects payments from the team. Soccer Post will email the Coordinator when the order is ready for pick-up. The Uniform Coordinator goes to Soccer Post, pays for the uniforms, and distributes them to the team.
Note: For U8, it’s ok if two players on a team have the same uniform number.
Players must wear shin guards at all games and practices. Soccer cleats are not required. Turf shoes or sneakers are ok. No baseball cleats or other metal/sharp cleats are allowed. No jewelry is allowed.
At the Coaches Meeting, teams are given ten size 3 soccer balls. Each team also gets a $75 equipment allowance to spend at Soccer Post. To use the equipment allowance, email the Equipment Order Form (here) to Soccer Post. Soccer Post will reply when your order is ready for pickup. Soccer Post will record your purchase and bill us, so you don’t need to pay for anything as long as you’re under the $75 allowance. In addition to the items on the order form, you can use the $75 to purchase any other coach-related items that Soccer Post has in stock. You must do this in one visit to Soccer Post. Soccer Post won’t keep a running tab of what each team has spent. “Coach-related items” means you can’t buy things like personal apparel, cleats, referee equipment, gum, etc. For items not on the order form, please do NOT ask Soccer Post to order items which they don’t have in stock.
During the fall season, U8 teams have one practice per week on a weekday. All U8 practices are scheduled at specific EBU U8 fields. Please go to the Fields tab on our website to request a practice time and location. The Field coordinator will then make assignments and send out a practice schedule.
Teams are split into flights based on experience and skill level. There are usually three flights. The Red flight is for 2nd year/more skilled teams. The White flight is for mixed-age teams. The Blue flight is for 1st year/less skilled teams. Coaches can request a flight when they register the team. We make the initial flights, track the game results for the first 3 weeks, then move teams between flights as needed. After the first 3 weeks, we don’t keep track of U8 game results.
U8 coaches are required to have either an NSCAA State level or the equivalent CYSA F coaching license. Our club will host many NSCAA courses, including the State level. If you don’t have a license at the start of the season, you can start coaching and take the next available licensing course.
Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA)
Our club is very committed to the principles of the Positive Coaching Alliance. See www.positivecoach.org for more information. Every coach must have attended a PCA session one time (not once per season). At least one parent from each family must have attended a PCA session at some point. Attending a PCA session for another sport fulfills the requirement.
- No matter what age or skill – we are teaching children to play a game!
- Children like to be active; action is one of the main attractions to soccer.
- Children develop at different rates physically, mentally and emotionally.
- Every child must be treated equally and with respect.
- Expect good manners from all children.
- Let the children enjoy the game.
- Leave your natural competitiveness elsewhere.
Your Players Need You To:
- Look for aspects to praise
- Be helpful, encouraging and supportive
- Emphasize fun, development not winning
- Give a clear idea of the behavior you expect – in practice and games
- Praise good behavior quickly
- Remember making mistakes is a necessary part of learning
- Be patient and have realistic expectations
- You need to be: Positive, Patient, Prepared, Proactive
Basic Skill Development
- Have realistic expectations. Set attainable goals.
- Underlying objective is to develop both feet.
- Ball control/dribbling
- Kicking (initially teach the in step kick)
- Trapping/First touch
- Kick Ins
- Basic Defensive play
- Be prepared. Plan your practice. Keep it simple.
- Progression … individual skill – group work – team
The Practice Routine
- Be prepared. Plan your practice. Keep it simple.
- Progression: individual skill -> group work -> whole team
- Before each practice establish a theme (ex: focus on a particular skill or aspect of the game)
- Step 1. Begin Practice (stretch, socialize, and introduce theme). Socialize: allow each player to participate. 5 min.
- Step 2. Basic skill work/Fun Games focused on developing skills/1 vs 1. Teaching involves: hearing, seeing, visualizing, verbalizing (saying buzz words out load), Speaking and Doing. 20 min.
- Step 3. Small Sided games (ex: 2vs2, 3vs3) 20 min.
- Step 4. Team Scrimmage/Game Prep. 10 min.
- Step 5. Cool down/stretch/ End practice (review and compliment) 5 min.