Its that time of year when your team is registered, permits are available in our office, and you begin to plan your season. A sensible question is “what equipment do I need?”
First Aid Kit.
Safety first! Hopefully never used, but always handy.
Include sprayable sunscreen! Extra water too!
Of course, your practice permit and player information handy in case of emergency.
Balls. How many?
How can you play soccer without soccer balls?
1 player, 1 ball. A wonderful ratio. Kids bring their own? Or are you buying them?
Do you have older players, or want to give out some responsibility? Give the kids a ball each to bring with them to each practice (it also reduces the load you carry to and from the field!)
Some coaches like to have game balls. A little more expensive, but nice for games. Personally, I use the balls we practice with.
Everyone plays with a size 4.
EXCEPT 6th-8th grade. Varsity. Upper House 11v11 teams. You play with a size 5.
Cones. How many?
Keep those players in bounds, line out your practice area, set targets for players.
Do you need a huge strap of cones? 20 Yellow, 20 Red etc. is not necessary. Check out the SFYS Curriculum for a season plan and you will see those games require boundary markings and a few cones to create half way lines and other identifiable objectives within the games. Thats it.
I don’t recommend lots of cones because there aren’t lots of cones on the field. In fact there are 0, so I try to have as few as possible.
Would you play Basketball without a hoop?
Silly question I know, but giving the kids a target, a reward for beating the defender or for winning the ball makes total sense. Without a goal for both defenders and attackers, you lose the realism of the game. When you play against other teams and your team wins the ball, you want them to go to goal and score, so having the same situation in practice will help them become familiar with the action of transition.
Check out our BowNet offer
You can always use goals on the field, or cones, or flags without the need to buy goals.
Bibs. Pinnies. How many?
How many players do you have? Half.
My tip. Have your players practice in their game uniform, if possible. They become familiar with their team then, but it also helps to build a soccer experience. Wearing their correct gear, and not Baseball shirts etc. means they are ready for Soccer.
Then, if you wear red shirts, you can get x amount of blue bibs and always have 2 distinguishable teams for scrimmages.
What do you need?
I carry the above gear, but I also have a clip board and marker. The clip board has a soccer field lined on it so I can draw, or have the players draw, whatever it is I am trying to explain.
I wear a hat to protect myself, I don’t carry a chair, and I don’t have one of those trolleys with wheels and a mountain of gear. You can, but consider what you’re using, transporting, and is necessary.
We have several places to recommend:
DICKS Sporting Goods
Don’t forget the GK. Gloves are a welcomed bonus to give to the player in goal, as well as a GK jersey for the ‘special position’. You can use a bib for the GK if you want too. I coached the ‘bulldogs’ so I purchased a cool shirt with a bulldog on it for the goalkeeper. They have to be distinguishable from the rest of the team, so they can always just wear a pinnie, but the GK position is so unique that it can be fun to dress it up!
As long as your kit is the same for all players, and each has a number, you could wear authentic Coventry City shirts, or t-shirts.
Get ordering ASAP if you want kit for the start of the season!!
For the team.
A team bench for your subs to watch the game from and a shade is nice, but it’s more gear, and players can always sit on the grass and watch!
If I haven’t mentioned something you are thinking of, then please email me – firstname.lastname@example.org – and I’ll give you some assistance.
However, I have listed what I use and like to keep it simple!
Good luck and enjoy!