Sadly, here in the city teams only get one practice.
Some are lucky and get a second slot provided by the city, depending on age of player and availability of the fields.
Some clubs will pay for additional practice space so players are guaranteed two or even three practices.
SFYS does not provide field space, nor allocate practice slots so we can’t ‘do you a favor’ here. Leagues and clubs outside of SF have the luxury of space, less demand on fields, or a greater number of fields open that they can practice comfortably twice, TWICE! So what do we do? What can we do?
In a far away world we will have a 20 field complex busy from 3pm-9pm (just like most other fields in the city) however, until that happens we want to share some ideas…
There are numerous options available to you aside from that ‘beautiful’ practice space you are guaranteed once per week.
Spring Team Clinics
Winter Clinics and other local summer camps.
SFYS offers supplemental programming throughout the year to keep your players on the field when you are unable to. Programming focus varies from players to teams and coaches. Check out the links and see what we have on offer for the coming season. We always have scholarships available and the programming is open to all kids in SF, not just SFYS registered players.
Local partner resources.
Street Soccer Park and High 5 Sports Zone have excellent practice space open to SFYS teams at a reduced fee! Follow the link to find out more information on our sponsorships page on our website and see if you can get some space for the coming season! Tell them SFYS sent you!
Shared Schoolyards. This is a wonderful project that opens up school yards on the weekend, during the school year. There is a really good chance that if your school is not opened up yet, then another local school will be.
Yes, you will probably be playing on black top. We do it every week in our School Soccer programming! The kids aren’t afraid…
Open spaces. SFRPD keep fields open for public use on a first come first served basis. There is a schedule so the same fields are open at the same time each week. Does one of the locations work for your team to meet up for an hour?
Please do not go out there and assume the space is ‘yours’. Don’t set up cones all over the place, but use the space to play. Play scrimmages, invite passers by, and help with the SFYS moto of #PlaySFYS
The beach. Beach soccer. There are miles of beach, especially on Ocean Beach for playing on. The challenge, effort, and skill to play on the beach are completely different to the grass/turf/blacktop game and we love it. The beach doesn’t have opening hours, but you can bet its super busy on a sunny weekend day!
As with the open spaces, you cannot run a formal practice. However, can you put the idea out to your team to meet up and play on the beach? Absolutely. It is a public space, so invite passers by to play, play scrimmages and score some wild bicycle kicks!
So there you have a few ways to get additional play. It requires your commitment as the coach or manager to rally the team and give them the options to meet up and play together. We love the ideas above because they help combine the soccer community with including school mates / team mates / passers by / and complete strangers that come together for SFYS programming. We encourage you to share your activities with other coaches and through #PlaySFYS to help spread the play culture further in SF.
Do you play somewhere else that you would like to share or have some ideas that could help other coaches / players? Please share – firstname.lastname@example.org