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HCS Coaching Guidelines

Click here to download as a pdf: hcs coaching guidelines.pdf

The Hendricks Community Soccer mission is to provide a family atmosphere where players can learn positive sportsmanship, teamwork, and skills to play soccer.

We expect those who volunteer as Coaches and Assistant Coaches for Hendricks Community Soccer to model our Mission and lead by example.  Here are some guidelines to help you along the way.

The following is expected for all HCS Coaches:

  • Provide a safe playing environment for all players
  • Organize practices that are fun while teaching skills
  • Provide a positive experience for each child and parent
  • Be an example of fair play and good sportsmanship
  • Place the well-being of every child above a personal desire to win
  • Communicate with HCS should problems occur
  • Communicate with parents
  • Do your best to provide equal playing time to all players on the team as much as possible.
  • Enjoy your experience as the coach

Ideals to be learned by all:

  • Teamwork is important
  • Sportsmanship is important
  • Learn to win
  • Learn to lose

HCS Philosophy:

  • The game of soccer should never be about winning or losing.  Winning should always come secondary to the enjoyment of the game.
  • Success is not measured by winning.  Always ask:
    • Are the players having fun?
    • Are the players improving their skills?
  • Players will remember a season more if they have had fun.


  • Set a positive example
  • Be a teacher
  • Know the rules
  • Show respect
  • Make it fun

Player Equipment:

  • All players must provide their own shin guards, and wear them to every practice and every game. Hard surfaces of shin guards must be covered with socks. (Referees will check this). Encourage parents to buy properly sized shin guards that have a hard surface (plastic or fiberglass) and padding to cover the anklebone.  Shin guards should cover the entire shin, from the ankle to the knee.
  • All players must provide their own soccer cleats. No baseball or football cleats, and no metal cleats are allowed. (Referees will check.)
  • Each player should bring a bottle of water to games and practices. Coaches should allow adequate water breaks during practice & bring extra water (some players will always forget to bring water).
  • Each player need to provide his/her own soccer ball.  U4, U5 & U6 use a size 3; U8 - U12 use a size 4; and U14 & older use a size 5 ball.
  • At games, each player must wear their game jersey and socks (provided by HCS), shorts or pants, shin guards, and soccer cleats. (No baseball or football cleats, and no metal cleats allowed. Referees will check.)
  • No jewelry, metal devices, or hazardous equipment may be worn. (Arm casts can be allowed if the player has a doctor’s release, the cast is padded with foam or bubble wrap, and the referee approves it before the game. New piercings that cannot be removed must be covered with a bandaid or medical tape and approved by the referee.)

Coach Equipment:

  • Coaches must carry their team roster during games.
  • It is recommended that coaches have spare shin guards for any player who forgets their pair on game day.
  • It is recommended that coaches have spare soccer balls for practices as well as games.  Please be sure that all balls are inflated and in good condition.
  • It is recommended that coaches have first aid kits in their supply bag. 
  • It is recommended that coaches have cones (at least 10)
  • It is recommended that coaches have pinnies for at least half of their team to use for practice scrimmages.

Safety Rules:

Certain rules must apply regardless of age.
  • Soccer is a game of feet unless you’re a goalkeeper; encourage players to keep their hands down.
  • Encourage players to stay on their feet during play. 
  • A soccer ball is meant to be kicked, not players.
  • Inspire players to work as a team.

The Importance of Warming Up Before Playing:

At age 8 and older, children become susceptible to muscle pulls. When you move up to U10, you should have your team warm up their muscles before playing by doing some light activities such as jogging or slowly dribbling a ball around the field.  Warming up with a ball is the ideal way to warm up if it is practical to do so.  The light warm up is important because it "warms up" the muscles which make them stretch easier and less likely to tear or become injured.

Coaches are Asked to Explain Game and Field Etiquette to Parents:

  • No baseball or football cleats, and no metal cleats allowed. Referees will check.
  • No pets on Hendricks Community Soccer grounds.  People who bring pets to the games will be asked to leave.
  • No parking on or along the grass, along the roads or the parking lot adjacent to the soccer fields.  Cars that are parked or idled along the roads or soccer fields will be asked to move.
  • Weather: in the event that games are cancelled due to inclement weather, cancellations will be posted on our Facebook page ( and text messages will be sent to head coaches so that they can communicate cancellations to their players.
  • Respect referee and coach decisions
  • Refrain from being on playing field during game and permit referees the allowed space to work.
  • Parents sit on the opposite side of the field from the players.
  • If disruptive during game day, the referee will speak to the coach and ask the coach to speak to the parent.  If the disruptive behavior continues, the parent could be removed from fields by an HCS official.

Addressing Children & Parent Behavior:

  • Be a coach and an authority figure, not a "buddy.” Remember that the coach is there to teach soccer, teamwork and sportsmanship.
  • Do not tolerate rude or disrespectful behavior from players or parents.  Everyone must follow all directions given by the coaches and assistant coaches
  • It is recommended to buy a whistle & use it to get attention at practices.  Only use your whistle at practices, not at games.  Only referees will be allowed to use whistles at games.
  • Show by example and be on time (or early) to practices and games.  If you cannot field a team at game time, your team will forfeit.

Addressing Behavior with Disruptive Parents:
If there is a situation where you need assistance with a disruptive parent, please contact an HCS representative immediately and allow them to handle the situation.
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