U-5 Master Coach Advisory Statement
The objective of this program is to provide young players and their parents with a “pressure free” introduction to the beautiful and simple game of soccer. At this age, players should be exposed to soccer by playing simple, fun activities and games that require little to no practice, and a minimal time commitment.
This program allows players to discover the game for themselves, while parents are given an age-appropriate soccer foundation on which to build and grow into future AYSO coaches, referees and administrators.
The AYSO U-5 Program is not to be considered a traditional, team-with-a-coach program. It is a program that is designed to focus on the individual player and facilitated by the most qualified and experienced AYSO coach available – defined as a Master Coach.
The Master Coach must be a currently registered AYSO Volunteer. It is strongly recommended that the Master Coach be an AYSO Advanced Coach and Advanced Coach Instructor, however, a Master Coach may be any coach who is certified at the Intermediate Coach level or higher. For example, a Master Coach may be:
- An Advanced Coach who is an Advanced Coach Instructor provided by the Area;
- An Advanced Coach who is also a Coach Instructor;
- An Advanced Coach who is not an Instructor;
- An Intermediate Coach who is a Coach Instructor; or
- An Intermediate Coach who is not an Instructor.
It is critical that the Master Coach follow the U-5 Program as stated in the U-5 Master Coach Manual. The Master Coach is the key to a successful U-5 Program. The Master Coach should have a complete understanding of the AYSO National Coaching Program and full understanding that:
- Educators agree that early learning experiences are the most important and produce lifelong learning experiences – and these should be positive ones
- Young soccer players need special consideration
- They are children playing a child’s game; not mini-adults
- Fun and activity factors must be a central part of a child-centered program
- Under 5 players are essentially self-oriented and relate naturally to one or two others, not to large groups.
- Most children cannot sustain prolonged activity
- They function best in suitable starts and stops (rest periods)
- Concentration span is limited, so frequent changes of pace and activity is essential
- The young players should learn to discover the wonderful game of soccer, not be taught the game of soccer by adults
The Master Coach will take the lead in program implementation within the region.
It shall be the responsibility of each Section Director and Area Director to ensure that the AYSO U-5 Program guidelines are being followed in their respective Sections and Areas.
The AYSO National Coaching Advisory Commission supports this program predicated on the basis that the guidelines provided within the U-5 Master Coach Manual are followed and that all decisions regarding the program are made in the best interest of the players.