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Coaching at Tournaments. US Youth Soccer Coaches Workshop Boston 2004. Don Gemmell Director of Coaching Education Michigan State Youth Soccer Association. Coaching at Tournaments. Success in tournament play can depend on your preparation before the first ball is ever kicked off!

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coaching at tournaments

Coaching at Tournaments

US Youth Soccer Coaches WorkshopBoston 2004

Don Gemmell

Director of Coaching Education

Michigan State Youth Soccer Association

coaching at tournaments2
Coaching at Tournaments

Success in tournament play can depend on your preparation before the first ball is ever kicked off!

Club philosophy affects how each club/team approaches a tournament.

“Failing to plan, is planning to fail”

coaching at tournaments3
Coaching at Tournaments
  • Pre-Tournament
  • Tournament
  • Post Tournament
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Coaching at Tournaments


Logistics… Purpose of specific tournaments? Is it a…


Team building (new team)

Style of play of the teams


Level of difficulty


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Coaching at Tournaments

Who is responsible for …

Application to tournaments

Flight/ Hotel arrangements

Car rental if applicable

Meal reservations

Injury action plan

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Coaching at Tournaments

What determines success?


Equal playing time

Individual/team improvement


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Coaching at Tournaments

It may be important to put together an itinerary for the weekend prior to departure.

Itinerary should include items such as:

Team rules



Nutritional information

Player/Parent/Coach contact information – cell phone list


Coaching at Tournaments


Managing the Environment

review logistics schedule
Review logistics/schedule

Coaching at Tournaments

  • Number of games and game times
  • Tournament Rules
  • Advancement process – points, tie-breakers, overtime, etc
  • Player line up each game
  • Arrival time prior to game
  • Penalty takers
  • Depart as team or individually?
  • Uniform color for each game
meetings with players
Meetings with Players

Coaching at Tournaments

  • Secure meeting room
  • Rooming list
  • Expectations of behavior- on and off the field
  • Schedule for the day
  • Environment updates
  • Line up and tactical discussions
  • Nutrition
  • Rest and Recovery
parent coach meeting
Parent- Coach Meeting

Coaching at Tournaments

  • Meeting times to leave for games/restaurants/off site activities
  • Directions to fields
  • Importance of Punctuality
  • Accountability for supervision of players- coaches vs. parents
  • Soccer sideline ethics
  • Responsibility of water, ice, snacks etc. during tournament
  • Other details
nutrition and meal schedules

Coaching at Tournaments

Nutrition and Meal Schedules

Tournaments present unique opportunities and challenges for the individual soccer player and the team as a whole.

One of the most important challenges is supplying adequate fluid and food to fuel the athlete participating in multiple matches throughout the tournament period.

multiple matches mean increased demand for energy
Multiple matches mean increased demand for energy:

Coaching at Tournaments

  • During a tournament matches may be scheduled so thatthere is little time between matches to rebuild fuel stores. Consequently, fatigue sets in sooner and the risk of dehydration increases.
  • In warm environments, the degree of dehydration and its associated dangers are even higher.
planning ahead will ensure an adequate supply of sport friendly foods
Planning ahead will ensure an adequate supply of “sport-friendly” foods:

Coaching at Tournaments

  • It is important immediately after matches to replenish the body with carbohydrates and sufficient fluids.
  • When traveling bring a supply of portable foods and liquids that meet the high-energy demands of soccer tournaments.
  • Choose a sports drink- before, during and after the match
  • Water alone doesn’t cut it
  • Skip the soda
  • Cut the caffeine
carbohydrate rich foods
Carbohydrate-rich Foods
  • Pre-game meals should be eaten 2 to 3 hours before a match.
  • To quickly restore lost muscle glycogen, soccer players should consume carbohydrate rich foods within the first 2 hours after a match.
carbohydrate rich foods19
Carbohydrate-rich Foods
  • When games leave limited time to recover try to combine several of the items below:
  • Energy or fruit bars.
  • Fresh fruit.
  • Fruited yogurt.
  • Bagels, muffins, cereal mixes with dried fruit and nuts.
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Coaching at tournaments
  • Do you have someone assigned to making meal reservations?
  • What types of restaurants?
  • Food suggestions or limitations?
at the higher levels of play it is all about the details

If a soccer team can meet the challenge of supplying enough fluid and nutrition throughout the tournament, the opportunities for success dramatically increases.

At the higher levels of play it is all about the details!

rest and recovery
Rest and Recovery
  • What is the plan for recovery?
  • What food and drinks to expedite recovery?
  • Injury plan with parents
  • First Aid Kit
  • R.I.C.E.

Coaching at Tournaments

Game Management

Warm up- 1st game vs. 3rd game

Playing time by position


Tournament Advancement

Clock management during the match

Cool down and stretching

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Coaching at Tournaments
  • How did we do (results)?
  • How did the players perform?
  • Do you provide verbal or written feedback to players?
  • What was the standard of the facilities/fields?
  • What was the quality of the competition?
  • Review of hotel, restaurants,etc?
  • Would we return to this tournament?
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Coaching at Tournaments

An important question to ask:

“ Did my coaching effect the outcome of this tournament”?