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AYSO San Mateo Region 36

San Mateo AYSO - Coaching Resources & Frequently Asked Questions

(Last updated May 2023)

Thanks for volunteering!  Whether you are new or returning, see below for answers to all your coaching needs.  And if it is not listed below, feel free to reach out to your Regional Coach Admin – Karn Johal – for additional assistance. 

FAQ1: What do I need to do to be ready for the season?

FAQ2:  What's new for 2023?

FAQ3:  When and where can I take pre-season training (and become Coach Certified)?

FAQ4: I am looking for training activities and session ideas. Any suggestions?

FAQ5:  How can I get on-the-job help from professional, experienced coaches?

FAQ6:  Do you offer goalkeeper clinics?

FAQ7: There was an injury at training (or in the game).  What do I do?

FAQ8:  I have an issue with a referee, a spectator, a player and/or a match-day incident to report.  Any guidance?

FAQ9:  Do you take "special requests" from coaches?

FAQ10:  For Intermediate Coach Candidates


FAQ1: What do I need to do to be ready for the season?

See below for a summary checklist – applicable for both new and returning coaches.

1.      Get (Online) Registered! Complete the volunteer registration section under the registration link above.  Even if you coached last year, this is needed annually to get you approved by the AYSO National Office for the entire season.

2.      Get (Online) Educated! Do this at via the Volunteer section of your AYSO Account.  There you can find the status of all required certifications - the list may seem daunting, but has been completed by all volunteers in our organization before the first ball is kicked.  Start today!  Click here for instructions and guidance. 

3.      Get (In-Person) Certified! Register for Field Sessions via eTrainU.  There are multiple options across the Peninsula throughout July & August - all delivering identical accreditation.  Scroll-down for a list of what is known at this time.  For registration help, click here for instructions and guidance. 

4.      Get Equipped!  When the rosters are released (in early August), you will receive a bag, balls, uniforms, cones… everything you need to run a successful season.  Except for enthusiasm: for that the kids of San Mateo will be looking to you for inspiration!


FAQ2:  What's new for 2023?

Nothing! Expect updates to be posted here as appropriate.

FAQ3:  When and where can I take pre-season training (and become Coach Certified)?

Only individuals who have completed age-appropriate training are allowed in the coach area on game day.  No exceptions. No badge, no coach.  What you learn WILL benefit the children.

Important notes:

  1. Training comprises of "classroom" based training, and in-person fieldwork.  You must complete all pieces in order to gain your certification and your age-appropriate Coaching Badge.

  2. Click here for instructions on how to use the eTrainU site to register for a class, or take a course.   

  3. The same course is available in nearby regions.  The table below is our latest understanding of what is available, and when.  The content, and the final certification, is the same, so feel free to enroll there instead.  (Note - the instructor will vary, so they may have a different viewpoint on pre-requisites and time to deliver:  check with them for guidance).

  4. If you have any questions or challenges with the schedule/requirements, contact your Division Coordinator or [email protected].
Important: classroom and field session need to be with the same trainer in order to receive course credit.

6U Coach
(Search: "6U Coach - Full In-Person Course")
Part 1(Class)Part 2 (Field)City
 OnlineSat 8/5 (9 - 11:30 am)San Mateo
Mon 8/14 (6:30 - 7:30 pm)Mon 8/14 (6:30 - 7:30 pm
Thu 8/17 (7 - 8 pm)Thu 8/17 (8 - 9 pm)Concord
Sat 8/26(11:30 - 12:30 pm)Sat 8/26 (12:30 - 2 pm)Mountain View
Fri 9/1 (6:30 - 8:30 pm)
Wed 9/6 (6:30 - 8:30 pm)
Fri 9/1 (6:30 - 8:30 pm)
Wed 9/6 (6:30 - 8:30 pm)
Fri 9/8 (6 - 8:30 pm)Fri 9/8 (6 - 8:30 pm)
Mountain View

8U Coach
(Search: "8U Coach - Full In-Person Course")
Part 1(Class)Part 2 (Field)City
OnlineSat 8/19 (AM) San Mateo
Sat 8/12 (AM)
Sat 8/19 (AM)
Sat 8/26 (AM)
Sat  8/12 (AM)
Sat  8/19 (AM)
Sat  8/26 (AM)
Redwood City
Mon 8/14 (Eve)Mon 8/14 (Eve)
Sat 8/19 (AM)Sat 8/19 (AM)Mountain View
Sat 8/19 (8:30 - 10 am)Sat  8/19 (10 - 12 pm)Redwood City
Wed 8/23 (6:30 - 7:30 pm)Sat 8/26 (9 - 10:45 pm) Foster City
Fri 9/1 (6:30 - 8:30 pm)
Wed 9/6 (6:30 - 8:30 pm)
Fri 9/1 (6:30 - 8:30 pm)
Wed 9/6 (6:30 - 8:30 pm)

10U Coach
(Search: "10U Coaching - Online + In-Person Field Session")
Part 1(Class)Part 2 (Field)City
Mon 8/7 (6 - 9 pm)
Tue 8/15 (6 - 9 pm)
Tue 8/22 (6 - 9 pm)
Sat 8/12 (8:30 - 10:30 am)
Sat 8/19 (8:30 - 10:30 am)
Sat 8/26 (8:30 - 10:30 am)
Redwood City
Mon 8/14 (8:30 - 9:30 pm)Mon 8/14 (8:30 - 9:30 pm)Belmont
OnlineSat 8/19 (1 - 3 pm)Burlingame
OnlineWed 8/23 (6:30 - 8:30 pm)Burlingame 
Wed 8/23 (7:45 - 9 pm)
Sat 8/26 (11 - 1 pm)Foster City
Fri 9/1 (6:30 - 9:30 pm)
Wed 9/6 (6:30 - 9:30 pm)
Fri 9/1 (6:30 - 9:30 pm)
Wed 9/6 (6:30 - 9:30 pm

12U Coach
(Search: "12U Coach (Part 2) - Full In-Person Course")
Part 1 (Class)Part 2 (Field)City
Wed 8/17 (6 - 9 pm)
Wed 8/24 (6 - 9 pm)
Sat 8/12 (8:30 - 10:30 am)
Sat 8/19 (8:30 - 10:30 am)
Sat 8/26 (8:30 - 10:30 am)
 Redwood City
Fri 8/18 (Virtual 7-10 pm) Sat 8/19 (1 - 4 pm)Mountain View
Sat 8/19 (10 - 1 pm)Sat 8/19 (1 - 4 pm)Burlingame
Tue 8/22 (7 - 9 pm)Wed 8/23 (6:30 - 9:30 pm)Burlingame
Thu 8/24 (Virtual 7 - 10 pm)Sat 8/26 (9 - noon)Menlo Park
 Fri 8/25 (Virtual 7-10 pm)Sat 8/26 (8 - 11 am)Mountain View
Thu 8/24 (7 - 9 pm) Sun 8/27 (9 - 12 pm)Foster City
Fri 9/1 (7 - 10 pm)Sat 9/2 (1 - 4 pm)Sunnyvale

: I am looking for training activities and session ideas. Any suggestions?

Simply googling "Soccer Drills" is a good way to find ideas on how to keep your sessions fresh, but if you prefer some suggested resources, you can try the following.  (Note: these are provided as-is i.e. not necessarily AYSO endorsed, and if you find dead links or a better resource worth sharing, let [email protected] know).

Resource Access Notes
 The Coaching ManualAn incredible resource containing coaching plans, guides and more.  Typically this comes with a pricey subscription plan, but as an AYSO Volunteer, you are eligible to get it for FREE!!  Check it out today!
 San Mateo Coach Guide With a focus on the AYSO philosophy of Player Development, and in order to create greater consistency across the San Mateo coaches, we have developed a downloadable reference for you to use.  This is important - if all coaches use a similar approach, then when players join your team next season they will already be in a familiar format. 
 FIFA 11+ A complete warm-up program to reduce injuries among male and female football players aged 14 years and older. Also includes conditioning elements.
 UK Soccer Training Plans Username: AYSO36, Password: uksoccer
From our training and mentoring partners, some nice illustrated training activities categorized by age.
For more information click this link.


  • All sessions should contain Free-play, Warm-up, Technical, Tactical, Scrimmage & Warm-down activities.
  • The time spent in each portion will be age-dependent.  For younger ages (U6-U10) technical activities will be your primary focus.
  • For the warm-up, the first six activities of the FIFA 11+ recommended warm-up routine should be adopted for U10 and above. 
  • When AYSO United Coaches are involved, their primary role is mentoring coaches - they will be assessing and assisting you and NOT substituting for you in the session.


FAQ5:  How can I get on-the-job help from professional, experienced coaches?

We have partnered with AYSO United to deliver the best in Player Development and Positive Coaching options.   These are USSF-coach certified individuals, who will be visiting the city-permitted practice fields and working in sessions to develop YOU as a coach – giving you the means to develop your players.

The process for assigning an AYSO United coach-mentor for a session takes two minutes and starts with requesting one via this link here:

Once requested - please wait for confirmation from the Coach Assignor.  This will likely take a few days.  The coaches will be field-assigned based on demand, so early requests are appreciated.

Other important notes around this:

  • New requestors will always have priority i.e. if you already have had the AYSO United Coach attend your session, you are welcome to request a repeat session, but it will be prioritized behind new requests.
  • They are there to help you become a better coach.  Yes, that can mean they show you how to manage a session by example. but as much as possible they will be observing and offering tips and guidance. 

If you have any questions please contact [email protected].


FAQ6:  Do you offer goalkeeper clinics?

Yes - in collaboration with AYSO United Soccer we offer a special clinic for skill development as a goalkeeper.  This is a challenging role that is tough to fully incorporate in a training session for many coaches, so consider this as a great alternative: 

90-second sign-ups for this can be found here:

We anticipate this will be a popular session, and we wish to maximize the benefit of the program so please review the following important notes:

  1. The focus here is Player Development.  Participants are expected to be actively engaged, and willing to learn.
  2. Sessions will be scheduled once enough kids in a particular age-group have registered an interest.  Expect a notification with at least three days notice.
  3. We expect each session to be 60-minutes in duration, so plan appropriately
  4. First come, first served. We want as many distinct teams as possible to have at least one trained keeper. So if more than one player from the same team signs-up the second player may be wait-listed.
  5. Expect a confirmation email before the event. Players that show up without pre-registering will likely be turned away.
  6. If you have any other questions, contact [email protected].


FAQ7: There was an injury at training (or in the game).  What do I do?

This is explicitly addressed in the Safety Section of the website.  Make sure you direct the persons responsible for the child's health to this important resource.  Other pointers:

  • When considering whether to return an "injured" player to the field, consider their welfare ahead of the team.  For example, for potentially concussed players - Second Impact Syndrome should be a significant factor in your decision and is one that other adults will also understand.
  • Part of your AYSO fee includes supplemental insurance in the case of injury.  The above link includes the application form for this.
  • Injuries requiring medical attention also require a medical release before the player can be allowed to return to the field.  Please don't make yourself potentially liable - and ensure the paperwork (available at the link) is in place


FAQ8:  I have an issue with a referee, a spectator, a player and/or a match-day incident to report.  Any guidance?

We are continuously looking to develop & deliver a quality youth soccer program that promotes a fun, family environment based on our philosophies.  If you have an issue, or a problem, or simply a suggestion that supports this mission, feel free to raise it via our Kids Zone Feedback page.  This mechanism ensures the details are documented and appropriately escalated. 


 FAQ9:  Do you take "special requests" from coaches?

This depends on the request:

  • You have a preferred person to coach with.  This can typically be allowed as long as the AYSO Philosophy of Balanced Teams is maintained.  Notify your Division Coordinator of your preference as soon as you are contacted and before the team rosters are finalized. 
  • You wish to have specific players in your squad.  As above, the AYSO philosophy of "Balanced Teams" is the priority.  For U8 &below, buddy requests can be honored where practical.  For U10 and higher, only coach-kids & siblings will be specifically assigned common teams.

FAQ10:  For Intermediate Coach Candidates

Covering questions asked by many coaches participating in our Area Intermediate Coaching Course:

Q1: How do I sign up for training?
Your region board are best equipped to assist you with access and troubleshooting.  For San Mateo coaches, we have prepared this guide.

Q2: Can I get certified without completing the 12U prerequisite?
It's beyond the Area Instructor's privilege to certify a coach who is missing the 12U pre-requisite (Field & Classwork). If you need an exception, please reach out to the AYSO National Office, or the Section 2 Coaching Administrator and have them confirm with me.


Q3: I've done X,Y,Z - what else do I need to do?
Please review the pre-course as it is very clear about the pre-requisites: 12U, Online Intermediate, Laws of the Game, Safe Haven, Concussion, Provided a Training Plan.  With 50+ attendees it is beyond the trainer's bandwidth to individually track and notify.  If you are experiencing access issues please work with your Regional Board to resolve.

Q4: Can I use my own format for documenting the field session?
Please use the format that is referenced in the Online Course content where a template and guidance is provided. This will ensure your flow is understandable by the assessor and that all elements are covered. 

Reviewing the Intermediate Manual for examples (starting around p105)  is strongly recommended.  There you'll see the elements needed:
- The objective of the session/activity.
- The Stage of the Activity (focus is on Small-Sided Stage 2 or Expanded Stage 3).
- The organization and progression.  INCLUDING A VISUAL.  (One Tip - feel free to handwrite your plan/image and email it to the instructor as a picture).
- Coaching Points to be made.

To be clear, timely completeness of this submission contributes to your final grade, so electing to use a non-standard format is likely to risk a lower score.

Q5: When is my field session?
It will likely be EITHER Saturday morning OR Saturday afternoon.  Timeslot preferences will be given, first-come first-served as best as possible, to candidates who are prepared i.e. have completed all pre-requisites.  Please hold off on making special requests until you are at this point.  In the Friday classroom there is a section where we will be covering/finalizing arrangements for the field session.

Q6: I cannot attend the training/assessment field session as planned. What options do I have?
This is not something the instructor can answer.  You will need to coordinate with your Region Board for other options.
Please be present for the complete session - partial attendance adversely impacts the other coaches who you will be peer assessing and/or participating in on-field activities.

Q7: Do I have to participate in the field session?
Yes.  Participation is a graded element in the course.  Unless there are medical or safety reasons that prevent it, you should find it enjoyable!

Q8: Where can I find the Course Manual / Training Notes?

The manual is available in AYSOU, under the Document Library.  Search for "Intermediate".  Several activities are found from page  74, and complete four-part session plans begin on page 105.



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San Mateo Region 36

P.O. Box 5316 
San Mateo, California 94402

Email Us: [email protected]
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