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GAME DAY

PRE-GAME WARM UPS

Make sure your team arrives early enough to warm-up properly prior to the game. This is also a good time to ensure that your players' equipment and uniforms are worn properly.

EVERYONE PLAYS

None of your players signed up to watch. Coaches, parents, and players want to win, but a winning record should not come at the expense of your players' enjoyment. Some leagues enforce a minimum guideline for playing time. If not, create a player substitution system and stick with it no matter the score. Inform your team's parents of the player substitution system.

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT

Remember, a young player's idea of having fun doesn't include getting yelled at. Coaches should always stress positive reinforcement. Show encouragement and compliment good play in front of the entire team. Show restraint and respect when criticizing youth players. Talk softly and privately so as not to embarrass them in front of their teammates and parents.

HALFTIME

Halftime is a good time to replenish your players' bodies and minds. Provide plenty of water or other sports drinks as well as encouragement to every player.

SPORTSMANSHIP

Coaches should always act as a role model for sportsmanship. Limit criticisms or questions concerning penalties and calls to private conversations with the game officials. Always teach your players to respect their opponents and to shake their hands after the game whether they win or lose.