The Prince Rupert Youth Soccer Association and BC Soccer have made it easier than ever to get a grassroots initiative going to acquire new coaches, and that initiative was on full display at Charles Hays Secondary School on the weekend.
Mike Cavin, the district chair of BC Soccer in Prince Rupert put out the call for a coaches’ clinic and Brad Stewart answered.
“It’s based on availability,” said Stewart, a tutor for BC Soccer.
“There’s tutors all over the province and if a town wants a clinic, they just pick up the phone (to see) who can get there and we send somebody.”
Part of the registration fee to enter a child in Prince Rupert Youth Soccer goes to BC Soccer, which is then distributed into programs like the free coaching clinics.
Over the weekend, Stewart led multiple clinics, each aimed to lead different soccer team age groups. He brought with him traffic cones, soccer balls, a power-point projector, nets, and knowledge to give the parents and even teens that came out the skills needed to lead games and practices.
“They walk out of here comfortable about running a practice, and ‘I know what to do because I’ve got my bible here’ and it sets out the practice for you. You don’t even need to know what the theme of the practice, or what to do within it. It’s all laid out for you,” said Stewart.
Stewart’s ‘bible’ is the practice session booklet each coach receives after finishing their training. The coaches takes part in the drills they’ll be leading themselves, and learn what to do to be inclusive of every athlete, how to challenge them and how to manage conflict.
Each coaching applicant must pass a criminal record check, and learn to delegate responsibilities like snack schedules, equipment managing and practice scheduling times to create a team-like atmosphere.
“We were really happy with the number of people that attended,” said Cavin.
“I think it’s the most in quite a few years, especially for the younger groups so we’re excited about that.”
If anyone is interested in coaching, Cavin says there’s a checkbox on the Youth Soccer registration form that parents or anyone else have the option of checking.
“They can look at and decide how they want to help youth soccer and from there (you get) your coaches and division coordinators and equipment managers and so on,” he said.