Coaches Guide:

New Zealand Football and Raglan Football’s focus is on developing the skills of the player over and above winning games and trophies. We have a separate document covering our responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of the players, but apart from that the role of the Coach is as follows:

  • Coaching children is as much about providing encouragement and enthusiasm as it is about teaching skills. Investing in a child’s self-belief is essential to getting them to learn new skills and to play creatively during matches.     NZF’s philosophy is “Let the game be the teacher” and coaches are encouraged to give less instruction than has been common in the past. This is so that the players can work things out by themselves and achieve a deeper level of learning.
  • Equal Game Time. It is club policy that players receive equal game time so that they have equal opportunity to develop skills. They should also receive equal attention from the coach. Apart from the fact that it is a basic right to be treated equally, players are known to develop at different rates and  this year’s clumsy and unfocused player may well blossom into a valuable member of the team in a few years’ time.
  • While it is important to note that we’re not trying to stop the children from playing in a competitive manner, we do recognise that the competitive urges felt by adults are not always appropriate for children’s sport.  Negative criticism and an emphasis on winning at all costs makes the players overly cautious and hinders their development (not to mention spoiling the fun). It can also result in them giving up the game in the long term.
  • Coach Training. New Zealand Football provides a free training session for new coaches in Raglan each year. If a new coach can’t attend this session the club can cover petrol costs to Hamilton to help you get there.
  • Match etiquette. Please make sure the team does “three-cheers” and lines up to shake the hands of the opposition at the end of the game. We also recommended that you introduce yourself to the opposition coach and discuss the game with them prior to kick off. Agreeing on how closely particular rules are to be followed (i.e. throw-ins) is easier before the game than during it.   Please also encourage those on the sideline to model respect for the opposition and the referee.
  • Code of Conduct: NZ Football has a published Code of Conduct which covers players, coaches and   Below are some of the key points that coaches should promote within their teams:
  1. Play within the rules;
  2. Respect team mates;
  3. Respect the referee;
  4. Respect the opposition and their supporters;
  5. Be gracious winners and dignified losers;
  6. Play hard but play fair.

Full details of the Code can be found at

Please also encourage those on the sideline to support the team in appropriate ways and to model respect for the opposition and the referee.

  • Bullying and player misbehaviour: The club has a policy on bullying and conflict resolution and we ask that coaches be familiar with it.
  • The key to the club shed is held by Jo’s takeaways. The last coach to leave practice will need to have a quick look to see if anything has been left out and then make sure the shed is properly locked.  The committee has spare keys if the one at Jo’s goes missing.
  • Equipment: Early on you’ll need to explain to the children to respect the club equipment. The cost of lost balls, cones and nets quickly adds up and has to be paid for from their fees (It could be their job to pack the gear in at the end of the sessions).  The gear-bag and kit-bag remain the responsibility of the coach and manager.  Please contact the committee if anything gets lost or damaged or if you have any concerns.
  • Player of the Day: We encourage those making the decisions to ensure each player gets the award at least once during the season. Also, please hand out the certificates from Jo’s Takeaways one week at a time as saving them up for a big feed at the end of the season can make life difficult for our sponsor.
  • Grading games. The first four games of the season are grading games and teams should be aware that large victories or losses might occur (goal differences of 10 or more are likely) before the league organisers find the appropriate level for your team. We advise against putting the best players on in an attempt to get a better result  as you’ll end up playing overly tough teams for the rest of the season.
  • Other games/tournaments. There is a knockout tournament run concurrently with the main season and a 5 a side tournament at the end of the season. There are also other tournaments run during the year that teams are welcome to compete in. Typically teams from Raglan enter the end of season 5 a side tournament which is a popular and enjoyable day (7th grade and above). Each team handles their own entry with the tournament organisers.
  • ACC Requirements: An important part of injury prevention is the pre-game warm up, and players should arrive at least 20 minutes prior to kick-off to accommodate this. Warming up may include a light jog, some simple drills and stretches.
  • Health & Safety: All blood related injuries must be treated with bottled water (sponges are not allowed) and sprains may be treated with gel packs or cold sponges. Players are not to share drink bottles for their own personal safety.  The coach is not required to share their whistle with any other person.

We hope this is a useful guide, if you have any suggestions for improving it please let the club know.