I’ve never played soccer. Can I still coach?
Yes! Many of our coaches (and Board members) have never played soccer, but they got involved to help their children. You don’t need a lot of knowledge to coach in the youngest divisions – just an interest in helping your children and their friends to have fun.
We’ll give you the help you need to get started, and to grow your understanding and skill.
Do I need a license to coach?
No. Our policy requires coaches to acquire a State Certificate at the first reasonable opportunity after initial assignment, and certainly before their third season of coaching, but you are not required to hold a license to start coaching.
What is the time commitment for coaching U4 or U5?
U4 & U5 games are always played on Saturday mornings, and there are no separate practices, so it’s only about 90 minutes per week – a few minutes before and after the game, the hour for the game itself, and time to communicate with parents.
What is the time commitment for other divisions?
Teams in divisions U6 and older should hold one practice each week, generally early evening Monday to Thursday, in addition to the game on Friday evening or Saturday.
You can decide with your coaching partner and your parents when and where to practice – your choice primarily depends on the coaches’ own availability, but if you can be flexible you should also try to find a time that’s convenient for your team’s parents. Generally practice should be about an hour for the youngest divisions, and up to 90 minutes for the older divisions.
We’ll provide a list of available practice locations.
Games are one hour, except for divisions playing round-robin, which play two 30-minute games in a 90-minute period.
Can I start as an assistant coach?
Yes. We won’t ask you to take on more responsibility than you feel ready for, and when you register you can let us know your preference.
Can I choose my coaching partner?
Yes – though you need to make sure that he/she doesn’t already have another partner in mind. We do sometimes have conflicting partnership requests, and it’s always best if you name each other as your preferred partners.
Can I coach with my spouse?
Yes, but we generally try to avoid having a head coach and assistant coach from the same family, as it leaves the team without a coach if you go away for a family weekend. But we can assign one of you as the “extra assistant” – a third coach on the team.
Will my own child be on my team?
Yes – this always happens automatically, so you don’t need to request it. Unless you choose to coach in a different division.
I’ll coach in an older division if you’ll move my child up.
Sorry – we can’t do that.
I can’t make Friday evening games. Can I still coach?
If your child is under 5 years old you won’t have any Friday games, as all games in U4 and U5 are played on Saturday mornings. But regardless of your situation, if you have a scheduling request let us know before we produce the schedules, and we’ll try to work around it.
We can’t promise to give you everything you ask for, and there are some situations that just won’t work – for example, since U4 & U5 games are on Saturday mornings you can’t coach in those divisions if you can’t ever make a Saturday game. But we’ll do our best to help.
I’m coaching two teams. Can you avoid scheduling my games at the same time?
Generally yes – our scheduling process is aware of multi-team coaches, and tries to avoid conflicts. Sometimes they’re unavoidable, but they’re pretty rare.
What are the Safety requirements?
- You must complete and sign the NJ Declaration form.
- This form is required by the NJ Youth Soccer Association.
- We require each coach to complete a form the first time he/she coaches in each calendar year — so if you complete one in the Spring season it’s also good for the Fall.
- You must complete the Heads-Up! Concussion Awareness on-line course, and submit the certificate of completion.
- Starting in Fall 2020 coaches will be required to renew this certification every three years.
- This is a requirement of Howell Township and Howell Board of Education, and you are not permitted to participate in coaching activities on any Township or BoE facilities unless you are in possession of a valid certificate.
- You must carry the certificate with you for all games and practices, and produce it if asked.
- You must take the Safe Sport on-line training for prevention of abuse. This is a requirement of NJ Youth Soccer, and your certification must be renewed every year.
- You must make an appointment to be fingerprinted for a background check before you can participate in practices or games.
- You will find detailed instructions for this on your My Pinelanders main page once you’ve registered to coach.
- Once your background check has been completed and you’ve been approved to coach you need to renew it every three years.
- This is a legal requirement of Howell Township, and the club may be prosecuted if we are not in compliance.
What do the Safety status colors mean?
- Red: You haven’t submitted at least one of the NJ Declaration form, a Concussion training certificate, or a Safe Sport certificate, and/or you haven’t let us know the date of your fingerprinting appointment.
- Yellow: You’ve submitted all of the documents and you’ve let us know the date of your fingerprinting appointment.
- Blue: You’ve been fingerprinted and submitted the receipt you were given at the appointment.
- Green: We’ve received approval for you to participate in coaching activities.
- White. We haven’t yet had a chance to verify your background-check status.
How can I get a coaching license?
You can find information about State Certificate classes on the NJYS Coaching Education page.
Does my Rutgers license count?
How old do I have to be to coach?
Our policies require a head coach to be at least 21, and an assistant coach to be 18. But if you’re not yet 18 and you want to help out with coaching, let us know – we can assign you to a team as a youth coach, and many coaches are glad of some regular extra help.
How do I sign up?
Please go to the Registration Center on your My Pinelanders page, and complete the Coaching page. Don’t forget to click the big button in the “Review & Save” step to save your registration – otherwise we won’t see it.
Please register as soon as you’ve decided to coach (or even if you’re not sure!) – until you do that our assigners can’t see your name, and you won’t be on any coaching mail lists.