The TEAM Binder

I am a huge advocate of having a place for everything.  Since soccer is always on the go, I strongly encourage people to create a team binder that has a few key items in it.

  • Participant Registration Forms - all of your players should provide you with a signed (in 2 places) form after registration.  These go with you to practice, games, pizza parties...wherever the team is these forms go.  They give you permission to get medical treatment for a player should the parent not be present.  I have to say I've only had to make three trips to the ER without parents in 12 years, but when you need to it sure makes it easier.

  • Section 6 - Player Development Policy.  You will hear me talk a lot about this 33 page packet of papers.  It is basically your bible to UYSA competitive soccer.  Just about everything you need to know is in these 33 pages.  I suggest you print it out.  Yes, actually kill a tree and print it out.  Read it with a highlighter.  Mark it up.  Circle things.  USE it.  Punch holes in it and put it in your Team Binder.  If there is ever a question, when you are at the field, 99.9% of the time the answer will be on those pages.  It saves so much time, when you can show the referee that yes your games are suppose to be 30 minutes and not 25 or that the minimum number of players to start a game at U9 is five.  Policy is constantly being updated, simplified and improved.  I usually print a copy of Section 6 out before each season.  Trust me on this one.  Really...it's worth it.

  • A copy of each Game Day Roster.  Yep.  I know you print one out for the Referee and sometimes you print out an extra copy if you have made changes to your roster within 24 hours of kick off, but I'm strongly suggesting that you print out a copy of each game day roster for yourself.  When something goes amiss, and you never really know when that is going to be, people call me for help.  One of the first things I ask is, "do you have a copy of your game day roster?"  It has so many pieces to the pie on that one piece of paper and you can't generate it after the fact when you might need a copy.  I know it may sound like I'm a paper freak, and maybe I am, but after doing this for so long I do know what makes your soccer life easier in the long run.  And this is one of those things.

  • A calendar with sunset times on it.  Whether it is a digital calendar or a paper calendar, you need something to have a month at a glance look.  The sunset times are a bonus because plenty of people have gotten caught off guard in the Fall when dark seems to come too quickly.  They think rescheduling a game at 6pm will work because it did in September, but come the first week of October, unless you are only playing a 60 minute game, you will find yourself getting cut short and sometimes those last 10-15 minutes are a game changer.