AYSO Resources: What To Do During Your Break From The Soccer Field

The past few weeks have been filled with worry and confusion due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The school semester has been placed on hold, parents are working from home, soccer seasons paused and social distancing implemented. Our normal daily life has been disrupted and there is not a concrete timeline as to when our regularly scheduled days will return. AYSO understands that these are not the best of times and the time away from the field can be frustrating. To help appease the absence of soccer from our lives, we decided to brainstorm ways to bring the beautiful game of soccer to you! 

Throughout this time, we will regularly update this page with more fun, soccer-related activities you can do from the comfort of your own home. Share this with a teammate, parent, friend, coach and anyone else you can think of to help spread the soccer cheer! 

Have any recommendations for some of these resources? Send us your recommendation to socialmedia@ayso.org! To stay updated, make sure to follow us on social media @AYSO_soccer. 


Training Activities and Soccer Challenges

No team training? No problem! Below are a few suggestions on how you can maintain your fitness level and stay connected with your teammates!

Team Competitions and Challenges

Record your efforts in the garage or backyard and share it with your teammates to create some friendly competition. Check out our latest activity you can accomplish from home: 

 

Here’s also a great example from AYSO United’s juggling challenge.

Join in on the most popular challenge that has taken over social media, the #StayAtHomeChallenge. You can explore some of the top entries on Instagram.

Player Tip: Encourage your teammates to show off their various soccer skills on socials. Come up with your own team challenges to keep that friendly competition going!

Goalkeeper Skills Training

Train your goalkeepers with AYSO and go through moves and coaching points for some vital goalkeeping movements:

Skill-of-the-Day

Record your best trick or skill and share it with your friends and teammates. A coach can pick the winner. Check out this skill from USMNT star Christian Pulisic:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B92vPpmjHqW/?igshid=tttusbzkhste

Activity Ideas
  • Setup a small soccer drill area to practice some of your favorite moves
  • H.O.R.S.E. with soccer goals
  • Player vs. Parent challenge on who can juggle the ball longer
  • For families – relay dribble in your homemade obstacle course
Top Tekkers

Our friends at The Coaching Manual have a great way for your player to stay active and engaged while refining their soccer skills with their new TopTekkers app.

The TopTekkers app can help players:

  • Take ownership of their development!
  • Maintain their touch and fitness.
  • Be better prepared for group sessions.
  • Stay connected to their teammates.
  • And allow coaches, teams, and regions to track the progress of each player via region-specific reports.

The Coaching Manual is giving all AYSO players a free 45-day membership that will keep them in top form while they are waiting to get back on the field.

You can learn a bit more about the app here: https://toptekkers.club/coach-portal

Strength and Conditioning Principles for Athletes with Physical or Mental Disabilities

Our friends at United Soccer Coaches have compiled a great list of principles to adhere to when planning a strength and conditioning routine for our athletes with intellectual and physical disabilities at home, with access to little or even no equipment. Check it out: unitedsoccercoaches.org/strength-and-conditioning-principles-for-athletes-with-physical-or-mental-disabilities/

Home Skills Training Series with UKIS

Every weekday, UKI Soccer has been posting a skills video for you to practice, repeat and master. These are all easy to try from the safety of your own homes and all you will need is a little bit of space and most importantly, a soccer ball. Click here to learn more about how to access these videos.

Train with MLS

The world slowing down doesn’t mean your training has to. MLS collected the best at-home training drills from around MLS to get you ready to dominate when we all get back on the field. Watch videos on how to improve your soccer skills, general fitness, and more! Share your progress on social media using the hashtag #TrainwithMLS. Get started here.


Podcasts and Webinars

Take a listen and join conversations on youth soccer and current news in the youth soccer world.

Kids Sports: Sidelined By COVID-19

Scott Snyder, Director of Programs and Education and Yvonne Lara, Director of Marketing and Communications joined the Kids Under Construction Podcast to talk about what is being done to bring team sports back to the kids. Listen now: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/kids-sports-sidelined-by-covid-19/id1503083782?i=1000473849813

The Coaching Manual: Developing the Person & the Player Webinar

The Coaching Manual invited Keith and David Mayer, authors of Goldust, and Scott Snyder from AYSO to discuss developing the player and the person in soccer. Listen now: https://ayso.thecoachingmanual.com/Content/24332


Books and Crafts

Get your creative juices flowing and keep your mind sharp!

AYSO Book Club

With the help of Bookroo, we have a list of the best children’s books about soccer. From there, we have chosen some favorites to kick off our AYSO Book Club! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see how you can join us for future AYSO Book Club Storytimes! 

PLAYSOCCER

Flip through some great articles in our quarterly PLAYSOCCER magazine. Get inspired reading powerful stories of AYSO alums and current players doing great things for their community! Click here to read articles from past issues

Access the newest issue of PLAYSOCCER here: https://issuu.com/ayso_soccer/docs/ps_spring_2020_v1 

Coloring Contest

Check out some of our classic coloring contests and dust off those coloring pencils! Submit us your work and we will pick some winners that will receive some AYSO gear! 


Digital: Soccer Games, Movies, and Documentaries 

Take advantage of your gaming consoles or video streaming services (Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Prime, etc.), and keep your team communicating and talking about the game of soccer during this hiatus. Need suggestions on what to watch and play? We curated a small list below: 

FIFA 20 Tournaments

Log-in to your console and play your teammates or your coach in virtual soccer from all across the soccer globe. Manchester United vs LA Galaxy? No problem! Barcelona vs. Atlanta United? Game on!

Watch an MLS Classic match

Major League Soccer is letting you relive some of the league’s most exhilarating matches and will feature them on their Youtube channel throughout the coming weeks:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSZbXT5TLLW_i-5W8FZpFsg

Virtual Tours

Dive into the game’s history and culture by virtually visiting some of the world’s most famous stadiums and training grounds. Click through a few suggestions:

Real Madrid’s All Access Training Grounds

Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Manchester United’s Old Trafford through the years

Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge

Espai Barcelona (the incredible plans for Camp Nou)

Inside LAFC

Films

Tired from all those stadium tours? Grab some popcorn, the rest of your family and watch a classic soccer movie or a documentary. Some of the AYSO office favorites:

Kicking & Screaming

Ladybugs

Goal! The Dream Begins

Victory 

Alex & Me 

*Coaches Tip: have a virtual discussion with your team about the content they’re watching. Talk about the lessons learned and what they can adopt for future soccer seasons.*

Any other suggestions for creative soccer-related activities during this “down-time” please send them our way to share!


Learning

Coaches, even though you’re not on the field, it’s the perfect time to invest in your own coach education development so you are even better prepared when we can start returning to activity. Access some amazing resources below.

Positive Coaching Alliance

“Coronavirus: A Real Teaching Moment For PCA Coaches”

Coach Development

All AYSO Coaches get an exclusive FREE offer to access the AYSO digital coaching platform through until July 31st.

The AYSO Coaching Manual is packed with incredible coach education videos, soccer guides and much more (including the entire AYSO Coaching Manual library). 

Contact: marketing@thecoachingmanual.com to get started.

If your region already uses the AYSO Platform, don’t worry, you will be able to provide all of your players with free access to another Coaching Manual platform, TopTekkers, during the Spring (to the value of your Region price point).


For Parents

Squeezing in online schooling, chores, free time, exercise, and meals, all to be done at home, can be dull and difficult to manage for you and your children. Parents, below are some resources to help you best organize your days and ways to talk to your children about the importance of self distancing. Parents, below are some resources to help you talk to your children about self distancing and why this new reality is important. You will also find ideas to better schedule your day with your children to ensure a balanced time of learning and exercise. 

Creative Scheduling

Work together as a family to create daily schedules that work for every member. Here are a few ways to be as creative as possible with your schedules!

*Parent Tip: perhaps give your child the freedom to plan their day by themselves to spark up some motivation!*

Tough Conversations

NPR created a great graphic story to help explain Coronavirus to young children. This graphic can be helpful in sparking up the conversation about why social distancing is an important practice to follow during this difficult time.

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus

Dealing with Anxiety

Your children may be experiencing some anxiety about recent changes of lifestyle. Limit your children’s exposure to news coverage and talk to them about their worries. Below is a graphic with helpful practices on how to help then feel most at ease.


Have any recommendations for some of these resources? Send us your recommendation to socialmedia@ayso.org! To stay updated, make sure to follow us on social media @AYSO_soccer.

AYSO is actively monitoring updates and information related to COVID-19. Visit bit.ly/covid19-tips to learn more.