A coach is a mentor to the team and carries the responsibility to represent the club on and off the field. At Altitude FC, we strive to recruit, train, and retain the best coaches in Colorado. Because we offer programs from the youngest players through recreational youth to those seeking scholarships and careers in the game we work to match coach knowledge, skill and ability to the right level of player.
The youngest age groups are coached by volunteers. Our focus is to develop coordination in a fun environment where children can socialize and learn the basics of the game. Our volunteers and their contributions of time and energy are invaluable to the success of Altitude FC. Skill in working with children, the ability to tag team with other parents and coaches, basic safety, first aid and concussion training are great skills to bring to this position.
Developmental coaches should understand the rules of the game of soccer and have experience with warmups, drills and scrimmage. Coaches should also have skills in working with youth, parents, other coaching staff and volunteers. Prior certifications are a plus, and all developmental coaches must complete concussion training.
Academy, Advanced and High School coaches should have a background in working with developmental and competitive players. Coaches in these areas are responsible for elevating and evaluating player skill. The ability to assess and develop players within a constructive, team environment is a prerequisite for working at this level. Prior certifications, experience as a player in a competitive league and coaching experience are common among coaches at this level. We are always looking for qualified coaches, so please contact Executive Director Mark Burfeind if you are interested firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a coach for Altitude FC you will have access to resources and development including coach meetings, videos, lesson plans, and individual work with our Executive Director and Directors of Coaching at each level of the organization. We want each coach in our league to reach his or her potential and to lead teams effectively in the areas of teamwork, fitness, conditioning and skill development.
In youth athletics “winning” has developed a bad name. Coaches that push for wins, exclude players not seen as competitive or even yell at players for making mistakes in training or on the field have made parents question the ethics of some coaches or leagues. The Coaching Journey provides this article that balances the notions of winning (right now) vs developing players with the long term goal of winning.
As author Paul Cammarata writes, “For me, ‘winning’ or more specific a ‘winning mentality’ means players who are hungry and determined to give 100% at improving everything they do.”
When a focus on growth and development leads to increases in individual skill, teamwork, confidence and growth, it translates to better outcomes on and off the field. At Altitude FC we are taking the position to develop technically sound players not focusing on specific scores. With this focus the league and the individual player improve together.
In 2011 the Colorado General Assembly approved the Jake Snakenberg Youth Concussion Act. In 2004 youth athlete Jake Snakenberg experienced a concussion during a football game. Because his symptoms were not recognized by coaches, parents or players, Jake was not seen by a doctor before returning to play. A week following his initial injury Jake was knocked unconscious and passed away due to “second impact syndrome,” an exacerbation of his initial concussion.
This act requires each volunteer or paid coach of a youth athletic activity where players are eleven years of age or older and under nineteen years of age to complete an annual concussion recognition education course. Players that experience a concussion must be cleared by a doctor before returning to play.
Altitude FC has mandated that all of our coaches complete the training before they begin working with their teams. Training participants will be documented by the Club for reference.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a training kit titled “Heads Up, Concussion in Youth Sports.” The training can be completed in English or Spanish and is offered free-of-charge. Visit www.cdc.gov/ConcussionInYouthSports to complete the training. Each kit also contains a test that reviews materials and tests the Parent’s, Player’s or Coach’s knowledge of concussions.
In addition to player safety and constructive coaching, Altitude FC joins with the US Referee Connection Respect Campaign to promote an environment of constructive competition. The rules and the refs are there for a reason, and its everyone’s responsibility to contribute to an environment of sportsmanship and respect. Coach support for refs is an important part of building this collegial spirit.
We encourage our coaches to talk with parents about completing the Positive Coaching Alliance training where they will learn about partnering with coaches, transferring lessons from sport to other parts of players lives, and ways to promote sportsmanship among their youth players. For more on the program, visit the parents page at http://altitudefc.org/afc/parents/