If it’s your first time managing a soccer club, it’s important you’re aware of all the club manager’s responsibilities and tasks during the season. It might be a bit overwhelming at first but, with the right tools and preparation, you’ll be able to better communicate with players and coordinate events and tasks throughout the season.
Let’s get right into it, following are the relevant duties and responsibilities of a club soccer manager:
The scope of your managerial tasks, broad as it may seem, can be divided into three distinct categories: communication, coordination, and management. Some of these responsibilities will overlap with one another over the course of a session or full-length season; however, they all have their specific role to play in ensuring that your soccer club or association runs smoothly.
I’ve curated a detailed breakdown of each task category, outlining what you can expect to take on and how you can use the new few months to efficiently prepare for the upcoming soccer season. Take the stress out of running the club this year and use some of these guidelines to optimize your soccer management strategy.
As a soccer club manager, you’re the middleman between the players, their parents, and the coach. Any personal or soccer-related issues will be communicated directly through you so the coach can focus on skill training and implementing game plans with the players. It’s important to touch base with the coach regularly to pass on the information. A good way to do this is by setting up brief meetings with the coach once or twice a week, either before or after practice. An important reminder: when it comes to making decisions regarding the players, the coach always has the final say, therefore keeping them up to date is crucial.
Sending weekly emails is another great way to keep everyone on the same page with important notices and schedule updates. I recommend creating an email template and setting a specific date for emails to go out, either Monday or Friday. It’s important to stay consistent with your email day so that team members and their parents know when to check for new announcements.
Your team may already have a website or social media account, if not, I’d recommend starting one. By having one social media account for the club, you can keep members up to date while creating a community of current and former players that will bring more general awareness. It’s a great way for parents to check in with their kids and stay active with the team throughout the season. A few social accounts to consider starting are a team Facebook Page, Instagram and/or Twitter. Only create a social media account that pertains to your team needs.
If your team already has a website, it’ll be your job to regularly update its content. Make sure you’re coordinating with other key club members and researching online for answers to any questions. If you’re inclined to start your own team website but don’t know where to start, then check out one of these free websites that will allow you to easily create one. A team website can also be a recommended platform alternative to emailing for posting schedule updates, announcements, and relevant news, as well as create a community within your club.
You’ll also have to create or distribute the pre-existing parent roster to delegate tasks such as bringing oranges and other snacks, giving rides, setting up equipment, and bringing water to games. Simplify your life and those of all the parents by making sure game days and practices run smoothly.
Soccer club managers must also be active and attend the vast majority, if not all, of the practices, games and other events related to the team. Abstaining once in a while is fine but it’s important to be involved and readily available in case the coach, players or parents have any questions or concerns.
The soccer club manager in charge of coordinating club registration, tournament registration, and payments. Stay organized by checking which tournaments your club should be participating in and working to avoid any scheduling conflicts with existing games or practices. This will afford you plenty of time to gather all parent contact information beforehand and ensure a seamless payment collection process. I suggest starting an Excel file or using a free CRM software to update parent information.
Check for any future travel requirements as you’ll need to organize rides and accommodations depending on the distance and length of stay. Once you find the tournament location, plan the travel details to accommodate each player that will be participating. That way, you avoid any last-minute oversights or frantic calls with parents trying to coordinate.
Consider details such as bus services, amount of seats needed, pickup and drop-off time and location, length of travel, and distance from the drop-off location to the actual tournament location (trust me, once you make the mistake of lugging goalie equipment for 2+ miles, you’ll refer back to this one).
Jersey or uniform purchases are imperative to sort out at the start of each season, verify that parents know how to purchase them whether it’s online or through you. You’ll also need to book a photographer for team photos and communicate the payment methods so parents can easily order them.
Collect information for parents such as: if the payment process is online or in person, the website for payments is, photo bundle options, and the time, date, and location of the photo session. I recommend asking the club for past photographers they’ve used or looking up team photographers in your area and compare prices and services.
Along with the parent roster, you’ll be in charge of organizing events or delegating a parent to organize events. Some past team bonding events that I’ve been a part of include end-of-season parties, holiday parties, and spaghetti dinners the night before a game. Get creative with team bonding events, it’s one of the most rewarding parts of the job! Pinterest is a great place for party inspiration, and you can send polls to your team members via email or social media to vote on event ideas.
Prepare and Manage
Gathering all the necessary resources and contacts is crucial since you’ll be the go-to person for all the news and updates. Collect information from club admins and managers and search for related online links that you can refer back to later in the season.
Record links such as your club portal, industry news updates, tournament updates, social media pages, and weather apps. Make sure these links are easily accessible for your team and inform them where to find these resources, whether it be on a Google Doc, a page on the team website, or on the team Facebook page.
Prepare documents such as player cards, photo registration forms, tournament entry forms, payment or budget forms. You’ll be carrying a lot of documents with you, so I recommend getting a spiral binder with labeled tabs to stay organized. Laminate any forms or rosters that you’ll be frequently referring to, you’ll be thanking me later when you’re trying not to smudge the player roster when it’s raining at a game.
Along with forms and documents, you will need to collect money and write tournament, apparel, and transportation checks, as well as keep track of the team budget and expenses. Keep track of your expenses either on an Excel software or a free budget app.
Lastly, you’ll have to keep track of bringing the equipment and first aid kits to each game, or as I mentioned before, delegating these responsibilities to one of the parents on the team.
The first few weeks as a club soccer manager might be overwhelming but once you get settled it’s a rewarding position and it helps if you’re passionate about the sport (which I assume you are if you ended up in this position). You’ll get to assist and watch the players grow, not only as athletes but also as individuals. That’s what makes all the event planning and equipment carrying worth it.