The 7 Most Important Items in A Soccer Coach’s Bag
Did you just volunteer to coach your daughter/son’s soccer team? Is this your first time coaching soccer? After committing to guide a soccer team to glory, many first time coaches are left wondering what they need to keep in their soccer gear bag to ensure smooth practice sessions and for maximum preparedness come game time. If this is you; have no fear and look no further. We’ve got you covered.
Let’s review the essential items no coach should be found without.First Aid Kit
First and foremost. This one may seem obvious but it is surprising how many coaches will neglect or forget to keep a first aid kit in their bag. There is nothing more important than keeping young athletes safe and to ensure you are prepared for the most common injuries occurring during soccer practice or games. Check out our first aid kits here!Soccer Balls
While they do take up a bit of space, it is always a good idea to have at least one ball in your bag (unless of course you plan to keep a separate ball bag full of balls). You don’t want to turn up at practice without a ball and have no players bring theirs. You’ll be dead in the water. Keeping one training-level ball will ensure you’re never left playing freeze tag all practice long. Most youth leagues don’t have standards relating to the quality of ball used in games. However, keeping a certified match ball in your bag means you’ll always be set to play no matter what league you play in. Check out our wide variety of quality soccer balls here!Hand Pump & Spare Needles
There are few things as frustrating as showing up to practice 20-30 minutes early, laying out cones, ready to start only to have players show up with improperly inflated soccer balls. A trick of the trade is to always keep a hand pump & spare needles handy in your bag’s side pocket (a pressure gauge is a bonus). Show your players where to find the pump and let them know how important it is to have a properly inflated ball. This way when those players show up with a flat ball, the first thing they’ll do is pump it up.
Hand pumps where the needle connects directly to the body of the pump experience significantly more stress at the base of the needle each time it is used which makes the needle more susceptible to breaking off (possibly in the ball valve). For that reason we recommend keeping a hand pump with a short hose attachment. The hose relieves the needle of the stress it would otherwise experience if attached directly to the body of the hand pump. Also - keep a few extra needles in case your needle breaks or gets lost. Check out our selection of hand pumps here!
An assortment of colored cones used for marking out grids and lines are an absolute must for any coach. Most coaches find disc cones useful. Disc cones generally have a lower profile (2” – 3” high) and have a wider base. This shape allows for wind to pass more easily over the cone and because they are more flat players will not get hurt if they fall on the cone. Keeping 11-15 cones in 2 or 3 different colors is usually enough for most coaches.
Also - take it from us, you don’t want the hassle of loose cones in your bag. Do yourself a favor and invest in a cone strap or carrier to keep your cones together, organized, and to prevent unnecessary wear and tear while in transport. Check out our collection of cones and other training gear here!Pinnies
Also known as ‘bibs’ or ‘vests,’ these are a must-have for making your training sessions more efficient. No player wants to have to remember who is on what team when playing 3 on 3. You don’t want your players diverting their mental energy on that task either (which is not game-like). A good rule of thumb with pinnies is to have at least two colors available with enough of each color to outfit about 1/3 of your team. You’ll also want to have enough to allow for a full-field scrimmage while having one team fully in the same color. You also won’t regret having a couple spares in each color for when one goes home in your player’s bag never to be seen again. Check out our collection of cones and other training gear here!The Bag Itself
Yes, it might go without saying, but the bag is as important as the items in it! Skimping on a cheap bag will leave you frustrated in the short term and will likely cost you more in long term replacement cost. Invest in a quality bag that will stand up to rugged use. You’ll be glad you have zippers that work every time, straps that don’t break, and stitching that don’t unravel. Check out our selection of quality bags here!Waterproof Bags
For those of us not blessed to live in arid climates it is a smart idea to waterproof your bag. A good rule of thumb with most nylon bags is to treat them with one or two coats of Scotch Guard before your first use and each time after cleanings. However, even with preventative Scotch Guard-ing, your bag still might leak. As a fail-safe, keep a large spare industrial garbage bag in your coach bag. That way, when you have serious precipitation on your hands you can pull it out and cover your entire bag. You’ll feel a lot safer about leaving your cell phone, car keys, and wallet in your bag if you know water is not going to get in. You'll also have players lining up to put their electronic devices in your bag! No room for a large garbage bag? At minimum you should keep a good Ziploc bag so you have a spot to protect those items you can’t afford to get wet.Other Items
Here are some other items that might not be as key, but will undoubtedly come in handy at one point:
- Goalkeeper gloves
- Spare pair of shin guards
We hope you have a better idea of what the key items your coach’s bag shouldn’t be without. We’ve got everything you need to make sure you’re prepared to guide that team to glory!