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Welcome to Grayslake AYSO Region 396

Hey Coach Newsletter



Welcome to "Hey Coach!"

This newsletter is intended for new and returning coaches to receive guidanceand tips for coaching and leading AYSO players. For inquires or concerns, please email us.

See you out on the field!

Gary Van Otten receives
AYSO Spirit Award for Coaching 2022

Congratulations to Gary Van Otten who received the AYSO Spirit Award for Coaching at the recent AYSO Annual General Meeting in Vegas. Gary is seen above receiving his award from National Board of Directors Eileen Tabert (left) and Yvette Barrett (right) who is also the AYSO Coaching Liaison.

Gary is the Chair of the AYSO Coach Council where he has championed continuous coaching education, alignment between all AYSO Sections and timely updates to our overall coaching program. Hailing from Section 11, Gary is a long-time coach and was instrumental in getting the Coach Council established, seeing the need to gather people from every section, to work on improving our coach and instructor programs.

AYSO Director of Sport Development Scott Snyder stated, “Simply put, our coaching program is where it is today because of Gary’s commitment and leadership. He is a passionate believer in continuous coach education and always views the game from a national and global perspective to best serve the entire AYSO coaching body. Well deserved!”

The Importance of Individual Practice

During summer, it is easy for players to sit back and unwind from soccer, (an important part of recovery and regeneration); however, they can always work on individual ball skills and technique to stay active and improve their game. Check out this Coaching Manual interview with top coach and former player Alan Irvine on the importance of individual practice.

And remember to encourage signing up for the FREE individual training app TopTekkers. The industry-leading program stimulates individual practice in a fun and gamified platform! Download the FREE app and register using the email you use for AYSO.Email [email protected] for support.

Coach Code of Conduct 2022

As we introduced at the EXPOs, the AYSO Coach Council (your Section Coach Admins) has created a new AYSO Coach Code of Conduct. The updated document reflects the standardsand commitment of all AYSO coaches who help create vibrant playing environments for all AYSO players across the country. The document can be found on the AYSO Coach Clipboard

AYSO and Heja...Connecting Players, Families and Teams

Soccer. It's a simple game. Organizing your team should be simple too. Right?

That's what Heja believes.

Heja - the new official team communication app of AYSO. The app making communication and scheduling simple for soccer teams.

That'sallyour communication. Communication between RCs and coaches, coaches and volunteers, volunteers and parents, etc, etc.

ANOTHER APP? We know. But this one's simple. Super simple. The best bit? No more emails back and forth! No more questions about times, dates, venues. One team calendar. One app. For everything.

Here's exactly how Heja helps YOU

  • Coaches save 2 hours / week organizing your team (no emails!)
  • Regional Commissioners get a group chat with all Region coaches within the app
  • Coaches see immediately who's available for all practices and games
  • Parents love it too (91% say they feel closer to their kid's team)

As Jeff Schell, Regional Commissioner of AYSO 114 in Long Beach shared,“I’ve used Heja for years. It really makes team communication easier. We use it for group chats, direct messages, videos and pictures of our team, and planning practice schedules & parties. I’m a big fan.” Heja looks forward to working with and building relationships with more AYSO members like Jeff across the country.

Here's the deal
As official sponsors of AYSO, Heja is giving away 16,500 FREE subscriptions to the app's premium plan: Heja Pro.

Heja Pro includes attendance statistics and several more advanced features. Your whole team gets Heja Pro for the whole of 2022.

Just click here to install the app and you'll get the deal automatically:

DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS DEAL - Many AYSO teams have signed up already!

P.S. Got a question? Ask Laurie - he's an All-American in soccer who works for Heja. He's friendly. Email him at [email protected].

P. P. S. Need instructions on how to set up your team? Go here

Summer Coaching Development

Just like our players who need to hone their individual skills and stay active this summer, don’t forget to make time for your own development during the off season. From AYSO CEUs, Region certifications, online grassroots licenses with US Soccer or a Diploma with United Soccer Coaches, sharpening our own coaching blade is very much part of our coaching journey.

REMEMBERto activate your FREE membership to the AYSO Coaching Manual which has all of our AYSO materials and content from all over the soccer globe. Register here for FREE.Email [email protected] for support.

CedarsSinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute Presents

As part of our esteemed partnership with CedarsSinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute (CSKJI), we are delighted share with your numerous health, fitness and wellness articles, research and guidance. In this timely piece, we look into the importance of quality hydration, common options, their benefits and what to avoid. Enjoy!

National Games Lottery Deadline is July 1 at 6pm PST

We are so excited theNationalGames are back and being hosted bySection 11in beautifulOrange County, California. You have a week left to get those submissions in, as thewindows closes onJuly 1st at 6:00pm PST!
Don't delay and register today by visiting!

The AYSO National Games will be open to:

  • Core and EXTRA teams:
    • Core:10U,12U,14U,16U,19U
    • EXTRA:10U,11U,12U,13U,14U,16U

Remember, only Regional Commissioners may submit an entry for the National Games lottery. If you are not the Regional Commissioner, pleasecontact your Regional Commissioner for details about your Region's National Games participation.More details for this exciting event will be added as they are confirmed.

Questions? Email [email protected].

Got tips, tricks or great ideas you think we should know about?

Send us an email here


What advice would you give to new coaches?

Have advice you think new AYSO coaches should know about?

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We'll feature it in a future edition of "Hey Coach!"




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Grayslake AYSO Region 396

PO Box 174 
Grayslake, Illinois 60030

Email Us: [email protected]
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