Players First

NSGSC is proud to provide an inclusive environment for players. We want our players to feel comfortable and excited to be a part of our club! Our ultimate goal is to empower and improve our players both on and off the field, always while having fun.


Below are some guidelines focusing on players needs both on and off the field.

Topics listed below include: 

  • How to be a GREAT coach for your players
  • Ways to keep your players healthy through understanding nutrition and injury prevention exercises
  • Understanding different gender and racial identities


All information has been outsourced and summarized from respected articles. We highly encourage everyone to take the time to read the attached sources and gain an even better understanding of these topics discussed.

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How to be a GREAT Coach

In a study of youth athletes conducted by California State University, athletes considered their coach to be great not based on their win-loss record but on the EXPERIENCE that the coach provides. Here are some tips on how to build great experiences for our players: The Environment: Athletes said that great coaches created three types of environments; a general player-centered space, a one-on-one communication space that is accessible and approachable, and the structured-purposeful practice environment. Coaching Attributes: Athletes viewed their coaches as teachers, mentors, friends, and parental figures. Connecting with athletes on an emotional and social level is important:  be genuine, honest, and loyal.The System: Athletes considered a coach to be great not just based on the coach's framework and strategies but the way the coach believed in the system and delivered it to their team. Relationships: Athletes want their coach to know them and connect with them on an appropriate personal level based on trust, confidence, and respect. Coaching Actions: Teach, Communicate, Motivate, Respond, Prepare, Perform, and Disregard the Irrelevant. To learn more, read “It’s Not What They Do, It’s How They Do It: Athlete Experiences of Great Coaching” in its entirety HERE.

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Keeping Our players Healthy

Injury Prevention

Injury is, unfortunately, a common outcome of playing contact sports. Common injuries for female athletes typically impact the ankles and knees. And an ACL Tear is 2-10 times more common in women which can result in over a year of recovery. In order to prevent injury, it is critical to have stretching and injury prevention exercises a part of their routine before and after they play.

BC Soccer has provided an explanation of various common injuries in female soccer and has included exercises to help with injury prevention.


Here are some easy-to-do injury prevention exercises:


Part 1: running exercises at a slow speed combined with stretching

Part 2: six sets of exercises, focusing on core and leg strength, balance and agility, each with three 

Part 3: running exercises at moderate/high speed combined with planting/cutting movements.

Prior to matches: you do only the running exercises


Please see detailed exercise ideas for each part listed above on page 25 of the BC Soccer document by clicking HERE

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Nutritional Information

Injury prevention starts with keeping our player's bodies healthy through a proper diet. KidsHealth shares what carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals do for our players with guidelines for when players should be eating more or less of the particular nutrient groups.

Below is some information found from the article "Feeding Your Child Athlete" by KidsHealth. The full article can be read by clicking HERE


Vitamins and minerals: Kids need a variety of vitamins and minerals. Calcium and iron are two important minerals for athletes:

  • Calcium helps build strong bones to resist breaking and stress fractures. Calcium-rich foods include low-fat dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, as well as leafy green vegetables such as broccoli.
  • Iron helps carry oxygen to all the different body parts that need it. Iron-rich foods include lean meat, chicken, tuna, salmon, eggs, dried fruits, leafy green vegetables, and fortified whole grains.


Protein: Protein helps build and repair muscles, and most kids get plenty of it through a balanced diet. Protein-rich foods include fish, lean meat and poultry, dairy products, beans, nuts, and soy products.

Carbohydrates: Carbs provide energy for the body and are an important source of fuel for a young athlete. Without carbs in their diet, kids will be running on empty. When choosing carbs, look for whole-grain foods like whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, whole-grain bread and cereal, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.


A General Guidline of When to Eat What:

  • A meal 3 to 4 hours before activity should have plenty of carbs and some protein but be low in fat. Fat takes longer to digest, which can cause an upset stomach. Carbs could include pasta, bread, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid sugary foods and drinks.
  • If kids eat less than 3 hours before a game or practice, serve a lighter meal or snack that includes easy-to-digest carb-containing foods, such as fruit, crackers, or bread.
  • After the game or event, experts recommend eating within 30 minutes after intense activity and again 2 hours later. The body will be rebuilding muscle and replenishing energy stores and fluids. Kids should continue to hydrate and eat a balance of lean protein and carbs.

Understanding a players identity

Gender Identity and Cultural Identity are very important for members and coaches to understand in order to fully be able to connect with ALL of our players and make them feel comfortable in our environment. At NSGSC we are going to be providing more education around these topics in order to make sure that we are all informed.

This week is Transgender Awareness week leading up to Transgender Remembrance Day on Nov 20th! We are here to provide you with information to help ensure we create an inclusive environment for all our players. This is not only to help our players feel comfortable but also to help you as coaches feel comfortable when addressing these topics.  

Resource #1: NSGSC Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Policy : Click HERE

This includes both action items and participation guidelines to support you in managing your team. 

Resource #2: Inclusion in Sport - Coaching Resource : Click HERE

This will help coaches and players understand the terminology and how to create safe spaces and recognize that language is an important tool for belonging and affirmation. 

  • Page 4 : Why is this Important for a Coach?
  • Page 5 : What Can I do? 
  • Page 5/6/7 : Actions and Ideas for Everyday Gender Nurtural Language  

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