Getting Started

Read through and study this page. Take the Policies Quiz (which requires a perfect score) after you have read through the study material. Hint: the test is open book, trainers can refer to this page for answers!


Set-up Direct Deposit Payments

Avila’s local CoS (Chief of Staff–one in charge of making trainer schedules) will put new hires in contact with ADP (payroll processing servicer). Please provide them the following information to get set up with direct deposit payments.

  • Exact name on your bank account
  • Bank account and routing numbers
  • Bank account type, such as Checking or Savings
  • Social Security number
  • Cell phone
  • Email
  • Mailing Address
  • Hourly wage
  • Start date

Submitting Hours

A pay period consists of 2 weeks and ends two days before payday. Count and submit these hours to Avila’s CoS for review. A courtesy reminder will be sent on Wednesday afternoon prior to payday, but it will be the trainer’s responsibility to submit their hours.

Hours will be checked for accuracy and sent to ADP for processing every second Thursday. Please make sure to submit your hours a day before (every second Wednesday) to avoid delays in getting paid.

Sample pay period: If payday is on Friday, June 10, submit hours worked from Thursday, May 26 – Wednesday, June 8.

Pay period

Thu, May 26 - Wed, June 8

Submit hours

Wed, June 8

Hours checked

Thu, June 9


Fri, June 10


Payday is by direct deposit every second Friday morning


  • Avila Shirts: All trainers are required to wear their Avila shirt at all times
  • Shorts: Black athletic shorts or pants that are comfortable enough to run in. Shorts must not be too long, too baggy, or too short. If wearing compression shorts or pants, use underneath athletic shorts/pants only
  • Socks: Black soccer socks that reach the shin or the knee, no ankle socks please
  • Shoes: Turf, tennis, or running shoes of any color is acceptable. Cleats of any kind are not allowed to avoid injury to young players
  • Trainers will be required to demonstrate skills, and play scrimmages with players so they are expected to be active so proper soccer attire is mandatory
  • The best rule of thumb is to dress as though you’re going to work out in front of your mom, you wouldn’t want her to accidentally see something pop out!
  • Trainers must be clean-shaven, well-groomed, and clean-cut in their appearance. Visible tattoos must be covered up.
  • Earrings and other body piercings must not be worn on-premises. Please keep them at home or in your car.
  • Trainers are the face of Avila, so they are expected to dress appropriately, even during staff meetings and or visiting Avila Soccer facilities when off the clock. At these times, Avila shirts are not required but casual work wear is encouraged (jeans or pants, short or long-sleeved shirts). No visibly dirty clothes or vulgar prints, please.


Arrive Early

  • Arriving to work early or on time can highlight your trustworthiness and reliability as an employee. If you are constantly rushing to the field each day like a tornado spinning out of control, you may want to reconsider your routine so that you can arrive earlier because that stress affects the kids.
  • When you arrive early, you will have ample time to get the lobby and field set up in a way that is welcoming. It gives you time to make a stop at the break room, get coffee or water or put your snacks/food in the refrigerator. Arriving early allows you to stop and chat with other trainers and or patrons who are early birds. So you can get all the chitchat out of the way.
  • Those who want to be successful and productive in the workplace know that having an action plan and sticking to it will open up avenues for accomplishing goals. That’s another reason to arrive at work early, so you can create your action plan for the day and ensure you are focusing on the right priorities.

Start each session on time

  • Always start classes on time and end them on time. Not doing so is disrespectful. Consistently being punctual can also help show that you meet standards of professionalism, which can increase your value as an employee and help you advance your career. If you don’t get your sessions completed on time, you keep others from being able to finish their tasks. Being punctual helps you establish our business reputation as dependable and consistent.

In order to know what subject to teach, refer to the Avila App. Do not stray from the subject matter as many people specifically come to Avila on a specific day and time to be able to experience the subject that’s been announced. However, skills sessions throughout the 9-month school year allow for trainers to add Apply Time at their discretion (a mini scrimmage at the end of each session) for 7-10 min.  If the trainer starts late, then it’s probably not a good decision to add Apply Time; which is another incentive to start on time

Managing Volunteers

  • If volunteers are assigned to your shift, let them know that their work is greatly appreciated. Acknowledging volunteers by saying “thank you for your time and patience” or “your help with the kids is important”
  • Always make sure that volunteers are working with kids that are at least 4 years younger than they are. (For example, an 11-year-old volunteer can work with the 4-7 aged players)
  • Make sure that volunteers are guided and never in charge of a group by themselves
  • Volunteers can be very useful in helping set up the field with cones and cans.
  • If players are not conforming to sports ethics (messing around, not listening, etc), the use of volunteers as their partners can greatly alleviate the situation.
  • All volunteers are subject to the same dress codes as trainers (from head to toe in black–black socks, black shorts, black volunteer shirt). Do not allow volunteers to help out without first contacting the CoS if you notice a minor dress code violation.

Divide your field by age and level

  • Sometimes players are unhappy with their experience at Avila Soccer and even choose to quit because they feel they were placed in groups that were too weak or too hard. As a trainer, one of your constant tasks will be to protect against this issue by using cones and cans to divide off areas based on age and level. The other tool to help with this tricky job is color-coded wristbands.
Avila’s Wristbands Purposes
  • recognize or reward achievement
  • help trainers instantly group players with similarly experienced players
  • inspire players to improve through a pathway
  • create scrimmage groups based on level
  • Students and trainers can benefit from the enforcement of the wristband policy. One of the potential positive effects of ability or age-grouping is that players in smaller groups may receive more individual attention than they would in a large group.
  • Proponents of grouping this way argue that without it, coaches are forced to teach to the middle, leaving out both struggling children and gifted learners. They also say there is a “peer effect,” in which high-achieving players do better if paired with other high-achieving players
  • The common purpose of grouping  by wristband is to provide instruction that is appropriate for students and their individual need
  • When making teams, break this rule. Allow for even distribution of talent on each team at least 80% of the time. It’s ok to start or finish with the strongest players together, but not for more than 20% of the scrimmage.

Example: if you have 7 kids–6 kids at the same level and 1 at another level–then use cones and or cans to create a visually recognizable divide. Use this practice even if you are the only trainer working, then proceed to go back and forth between areas. When you can, do keep instructions the same for both groups. But also use your expertise to give nuanced differences in instruction based on level to each side.

Be intensely watchful

  • The trainer’s job is to be intensely watchful so they can offer calm, quick corrections at all times. Choose moments for in-depth explanations, but only once or twice per session. A trainer who is constantly resorting to long explanations is usually lacking the ability to use cones as an art form to do the talking for them.
    Instead, 95% of the session should be focused observation and quick explanations.
  • Trainers should be constantly be using positive words of affirmation. Do this with a loud voice for all players to hear. Develop positive credit in the players’  emotional bank. But all positive praise must be authentic. Children are extremely  perceptive and can spot disingenuousness. A trainer can only pass the “BS test” through being intensely watchful. Players who have learned that you see the majesty in them, will be more willing to accept pointed criticism when it needs to be addressed.
  • Protect kids from bullying, violent actions, and disrespectful words. Trainers are to always intervene when such actions are seen. Do not wait for behaviors to extinguish themselves. Failure to watch carefully and respond appropriately is not only a failure as a coach but a failure as a human being, because working with kids is a sacred responsibility, and this is one reason that they chose Avila.
  • Trainers are not parents. They do not punish, they discipline. It’s best to intervene in a way the player can come back from, such as assigning three push-ups. If there is a serious breach in sport ethic, something extreme the player has done or is doing that requires them to sit out and be removed from the field – then it’s best to give them a timeframe that they will have to wait – for example, five minutes.

Show your foot skills

  • At Avila Soccer, trainers wear actual soccer socks as part of the dress code. The symbolism behind socks up should not be lost on you. What makes Avila trainers different from conventional coaches is that they must lead by example. They must present themselves as ready to participate. They must actually move around, break a sweat and demonstrate the skills they are teaching. They don’t just stand around with a clipboard barking directions.
  • Avila trainers are expected to learn signature Avila moves which can be found and are cataloged in the Trainer Orientation section, along with vintage Avila drills.
  • Trainers are expected not only to teach Avila skills and drills but to share and teach their favorite classic skills as well. By teaching, we mean demonstrating both slowly in a deconstructed way and demonstrating at pace. Teach by example!

No long lines

  • There should never be more than 3 players in a line for any reason whatsoever.  Try to keep in mind that many players only come to Avila Soccer for just 45 minutes a week, so it’s not reasonable to make them stand around.
  • The general rule should be no standing around. Make sure kids have their heart rate up as long as possible.

Example: if you have 6 kids doing a single drill, get two soccer balls out and have two groups of 3 doing that same drill. Use the time well. Long lines usually signal a lack of creative coaching.

Don't mistake activity for achievement

  • Keeping the players’ heart rates up alone does not signify a high standard of coaching. Focus on deconstructing little aspects of the maneuvers, skills, and mechanical principles that the players are going through.
  • The players do not have to master a skill in one class in order for it to be a successful session. The idea is that each time they return, their approximations of the skill have improved little by little. Trainers cannot achieve this progression if players are just put through the motions.

Example: it’s not a good idea for trainers to check their phones when they’ve just asked the players to dribble down a 60-foot field ten times and back. This violates a crown tenant of Avila Soccer which is to be present with the client. Not just physically but mentally present. This exercise is high in activity but very short on achievement. Any inexperienced coach could put players through such a drill.

This is what many players experience outside of Avila. Instead, be creative. Do things to scale. Shorten the space to one-third the distance, allowing your voice  to be heard at all times as you observe and comment on their dribbling. Put creative limitations on how they must dribble, and watch for little adaptations they may display. Comment on details as players learn. Only then–by being present and focused–will trainers actually attain achievement.

Use of hybrid games

  • Use hybrid games to teach skills whenever possible. Soccer Tennis, Soccer Golf, or inventing whimsical games with cans and cones is an intrinsic part of the Avila Method. Why do kids find this appealing? Because for the most part, children’s play is regimented, uniform (and in uniform), on lined fields (no thinking outside of the box), boring and with no shortage of supervisors to watch over them. The sad reality is that the natural wonderment and genius in every child to evolve their athletic prowess is undergoing a troubling arrested development.
  • Navigate the line between instruction and fun and apply adaptations to games. Always remember the 4 rules that players want: action, inclusion, equality, and opportunities to reaffirm friendships with other players.

  • Trainers must not allow players to just stand around, there must be action.

  • Everyone in the group must be included, players shouldn’t be sitting on the bench.

  • The teams for these games must be equal and or the challenge equal.

  • It’s ok for the players to celebrate together and have fun as they score goals or achieve milestones in the hybrid games you’ve invented–this can be interpreted as a sign of doing things correctly.

Remember games can be simple, yet still compelling and fun. For example, try playing a basketball shoot-out game where players kick the ball from the ground, into a can (to represent the hoop), without using their hands. Be creative.

Change group dynamics

  • It’s very important to notice when groups are not evenly matched. Display quick coaching reflexes by immediately making changes even if scrimmages or drills have already started.
  • Sometimes, simply changing the players’ positions is enough to even out the game. Make quick decisions, and don’t allow poor patterns to persist.
  • If there is a trainer on each team (who is usually positioned at the back), have the trainer on the weaker team change their position to allow for roaming throughout the field.
  • In scrimmages, find the least experienced player and position them inconspicuously near the trainer who is usually at the back. It’ll be easier for the player to make fewer mistakes if the play is coming at them, thus making it easier to interpret. With a trainer by their side, it’s even more likely that players begin to gain some confidence.
  • In skills sessions wherein almost all players have different skill levels, avoid interactive drills. Instead, opt for individual skills that involve everyone having their own ball.
  • Avoid clicks. It’s OK for friends to want to work together, however, make sure that it’s not overwhelming all the time. Sometimes, it’s more important for trainers to assign groups. Don’t allow players to pick their teams as they usually gravitate towards players they know, making others feel left out. Avoid this scenario by taking control of choosing groups.
  • Rotate players every few minutes. This makes players that are new or shy more involved and included, and not left out. It also avoids the problem of one player constantly playing the same position in scrimmages.
  • Do not allow certain common words like “loser” which seem mundane at times, but can be very impactful and emote the wrong feelings. Players can enjoy their win and even the loss of the other team, but it must always be done in a tasteful and tactful way. It’s the trainers’ job to squash negative actions immediately and explain the consequences of such actions.
  • It’s best to bring the group in and speak to them before calling a water break. Focus on positive comments so players can discern and renew their motivation while catching their breath.

Keep checking the lobby

  • Every semester, especially at the beginning, it never fails that we see a child get left in the lobby watching TV or playing video games when they were supposed to be on the field for a group class. This leads to negative feelings for the kid who has an intuition that they’re missing out. Furthermore, leads to angry parents who call us up and voice their dissatisfaction and concern.
  • At the beginning of sessions, it’s the trainer’s job to do multiple reviews of the lobby and check on the status of players. Sometimes kids don’t know they are supposed to go into the field for their lesson, they often lose track of time, leading them to think their session is not up yet. Never rely solely on what the child says.
  • Check the schedule of classes booked to make sure that no one is falling through the cracks and missing training that they paid for.

Avoid inappropriate parent conversation

  • Never offer unsolicited advice. Don’t try to answer a question you’re unsure of.  This is unprofessional too. Many parents try to engage trainers in inflammatory questions in particular about youth club soccer. Show the parent that you’re listening but avoid being sucked into these types of conversations.
  • At the beginning of sessions, it’s the trainer’s job to do multiple reviews of the lobby and check on the status of players. Sometimes kids don’t know they are supposed to go into the field for their lesson, they often lose track of time, leading them to think their session is not up yet. Never rely solely on what the child says.
  • There is a reason Avila Soccer is a hub for all the soccer clubs in Austin. If you have an opinion about a particular soccer club, whether it’s positive or negative, it’s best to remain neutral. While clubs are not big drivers of business to Avila Soccer, they definitely are huge drivers of business away from Avila Soccer. If they hear that you’re speaking about their entities in a disparaging way, they will take action through word of mouth.
  • It’s inappropriate to share personal contact information, including email and or  phone numbers with Avila Soccer parents for any reason whatsoever. This is a very strict rule to remember. Parents sometimes insinuate they would be willing to pay directly to Avila Trainers if they work with their kids outside of Avila Soccer. This is a sure fire way a trainer can lose their job. To be clear, just giving personal contact information is grounds for being written up as possible suspension. In any and all situations like this, please refer parents to our website or to a manager.
  • Questions regarding the performance of Avila players should be avoided, and at best, referred to the senior trainer who is trained to keep opinions to a minimum. Refer clients to the app for this type of information tracking.
  • Under no circumstances shall a trainer share personal information about one client with another client. That includes opinions about a particular player’s level.  If you have questions about parents’ comments, please involve the CoS right away for guidance and or clarification.

Equal time for everyone

  • Many unlikely champions have arrived through our doors mishandled and misunderstood who needed the devotion of a trainer to draw out the majesty in them. But many trainers like elite kids only. They gravitate towards kids with talent and kids who are communicative. It’s a trainer’s job to balance intensely watchful focus equally so that no one falls through the cracks simply because they’re quiet or shy or lack confidence. Also, try not to label kids as playing a certain way or having certain limitations.
  • Children develop at such a fast pace that they’re not the same player they are now as they were two months ago. The greatest gift you can give them is to make sure, each and every time you see them to look at them with fresh eyes as if you have just met them. Focus your attention to the entire room not just your favorite player. It takes discipline. That’s the fun part of being an Avila trainer–when some quiet, obscure player begins to achieve stardom–knowing you saw them first and helped to bring out what was within, through your professionalism.

Stay off your phones for personal use

  • It’s important to start by making a distinction between the lobby and the field.  It’s never acceptable to make personal texts or calls when you are standing on the field. If that is something you need to do, that must be done from the lobby and not the field. Once you step back onto the field, you have to be 100% present with the players.
  • It is indeed acceptable to be on your phone while on the field if you are doing it in service of our patrons. Meaning, you are tracking the progress of players using the Avila App. However, take great care to do this at the correct moments, otherwise it gives the appearance of impropriety; and sometimes parents get annoyed with the image of trainers standing around on their phone without their eyes on the players (they will even send photos or videos of trainers doing this at in opportune times).
  • Before a session, after a session, and at the water breaks–these are all the appropriate times to track progress on your phone using the Avila App. Anything else is a violation of the policy. Please do not take this policy lightly, this can result in the dismissal of trainers who are habitual offenders.

Constantly keep the field clean

  • An ounce of image is worth a pound of strength. Keeping the field super tidy makes the session look more powerful and effective.
  • For effective drills, use cones, cans, and other soccer props to make straight, neat lines. Hint: such drills will be even more effective if props are not only laid out neatly but laid out first before explaining the drill to the players.
  • Do not conduct a session in a messy training space. Doing so can result in being written up or suspended. This should be a constant task that is never-ending. Avila fields are already small by design, so having a messy training space will create a feeling of clutter.
  • Each Avila field has a section for storing trainers’ bags and soccer props, which need to be kept tidy. Trainers are expected to wipe down windows, throw away water bottles and garbage, and constantly dispose of field debris before, during, and after shifts. Trainers are also responsible for lobby maintenance.

Avoid and reporting injuries

  • Immediately report any type of injury, however minor to the Chief of Staff, or to the Director of Coaching. Even if the player walks it off, Avila still needs to know about anything out of the ordinary.
  • Injuries can be a sign that the trainer is failing to curtail a violent culture. As the trainer themself is also playing, they may get carried away and fail to identify what’s going on for what it is. It’s very important to constantly intervene proactively when players fail to decelerate their bodies and barrel into opponents recklessly. Doing so early could be the key to encountering fewer injuries.
  • Injuries are usually a sign that the trainer is not adding enough limitations (for example, everybody has to touch the ball before you can score),.When the trainer fails to add limitations, the players essentially end up doing a free-for-all frantically.
  • Trainers who run sessions that involve more injuries may need to be retrained or re-oriented.
  • Trainers who fail to report injuries risk being written up and or suspended.
  • As with any sport or public space, serious injuries may happen randomly through no fault of your own, that require immediate attention. Render first aid and call EMS, 911 and all parties involved including parents, guardians, and the Avila Soccer management team. Each Avila Soccer facility has easy to spot first aid boxes, located in the Trainer area and lobby–trainers must identify these boxes on their first day.

Demand gracious behavior

  • Sports are mechanisms of socialization and social integration. Unfortunately, some kids don’t play well with others. They can be aggressive and use demeaning words. Trainers must not allow this culture to persist. If trainers are caught failing to protect a child from such inappropriate behaviors, dire ramifications for trainers will be put in place. Little things matter and cannot be overlooked, this cannot be stressed enough. If trainers are not being responsible and proactively not intervening, they may not be suitable for this line of work.

Example: if a player uses the word loser, they must immediately be told calmly but strongly that the word is not acceptable. Players who persist should be asked to sit out for 5 minutes. These behaviors need to be reported to the Avila Chief of Staff.

  • Never allow kids to pick teams because it creates peer pressure and they come to Avila to escape that. Whatever you do, never allow a kid to show disappointment for being placed on a particular kid’s team. Explain to them why it’s not cool to react like that. Demand gracious behavior!