Player-Parent Manual

Bruno United Philosophy

Welcome to Bruno United. Bruno United’s player development philosophy looks beyond the final result of a game or tournament or even a season. Bruno United is committed to the development of players over the long term. This means that the club and its coaches prioritize building a solid foundation of skill, knowledge, and physical capacity over any single result. Development requires both determination and patience from coaches, parents, and the players themselves. Bruno United players consistently have success when they reach high school and college soccer because of the self-discipline and skill they learn at Bruno.

The Club’s Structure

Bruno United FC is a registered non-profit that has a mission of keeping top quality soccer affordable to all families in the Rhode Island area. Behind the scenes there is a lot of work done to keep our costs and fees as low as possible. There is a volunteer board of directors that ensures that the club fulfills its mission and is responsibly and ethically run. In addition, all of our team managers are volunteers. No coach, board member, or team manager receives any discount if his or her child plays for the club.

Bruno’s coaching directors are paid to administer all of the soccer activities at the club, including supervising and hiring our coaches. They also choose leagues and tournaments, and are responsible for the soccer direction of the club. The coaching directors report to the board of directors.

Bruno Scholarship Program

Bruno United offers scholarship assistance to players with demonstrated need. Scholarships are awarded on a sliding scale. Approximately 15% of players at Bruno United receive assistance. Applications are due at the time of registration and are reviewed in strictest confidence by the club’s board members and director of coaching. The scholarship program is paid for through sponsorships and volunteer fundraising efforts within the club.

The Coaches

The most important way to affect the development of a player is to provide a coach who has the credentials, skills, and talent to educate players. We expect that our coaches will behave professionally, be highly organized, and be prepared for all practice sessions and games. When a new coach joins our staff, it is under the premise that he or she will coach for Bruno for many seasons to come. Finding a coach of this caliber and commitment is not easy.

All good coaches know that there is always room for improvement. Getting better is always possible, and necessary, as the game of soccer changes constantly. Bruno coaches are encouraged to learn new coaching methods by watching other Bruno United and professional coaches and by taking coaching and licensing courses, with support from the club.

Addll Bruno teams compete in the New England Premiership (NEP). The league is comprised of the strongest clubs in New England. The NEP places each Bruno team in a division based on its past performance. Membership in the league is open only to clubs that meet high standards of coaching certification and have a commitment to player development.

Each team has a volunteer parent-manager who provides administrative support to the coach. The manager is selected by the director of coaching and the team’s coach. Managers communicate with parents, keep track of the player passes, rosters, and referee fees, and help coordinate team travel and overnight stays, all of which allows coaches to focus on their role of working with players on the field. The team manager does not have a role in what happens on the field.

A Supportive Role for Parents

Parents play a vital role in supporting their child and can help create a positive atmosphere that benefits their child, the team, and the club. We ask that you:

  • Trust the coach in his or her role as a coach.
  • Cheer good play from all team members, not just your child.
  • Be respectful of others, even in the heat of competition–this will help the players focus on their own performance.
  • Acknowledge good sportsmanship and good play from opponents.
  • Get to know the other parents.
  • Ask the team manager how you can help.

The following are guidelines that parents are asked to follow when watching their son or daughter in games or practice.

  • Parents should not make any degrading remarks or use foul language to referees, players, fans, or anyone at any game or practice.
  • Treat the officials with respect. All officials make mistakes. All humans make mistakes. Let the officials be human. Let the coaches approach the officials if they feel the need.
  • Do not engage is game-related discussions with parents from the opposing team. We will be playing these teams for many years to come. We want to be known in the soccer community as an organization that has class whether we win, lose, or draw. The game score will not be remembered. The argument or inappropriate remarks will be.
  • Leave the game on the field. When the game is over, no amount of comment, question, or discussion with the players, officials, or coaches can change the outcome. Regardless of the outcome, the coaches will evaluate the performance, reinforce the good things, and work to correct the things needing improvement.
  • Parents who coach from the sidelines, while well-meaning, can distract players. The coach may have different instructions or a system that only the players are aware of. Multiple instructions from the sidelines often confuse the players. Please leave the coaching to the coaches.
  • Parents should be spectators from a distance at practices, leaving space to train and allowing coaches to get on with their job.

On some occasions there can be disagreement and confusion on the part of players and parents regarding a coach’s decisions. In these cases, players are asked to approach coaches in an attempt to resolve any issues. Although this may be hard, this can help a player mature and develop the skills to be successful in all aspects of their lives. In situations where the player is too young to deal with an issue, and it is necessary for a parent to get involved, we ask that parents call the coach or make an appointment to meet.

  • If there is a question regarding something that has happened during a game, parents should not approach the coach until twenty-four hours after the game. As email or text messages can lead to misunderstandings, please arrange a time when you can speak in person.
  • Please remember that coaches work for Bruno United on a part-time basis and spend most of their time on their careers. They do realize that part of their job is to communicate effectively with parents if situations arise, and they are prepared to do this.
  • If you do have a concern, please make your comments directly to the coach. Do not voice your opinions on the sidelines. Complaining and degrading comments on the sideline create a negative atmosphere that can hurt the development of a team and players. Any parent who persists in these actions will be asked to leave the club.
  • If, after meeting with a coach, an issue is not resolved, the director of coaching will attempt to resolve the situation.
  • Any sort of verbal abuse by a parent toward Bruno coaches will not be tolerated under any circumstances. If this occurs, the individual will be asked to leave the club.

Playing Time

  • Playing time is not guaranteed. Playing time is earned by attending practices and games, paying attention to the coaches, working hard, showing progress, and being a good teammate.
  • For a player to develop and the team to be successful, parents must understand that all practices and games are mandatory. Understandably, conflicts sometimes arise; however, it is frustrating for coaches and teammates when a player is absent. Absences from practices or games must be pre-approved by the coach. If the absences are frequent, the coach has the right to remove that player from the roster.

The coaches at Bruno United consider themselves fortunate to be working with talented players and supportive parents in the club. We are thankful for the many parents who have helped Bruno United become the success it is. Throughout the years, Bruno has been praised in league and tournament play for the way in which parents conduct themselves. The club asks all of its parents to continue their support of the club’s policies of conduct.

For Players

Always remember that you are fortunate to have parents who are prepared to do what it takes to let you play soccer. For instance, schedules at home have to be managed and changed, and siblings may require transportation to soccer and other events. There is much time and expense involved in getting you to games, practices and tournaments–be sure to thank your parents often for giving you the opportunity to play.

Here are some guidelines for you to remember.

  • Practice is essential to your development. You must be prepared to work hard all of the time at each practice, and do your best to be on time. You must also be prepared to practice outside of your scheduled practices, games, and tournaments. Take pride in your equipment; brush your cleats off if they are covered in mud rather than throwing them in your bag and leaving them until your next practice. Make sure your ball is adequately pumped up, and remember to have the proper equipment and clothing for practice.
  • Shake the hand of the referee and the opposing team after every game. Keep in mind, soccer is only a game.
  • The coaches are there to help you. If you don’t understand something the coach does or says, don’t be afraid to ask the coach why he or she said or did that.
  • Indoor practice time is a vital component in your development. These sessions are mandatory. If you are able to get on the field earlier than scheduled, use the time to work on your ball skills and control.
  • Watch soccer on TV. There are many televised games from the U.S., South America, and Europe. You should watch these games when you can, and see how the game is played at the highest level. Pick out a favorite player from the MLS and from abroad. Watch these players and try to understand what makes them so successful. This will help you in your game.
  • Remember that you represent yourself, your family, and the club every time you play, practice, or travel with Bruno United. Behavior of Bruno players has always been good. Whatever your age group, you should always conduct yourself in a mature and responsible manner. This means showing respect, courtesy, and sportsmanship to all, including your opponents, teammates, fans, and the referee.
  • School should be your top priority. No matter how talented, enthusiastic, dedicated, and passionate you are about soccer or any sport, your education must come first. You must strive to do your very best at school. Success in the classroom is the stepping-stone to success in life. This means that you need to budget your time appropriately–it is not acceptable to hang out with your friends or watch TV all day and then miss practice because you don’t have time to finish your homework.

Dual-Rostering and Other Sports

Players at Bruno United (U14 and below) are allowed to dual roster with another town or association team. However, any player that is dual-rostered must give Bruno and his or her team priority if and when there is a conflict. Players who participate in other sports must also give Bruno first priority. After family and school, Bruno United must come first for players.


Bruno United has open tryouts every year. A goal of Bruno United is to create the best teams possible. The teams are formed based on playing ability and commitment of the individuals. Bruno United coaches are always given a hard task when choosing teams, and no coach likes to cut a player. The coaches watch the players, use previous knowledge, and consult previous coaches to ensure they have made the right decisions. Throughout the season players are given the opportunity to show the coach what they can do and stake their claim to a continuing place on the team.

Your Feedback

Bruno United welcomes feedback on the club’s and coaches’ performance. Please feel free to contact the club at any time with your questions or comments.