Coaching, Player Development, Team Management

SILENCE! on the sidelines…

Perhaps you saw this news:
Silent September in South Carolina…
This is our game, being ruined.

We have posted about the youth soccer parents in other articles, such as this one and wrapped up that article with this:
“…the questions parents are asking, and that we as SFYS, are working to provide you with the answers to. It is so important to focus on the player, but to share this focus with the families. Knowing that parents are understanding of the game and incredibly sensitive to the experience their child is having…”
So, why would youth sports be heading in the direction of an entire month of silence? No noise at all, is what the article says. There will be a warning system in place, ending after just one warning in removal from the field and then ultimately abandonment of the game.

I think it is a fair to say that the focus of play is all wrong. Every coach talks about player development over winning, every coach talks about creating life-long lovers of the game*. So, if coaches were focusing on player development, and parents knew what the focus was, then would they be on the referee’s as much as they have been? The ban is across ALL LEVELS OF PLAY, STATEWIDE.

If you are trying to win, then I think the refereeing decisions concern you as decisions are not always made in your favor. Note that decisions are made, especially in youth soccer, by a referee who is 2-3 years older than the players. When you’re trying to win, watch the world cup for example, and see that every moment is on a knife edge. Now cast your mind to the most recent memories of youth soccer games and I am sure you will recall moments on that knife edge. Yes, here with SFYS we are doing a good job of respecting the referees, but we are a long way from the development over winning focus ringing true. We still get the big score lines and the calls from parents about yelling coaches.

We will be sharing ideas on how to focus on development (which will lead to winning in the long run) and how to share those with the parents of the kids you coach. When parents know, they will help to deliver the message. If you are on the sideline shouting and yelling, they will do the same thing. So, I never mentioned the coaches perspective, because they always focus on development, right?

SFYS also has our own silent Saturday that started in 2001 and it has never increased, but kept as a reminder…

Finally, Don’t miss the upcoming coaches meetings!

*recent coaching symposium experience. 0 out of 300 coaches said they were focused on winning.