Welcome to Beverly Hills AYSO Region 76
This message was sent by Cliff Bochner, our Regional Commissioner, in September 2000 to the regional board.
G'day board members,
Well, I had a chance to see parts of games in all divisions Saturday except for U14 and U16.
It was great. Every game I saw was competitive, clean, well reffed, and without parental intervention.
We are 3 weeks in and so far we have had zero major incidences. I cannot ask for more (but I will).
If you really want to make I difference for the kids in your league it is time to take things one step further. What I am about to address is the way coaches are dealing with their players during a game. Don't get me wrong, I only saw nice, caring people, with virtually no derogatory statements.
However, almost every game had at least one coach screaming at the top of HIS lungs to either KICK the ball or CLEAR it.
At one game I was about 50 yards away. When the coach screamed I was startled and re-injured my L5-S1 disc. What I finally figured out was that he was simply screaming to the defense to kick the ball.
Now if I was not sure what he was saying, how could the kids know. What I am sure they heard was a 40 year old baritone screaming at them. If I were a 9 year old girl I would have either frozen on the spot or peed in my pants. To their credit they kept playing.
The point I am trying to make is that the yelling from the sideline is simply a negative.
Wouldn't you agree that 8 year olds and above know that they are supposed to clear the ball when it is in front of their goal. I also can't imagine that these same kids need to told to KICK the ball when it is right on their foot. That is what kids do, they kick the ball.
I would ask you to gently and kindly speak to these well meaning coaches and point out to them what they are doing is a negative. Ask them to walk up to their kids when they get home at night and scream I LOVE YOU as loud as they can and see whether the kids view it as a positive.
Tell them that they can best instruct the players away from the ball, they can point out open players, and other strategies. There is much on field coaching to do that does not involve screaming the obvious. If they cannot offer any good strategy advice, just be quiet or cheer good plays.
There is also nothing wrong in standing by quietly and enjoying the game.
You will not be considered a poor coach if you are quiet.
Now, there a number of things that I have asked of you over the past few months. If you really want to make a difference for the kids (and I assume that is why you are here), this is something that is huge.
I would like to take a quote from todays LA times. It is by a US Olympic player who is discussing the US coach, Clive Charles: "Clive is extremely calm on the bench. It is a nice change to be with somebody who is not yelling and shouting and bawling. He is always in control of his emotions. It has a very calming effect."
These words were spoken by a 23 year old professional soccer player about his coach. Do ya think 10 year olds might like to be treated any different.
By the way if you have not seen it, you would not believe how great the US team is playing.
One last quote before I am off to see my pregnant ladies. It comes from Phil Jackson, the Lakers' wonderful coach, who is truly the Zen master of sports. "We live in a society that emphasizes sports so much, and yet we take so little time teaching people how to be coaches. Instead we teach them techniques of what to coach, and unfortunately forget about temperament and the talent it takes to be a mentor and leader and a teacher to these young people.
Thanks for your time and I will see you all next week at our monthly board meeting.
Please feel free to forward this to all your coaches if you can't get to them personally.