Valediction from Coach Administrator Michael Sun
Michael Sun is retiring as Coach Administrator (but not as a coach, we hope) at the end of the Fall 2000 season. Here are his parting words - we won't call them shots - from this year's yearbook.
TO THE PLAYERS, COACHES, ADMINISTRATORS AND PARENTS OF AYSO REGION 76 (SERVING BEVERLY HILLS AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES)
FROM MICHAEL SUN, Regional Coach Administrator
Welcome to the New Millennium, and the dawning of a new era. This letter marks my third and final season as Coach Administrator for AYSO Region 76, and my 21st season of coaching youth soccer.
This, after all, is the 2000's; aren't we supposed to be used to - and perhaps benumbed by - puzzling anti-social behavior such as road rage, over-pampered professional athletes, and parents and adults acting inappropriately at youth sporting events? Don't we read every day about new instances of coaches, parents, players and referees brawling at their kids' games? Has that become the norm, rather than the exception, for children's sports of this age?
The answer: not in AYSO, and certainly not in Region 76. Over the past several years, we have experienced unprecedented growth in our region, and a dramatic improvement in the quality of coaching, refereeing and playing. We must be ever-vigilant that we do not become afflicted with instances of inappropriate conduct among our adults.
Let me restate the most obvious truth about AYSO - it is for the children. It is not an opportunity for adults to relive their athletic experiences of bygone years. Nor is it intended to be a forum for parents to equal the accomplishments of Tony DeCicco and April Heinrichs. There is only one acceptable way to view AYSO, i.e. as a forum for teaching our children to compete effectively and appropriately, while learning some of the intricacies of the grand game of soccer. How can we best accomplish this goal?
The answer, without doubt, lies in our very own behavior. If our children see us acting with dignity and sportsmanship from the sidelines, rather than fighting with opposing coaches, berating referees and yelling at players, that will surely afford them a good model for their own behavior. Acting in an appropriate, sportsmanlike manner -- that is the standard we must set for ourselves, and we must accept nothing less.
The second truth about AYSO soccer is equally obvious: the game itself is the best teacher of all, and it is a beautiful, simple game. The children deserve to play the game without undue, inappropriate interference from the adults. Let the children play, allow them to act like children -- and let the adults keep their distance, while acting like adults.
For me, it has been an interesting, fun ride. I have derived far more from the game than I have given. Let us pledge to continue volunteering and above all, to keep this game simple -- and fun -- for the children's sake.
Very truly yours,
MICHAEL T. SUN
Former Regional Coach Administrator
October 29, 2000