AYSO Philosophy

MISSION

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To develop and deliver quality youth soccer programs which promote a fun, family environment based on our philosophies:

Everyone Plays - Our goal is for kids to play soccer---so we mandate that every player on every team must play at least half of every game.

Balanced Teams - At the start of each primary season we form teams as evenly balanced as possible---because it is more fun where teams of equal ability play.

Positive Coaching - Winning kids are built up, not torn down! We train and encourage our coaches to make the extra effort to understand and offer positive help to our players, rather than negative criticism.

Open Registration - Our program is open to all children between 4 ½ and 18 years of age that want to register and play soccer in our program. Interest and enthusiasm are the only criteria for playing.

Good Sportsmanship - We desire to create a positive environment based on mutual respect, rather than a win-at-all-costs attitude, and our program is designed to instill good sportsmanship in every facet of AYSO.

Player Development - We believe that all players should be able to develop their soccer skills and knowledge to the best of their abilities, both individually and as members of a team, in order to maximize their enjoyment of the game.

 

Everyone Plays

We are committed to developing soccer skills, team play and sportsmanship in all the children in our program. Everyone has something to learn. Everyone plays.

This translates into a commitment of equal play for all players on a team. We have set limits on the number of players we allow on a team so that, for the most part, every child can count on playing two quarters of every game and no child will play four quarters until all have played three quarters. No one sits out on a regular basis.

We also make a commitment to rotating players so that everyone gets a chance to play every position, particularly in the younger divisions. We believe that future forwards need to know how to defend a goal and work with their teammates and vice versa. Specialization comes later.

Balanced Teams

Although we don't run tryouts for our league (everyone plays), we do our best to make sure that each team in an age division has a blending of skills. Every team should have a mix of strong, weak and in-between players. This makes our games competitive and fun.

Unfortunately, there is no way to get perfect balance. There are always winning teams and losing teams. But if you lose, there's always next year! We remix the teams every summer and try to rebalance. To achieve this balance we limit requests from players who want to be together on a team. Although we definitely do not ignore these requests, team balancing comes first.

Open Registration

Every child who meets the age requirements and is willing to come out and play is entitled to register and be placed on a team regardless of skill level.

Because of limited space in Roger Park, we set numerical limits for each age division. Parents who register their kids at our public registrations are generally assured a spot. (We haven't turned anyone down yet.) Early or late registrations are not accepted. Late registrations will be placed on a waiting list and moved onto a team on a first-come-first-served basis if space is available in the child's age division.

Positive Coaching

We are committed to making the AYSO experience fun. This means that our coaches are trained not to scream at the kids and not to punish, but rather to reward and praise. Correction should be positive and directed toward improving a child's skills, team spirit and sportsmanship. Coaches should be role models for their players and should treat everyone with complete respect.

Part of our coaches training suggests that coaches leave instruction for practices and keep quiet during games. We recognize that exuberance and team spirit makes that hard to do in real life. But look for our coaches to yell out "good play!" or give simple direction. No one should be embarrassed by missing a goal or failing a defense.

We hope that parents follow the rules of conduct we ask of our coaches: be positive at all times to the children on your team, to the coaches, to referees and to opponents. (Read the national AYSO Parents Code of Conduct.)

Good Sportsmanship

In the final analysis, we know that the vast majority of our players will find other work to do in life than playing soccer. We hope the experience brings richness, physical skills and values to their lives that they can apply to everything they do.

The greatest value we hope they learn from their time with us is to work within a team and to respect competitors. Working to a common goal with others is important throughout life. Knowing when and how to compete aggressively, following the rules and knowing when the game is over is vital. We hope that all the volunteers in our organization hold this value dear and do their best to teach it to the children and exemplify it in their lives.

Please tell us if you know of a team that does not live up to these philosophies. We are committed to them as a Region and would like to do our best to fulfill our commitment.