Responsibility of Players:
1. I will be on time. Please arrive on time for practice and 30 minutes prior to game time. The first fifteen minutes will be used for warm-up and stretching. This is important to make sure no one gets hurt, and so that you can perform your best on the field. You will be required to warm-up before participating. If you arrive late, you will have to go through the warm-up routine before you are allowed on the field.
2. I will do my best. After a game, you may hear athletes say “I gave it 110%”. I don’t want that. I only want 100%. Play your hardest, to the best of your ability. Don’t try to do more than you are able, because most of the time you will become frustrated and your overall play will suffer.
3. I will respect the coaches and my teammates. You are expected to listen and pay attention at practice and during games. Those who don’t become distractions who hurt the rest of the team. Arguing with a coach, or criticizing another player will not be permitted and will result in loss of playing time.
4. I will respect the referee and the rules of the game. Soccer is a physical game, and I expect players to not be afraid of challenging opponents for the ball. But the laws of the game set specific limits on what types of actions are excessive, mainly to ensure that no one gets hurt. We will play within those laws. Even if you disagree with a particular call, the referee will not change his mind, and you may be penalized for arguing.
5. I will respect the opposing team. They have worked as hard as you have, and both teams deserve to enjoy the game equally. We should be gracious winners and gracious losers during and after every match.
6. I will have a positive attitude. Not every one of your teammates has the same ability. Some may not be as good as you, others may be better. Regardless, everyone has something to contribute. You should encourage your teammates at all times and have a positive outlook toward the team.
Responsibility of Coaches:
The role of coach is one that all of us take seriously. At this age especially, your child’s opinion of organized play will be largely shaped by what we do over the course of the next several weeks. Again, our success as a team (and for us as coaches) will be measured by the number of kids who return to play again in the Fall (or next Spring). If we make it a positive experience for all involved, they’ll be back. If we don’t, they won’t.
I believe it is our responsibility to accomplish the following five goals:
- To provide a positive learning environment in which children can develop their soccer skills
- To ensure children of all abilities receive a fair chance
- To ensure the children develop a love for the game, have fun and enjoy themselves playing it
- To develop the social skills of the children
- To continually develop our coaching skills and abilities
I realize that children are not “little adults”, nor should they be expected to be. As coaches, we can’t expect kids to be perfect, or grasp concepts they aren’t ready for. We can and do, however, expect them to give their best effort and always participate to the best of their ability.
LBSA and Black Swamp soccer rules require that all participants play at least half the game, except for disciplinary reasons or injury. Even if this were not a rule of the league, it would be my rule for the team. Each player deserves equal opportunity for making the commitment to participate. Because we have 14 players on our team, not everyone will receive equal playing time. Nor do I run a stopwatch to determine the exact number of minutes each player is on the field. In the event a player is “shorted” one game, please know that it wasn’t intentional and that I will make every effort to rotate players equally and evenly.
It is also our responsibility as coaches to make sure that distractions and disruptions are kept to a minimum. Again, I understand that at this age, a child’s attention span is not the same as an adult’s. However, any player that repeatedly misbehaves will be disciplined accordingly. You can help correct inappropriate behavior by supporting the decisions of the coaches in this area. If you have any questions, either in general or regarding a specific incident, please contact me privately. I’d be more than happy to discuss any matter of concern you may have.
The role of coach involves mentoring a child. Not only is it our responsibility to set a good example, we are also obligated to let you know if we observe or suspect that a player is participating in any type of inappropriate or dangerous off-field activity. We are also obligated to notify school and/or law enforcement authorities when necessary.