Your Child’s Future Is At Stake

Coaching Advisor

By Koach Karl Dewazien

We tell our children, “Do not talk to strangers!” And then, we turn around and hand our child over to (in many cases) a total stranger. We justify our actions by assuming that this ‘stranger’ is qualified because he/she has been given the title ‘soccer coach’ by someone in the local soccer association. Someone who is a stranger to us but they have been approved by the local soccer board a board consisting of yet another group of strangers. Strange!!!

It is your duty, as a parent, to take the time to get to know as many of these ‘strangers’ as possible before handing your child over to them.

Click here to read the rest of Koach Karl’s article on

Avoid Becoming A Helicopter Coach

“Step, drop, slide, take the space, switch it, look forward, use your goalkeeper, double, find (whomever), down the line, play early, support him/her, man on, turn, hold it, overlap, dribble, pass, shoot! …” and the list of commonly and frequently heard soccer terms goes on and on.

 The question is, who is barking out these instructions during games to players faced with problems to solve? The answer, far too often, is the coach.

Click Here for Bob Andrian’s suggestions on how YOU can avoid becoming a helicopter coach…


ATTEND a District=7 “pre-F” course … where you will learn:

  • To recognize that proper training and fair competition are essential to player success.
  • To run ability appropriate rather than age appropriate training session.
  • To instill the ‘Love of the Game’ into each player and…
  • That it is a long term process for players to develop into elite players.

Consideration of what should be coached, when, for how long and how often, is covered in these 3 hour classes. .

Send questions on scheduling a course near you to:

Culture Shift in Youth Sports

In 2013, 1.24 million kids required an emergency room visit for a sports related injury. We know that 13-15 year old’s accounted for the largest number of those injuries. 54% of student athletes have admitted they played their sport while injured and 42% have hidden or down-played an injury during a game so they could continue to play.  We also know that 33% have been injured as a result of “dirty play.”

What are we to learn from this? Considering the types and, in some cases, the life-long implications many of these injuries have, we believe that the culture of youth sports really needs to change.

Having spent literally decades either on the field myself or on the sideline/court side watching my four son’s play various sports, or seeing student athletes requiring admission to the hospital or having surgery normally reserved for adult athletes, I concur with studies that have shown an increase in a variety of preventable injuries happening to our kids. I’ve also witnessed that we parents, are often part of the problem.

Remember, the first rule of thumb is that our kids are in sports for enjoyment and physical activity. But this doesn’t mean that all caution is to be thrown to the wind at any cost for a win or a trophy (fewer than 1 in 1 million will make pro ranks). So we advocate a strategy for “smart play.”

  • Set the ground rules at the beginning of the season. Coaches bring together parents and athletes before the season begins to agree on the team’s approach to prevent injuries.
  • Teach athletes ways to prevent injuries. Proper technique, strength training, warm-up exercises and stretching can go a long way to prevent injuries.
  • Prevent overuse injuries. Encourage athletes to take time off from playing only one sport to prevent overuse injuries and give them an opportunity to get stronger and develop skills learned in another sport.
  • Encourage athletes to speak up when they’re injured. Remove injured athletes from play and have them medically evaluated.
  • Put an end to dirty play and rule breaking/rule bending. Call fouls that could cause injuries. Encourage a team culture of sportsmanship.
  • Get certified. Learn first aid, CPR, AED use and injury prevention skills.

For information on sports safety visit

By Carlos Flores RN FCN   As always, remember, play hard/play safe.

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The Advantage Clause

Under the Referee’s Powers and Duties outlined in Law 5 of the Laws of The Game, the referee “allows play to continue when the team against which an offence has been committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalizes the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time.”

All too often this becomes the excuse for not blowing the whistle.  Playing a lot of advantage means that the official either misses a lot of fouls or is hesitant to call the ones he/she sees.

Some notes about ADVANTAGE:

  • Never use advantage for a foul against a goalkeeper.
  • Never use advantage for a penal foul (one inside the penalty area) unless an immediate goal is scored against the team that committed the foul.
  • The use of advantage does not negate disciplinary action.  Showing a yellow or red card must be done at the next stoppage and before the restart of play.
  • Advantage works against game control.  The tougher the game, the more control the referee wants or needs, the less advantage should be used.
  • The ability of the players to understand when and why a referee decides to give advantage must be taken into account.  When feelings of retaliation may build within a player or team and may lead to an altercation, it is better to call and deal with the foul.
  • Once the referee has signaled “advantage” to a player or team and the advantage has in fact occurred, the referee is not allowed to later call the foul if the player/team fails to capitalize on the advantage given.
  • When an advantage is given to a player but is immediately (normally within a couple of seconds) taken away by an opponent before the advantage materializes, the referee may stop play and penalize the original foul.

Referees who boast about applying a lot of advantage during a match may in fact be demonstrating a weakness rather than a strength in their officiating.

Pat Ferre, USSF Referee Grade 15 Emeritus. USSF Referee Instructor, USSF Referee Assessor ,USSF Referee Assignor, District-7 Youth Referee Administrator (DYRA)


         Well it’s that time of the year. Time to make sure you get your rosters from your Clubs and Leagues. However; many coaches don’t take the time (just a little bit) to really get themselves ready for the season. Here is a mini check list of some items that coaches tend to forget or overlook until it becomes too late.

There are a couple areas that I will point out to all. From a ‘risk management’ perspective; there is the most obvious roster (goldenrod), individual player registration forms (1601), and most importantly… the player’s passes. Often overlooked; the coach is responsible to make sure the information returned to them for their team is both accurate and complete. It is extremely important that it is organized and on hand at all times…not just game day.

Another ‘risk management’ issue for coaches is too make sure they are aware of specific rules (League, District, and Affiliation) regarding topics such as training and scrimmaging another team. The coach is responsible for making sure that their team works out within the specified guidelines to ensure your player’s safety (insurance liability reasons). Coaches do not want to find that a player’s injury during a team activity is NOT covered by liability coverage because you (the coach) did not make sure it was covered. The philosophy of it’s easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission is a concept that more coaches are getting themselves into trouble nowadays.


An incredibly important tool for the coach are the playing rules for the different playing opportunities that your team will compete in during the season (District Playing League, tournaments, and Cups). The rules in these playing opportunities may differ, so you need to be aware of the any differences in those rules. Again; coaches do not want to find out, after the fact, of a rule that affects their team in an adverse way that could have been averted if they prepared by reading the rules. Pleas of ignorance do not change outcomes or potential sanctions for you, your coaches, or your team.

            Finally (for the time being), coaches need to make sure of any changes in play (depending on specific age groups) are taught to their players for better understanding of game play. Beginning August 1st, the changes that US Soccer implemented over the past 18 months are ‘fully’ implemented for the upcoming season. An example of this is the ‘build out line’ in the U10 age group. Many people have shared their ‘opinions’ on this rule. However; this concept is going into place this season, and coaches need to maintain an overall ‘big picture’ understanding of this concept during the game. I’m in the minority here, but if coaches’ look at these rules (as described by US Soccer on their website) from all views (players, coaches, and referees), everyone will have a better experience with a little preparation.

            We want you all to have fun this year. Please prepare yourself (as a coach) like you train your players to play the game. More to come soon…



Mike Hodges ,District Coaching Coordinator ,

Hello New and Relatively New Soccer Referees

There are two really good ways to continually improve your officiating skills. They’ve been around for many years and keep proving to be effective today as well.

The first one is what we might call Self-Monitoring. In other words, on a continual basis from the time you arrive at the field – through the game(s)…‘till the moment you leave, observe your presence & participation as an Assistant Referee or Referee ‘out in the middle’ on a “ move by move “ basis.  What I mean by that is, keep assessing yourself within the situations that you are in and in prepping yourself for what you see coming as your probable next move(s).  Are my signals clear, crisp, not to slow & not too fast? How’s my positioning….am I where I’m supposed to be in order to make the right calls for Offside, for fouls / misconducts, restarts like throw ins, goal kicks, corner kicks, goal scored, substitutions; am I patrolling the Touchline or On / Off the Diagonal Run properly….And, am I making timely eye contact the nanosecond before signaling.  We don’t want to do this to ‘beat ourselves up’ but to create a smooth & efficient delivery of officiating skills from which all players, coaches, parents, other game officials & yourself can enjoy and benefit.

The second one…As you succeed in Self-Monitoring, questions may arise that you can answer in the 30 minutes prior to Kick Off( next game ), at the ½ time break and end of game….or….on the phone or via email later that day ….BTW, Referencing the Guide To Procedures from time to time is a great resource that can keep you current on all game mechanics.

Learning things is a process that sometimes happens at its own pace….i.e. you might be riding your bike, or at dinner or on your way to work or school when resolution of a game situation requires you to ask a question or two of your favorite local Referee resource. You can ask questions ‘ anonymously  ,‘ without mentioning names but focusing on the situation(s) under discussion ‘cause you want to get it right and have the right positioning and/or decision making tweaked in your mind….putting you in the best position to get better again at what you love to do out there in the game. Sometimes those discussions will show you that you actually made the right decision / were in the right location to make the call… an important reinforcement that says, ‘continue the way you are officiating ‘ Just keep an open mind to pay attention to comments from other officials who just might have had a more accurate ‘read’ of the situation…It’s also a good idea to thank them for their support and comments. They mean well and simply want you to benefit from what they have to say.


Tommy O’Brien (Author, “It’s Your Call!” & “7 Ways to Upgrade Entry Level Referee Training & Officiating”) has a 20 year career as a Referee, Instructor, Coach, and Internet Clinicia


n.  You can learn more about officiating the game by going to his website:

Rules to Regard…

Rule #1: Thou Shalt Not Praise Thy Own Child. 

Rule #2: Thou Shalt Praise Other Parents’ Children.

Rule #3: Thou Shalt Never Criticize Players in Public.

Rule #4: When Commenting about the Field Action, Silence is Golden.

Rule #5: Silence Can Be Deadly.

Rule #6: This Is Still a Game.
(For More Details)

If you made it this far in this article, I hope that you enjoyed it and will abide by this motivation to enjoy the game, give your child a hug, and allow the Coach’s and Referee’s to do their job.

Best wishes,

Tom Strock, President, Jackson Fury Soccer Club

Submitted by Michael Cash, Owner, Farpost Soccer Company  



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