The Technical Director for US Youth Soccer Sam Snow was recently interviewed about “What is Working and What Needs to Change” in Youth Soccer Today. I did not run for president of U.S. Soccer. However I turned 60 this year and having grown up in the United States watching, playing and coaching the game of soccer grow I felt I should express my viewpoint.
Parent education – I wholeheartedly agree this is at the top of the list. I remember hearing the question – What is the best youth team to coach? And the answer was a team of orphans. Not all that funny when you think about it.
Parents can be such a positive influence, yet we continue to see parents yelling at referees (over 60% of which are teenage referees). This negatively effects how long a referee continues to referee. The average length of time that a referee continues to referee is 1 year! One year! How can we expect these young referees to improve if they only stay one year? These are parents and they should know better than to be yelling at someone else’s child.
By Craig Winans
Emeritus 2nd Vice Chairman, CYSA USSF Licensed Coach