So much of youth soccer is actually adult-oriented. Adults go to meetings, debate issues and make decisions that ultimately affect youth players.
Rarely do we (adults) take the time to listen to our players and how our decisions affect them and their playing environment. Here are some thoughtful comments by U-14 and younger D-7 players that might surprise you:
- We don’t like byes.
- We don’t like fundraisers.
- Make sure lines are visible.
- Coaches yell at their own players.
- Too much foul language on the field.
- Have referees talk to teams about rules.
- Players like changing positions once in a while.
- Teams should help maintain the fields they practice on.
- Schedule the last team of the day to clean up the fields.
- Referees should not talk too loudly when admonishing players.
- Ask parents who don’t quiet down, “Would you like to referee?”
- Player’s fees could be reduced for families that volunteer to maintain fields.
- All coaches should attend referee clinics, even if they don’t want to officiate.
- Have the referee be a teacher during the game, especially for younger age groups.
- Referees and coaches should watch end-of-game handshakes carefully – there is often more than handshaking going on.
- Editor’s Note: I would love to have you survey your players and send their comments to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org