AYSO’s 6 Philosophies

  Everyone Plays • Balanced Teams • Open Registration • Positive Coaching  • Good Sportsmanship • Player Development

Everyone Plays

Every registered player will play at least three of the four quarters of each regular league season game in which they play. (Players arriving late to a game may not play three quarters.) Players playing goal keeper will play at least one quarter out on the field.AYSO National Rules and regulations specify each child is guaranteed to play one half of each game.  In Region 83, we feel it is important to stress the value of participation regardless of ability thus our local program guarantees each child playing three quarters (3/4) of each game during the regular league season (to the extent mathematically possible).  In addition, coaches are required to play a child on the field at least one quarter in each game – no child will play in the goal the whole time they are in the game.Players arriving late to games play 1/2 if they arrive in the first half of the game.  Players arriving in the third quarter will be played in the fourth quarter.Coaches have many challenges, including players who irregularly attend practices or are disruptive.  The players still have the 3/4 guarantee.  It is our philosophy that the child will not be punished for parents who do not or cannot have the child at each practice.  However, after provisions may be made if the child is disruptive and disrespectful.  The coach will work with the parents, the division coordinator to solve any issues.

Balanced Teams

Every effort is made at the time teams are formed to form teams of equal skill. Players have more fun playing soccer when games are competitive. Training is offered to and required of all of our coaches in an attempt to assure a high quality of coaching for every team.We balance our teams for skills ensuring balanced competition.  In theory each team  has an equal chance of winning or loosing.How? All players are rated by their coach.  The rating is then compared at a coaches meeting by all he coaches in that division.  When a new season starts, returning players have these ratings.  New players are given a rating at registration.A computer program forms teams based on age and ratings.  Each team has a like average rating with other teams in the division.  Prior to team handout, coaches review the teams, review the players ratings and make adjustments.  Adjustments based on growth, on mistaken ratings, on All Star participation, etc.Why? Teams that are formed by draft, by neighborhood, by school, by family affiliation do not balance well.  Personal issues get involved and favoritism seeps into the process. This is not consistent with AYSO philosophy.

Positive Coaching

We teach our coaches to keep it positive. Player have more fun when they aren’t being over-coached, and are being encouraged. Soccer is a player’s game, and players need to develop the ability to think and act on their own on the field. An important philosophy, little understood, difficult to do, yet makes the biggest impact on our children.  Below are some examples of statements by players, coaches and parents.

Positive Coaching

Positive coaching is focusing on what players do right and encouraging them to it again, encouraging them with positives to be better.  Instruction to help them make better decisions on their own.

Great job!
I loved how you did that, do it again!
Nice kick!
Great teamwork!
Keep up the hard work! You’ll get it next time!
Next time relax, and make the pass to space, and that’ll be great!
Wonderful effort!
Knowing when to kick is hard, you made a great try, I’m sure you’ll do it next time!
You two sure have been playing well!
I liked how you made that pass! See if you can pass it here next time!

Directive Coaching

Directives are okay occasionally.  Yet they can interfere with a child recognizing what is right and wrong on their own.  Please, they are not remote controlled cars, put that joystick away!

Kick the Ball!
Pass it, pass it!
Go to your left, now go right!
Move up!
Throw it in here!
Go faster! Run!
Turn the ball!

Negative Coaching

Negative coaching is not tolerated, and should not be allowed by coaches, parents, referees, players.  Expectations are always hard to meet, especially when perfection is one of them.  Just let the kids play.  They need to make mistakes to learn.  They need to know what is right. They pretty much know when they have done wrong.  Fear of wrong, fear of negative comments, especially loud, public comments yelled across the field or in front of their friends suppresses trying.  It suppresses excellence in action and attitude. Be a good positive role model! You can do it, you’ll bring joy and excellence to their play!

Why did you do that!!!
Stop kicking the ball so hard!
Stop playing like a wimp!
If you don’t play harder, you’ll loose!
I can’t believe you did that!!!?
What do you think you are doing?!!
That’s the last time I’ll let you play forward!
Can’t you kick it harder???
Aren’t you listening to me?
Get him! Get him!
That was stupid!

Open Registration

Any player meeting the age requirements for AYSO soccer, and timely paying a registration fee and completing registration paperwork is given the same opportunity to be placed on a team. The number of players and teams we are able to field is dependent on the number of volunteers we have to coach and referee.Here in the 5 Cities program we have early registration in April and May.  This enables us to plan the season.  Uniforms, fields, budget, coaches, instructional clinics, etc.  We however keep the process as open as possible, meaning we accept players until we have no more coaches to coach teams, no more referees to referee games, and no more space to play on.  Normally the waiting list is emptied before the third week of play.Open registration also means that all kids no matter size, color, sex, economics, skill, etc., are accepted into our program.  We take them all.  We are an inclusive organization focused on Fun, Fair, Safe and Positive soccer, not WIN, WIN, WIN.

Good Sportsmanship

We teach our players good sportsmanship. Winning teams are not winning teams without an opponent. And, when the score is not in your favor, winners behave with grace.  Our five goal rule (which applies to all divisions) helps to teach players respect for their opponents, and that being a winner means not running up the score.

Teams (including coaches) shaking hands after a game
Teams (including coaches) shaking hands before the game
Giving the other team a cheer
Parents cheering all good play, even for the other team
Players telling the other team “good play” during the game
Players helping other players up from the ground
Players accepting the referee’s call without a frown
Parents accepting the referee’s call without dissent
Coaches accepting the referee’s calls
Coaches playing all their players equally
Coaches instructing players within the rules (not cheating)
Players playing within the rules (not cheating, not hurting intentionally)
Teams adjusting their play to keep the game fun
Clapping when an injured player gets up (and taking a knee until they do)
Thanking the referees

Bad sporting behavior

Parents, coaches, players, refusing to shake hands
Parents, coaches, players, cheering when a foul is called
Parents, coaches, players, refusing to thank the referees
Parents, coaches, players, yelling at the referees
Parents talking down to the other players
Coaches talking down, bad about the other team
Players talking negatively about the other team
Players talking negatively to the other players, parents, coach.
Making excuses
Kicking the ball away when the other team is awarded a throw in or free kick
Cheating (handling the ball when no one is looking)
Winning 10-0, 10-1, 10-2, 10-3, 10-4 – more than five points more than the other team.

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.