On The Pitch

Thoughts on Youth Soccer from a Soccer Dad, Fan, Coach and Administrator

Entries for January, 2012

Coaches, Teachers, and Parents… Oh My!

There are a lot of parallels between teaching and coaching kids, including the issues faced when dealing with parents. One well known educator recently published a plea with parents to better understand the troubles teachers face and how to help. Much of it applies to youth sports as well.

No Amount of Coaching Can Equal This

We coaches often get 2-3 sessions a week to develop our players, but that’s not enough for them to really excel. They need to work some on their own, but few do in this distracted world of video games and social networking. So how can coaches encourage their players to work with their soccer ball at home?

What Happened To ‘Spring’ Soccer?

Soccer calendars vary by state, primarily due to the local climate. Yet many soccer parents chuckle at the concept of ‘Spring’ soccer, because the weather can get pretty wild (and cold) some years. Still, the idea of ‘Spring’ soccer generally meant the bulk of the season was played in… the Spring. Here in North Carolina that meant travel matches would start in late February and end in late April. Not any more!

Going Dark Against SOPA and PIPA

Tweet Just a heads up that tomorrow, January 18th, On The Pitch will go dark in protest of the pending SOPA and PIPA legislation. If you haven’t heard about this legislation, you need to educate yourself, as the major media companies are trying to get Congress to pass legislation that will allow for government censorship […]

Vanishing Spray???

Anyone who watches professional soccer knows about ‘magic spray’ that mysterious spray trainers use to ‘cure’ injured players on the pitch. But when I encountered ‘Magic Spray’ in an official USSF memorandum, I was stumped and had to do a little research.

Arizona Youth Soccer In The Spotlight

A successful coach at Sereno Soccer Club named Les Armstrong was suspended from coaching after he forged a parent’s signature to drop a player from his roster before the State Cup championships. The coach was sanctioned by the Arizona Youth Soccer Association and suspended from coaching for five months. Now with new USYSA Club Pass rules, the player could have just been dropped without any parent signature. If this a good thing?

Now We’re Even More Social

I’ve spent a lot of time using social media to expand the reach of various organizations, non-profits, and even our own soccer league. So it made me laugh when I realized I had Facebook pages for just about everything except On The Pitch. What a silly oversight.

Friendly Advice From A Soccer Mom

Some friendly advice from a soccer mom to her’s daughter’s coach…

Maybe More Sports Need A BLUE Card

After a video of many flagrant fouls by a high school basketball player went viral, it triggered an intense debate. Should officials do more to rein in players who intentionally foul opponents?

Should Youth Sports Administrators Solicit Anonymous Feedback?

Should schools and sports leagues solicit anonymous feedback from parents?

Mars & Venus Have Nothing To Do With It

Coed soccer teams are very common throughout the US, especially at the Recreational level. Could they be hurting the development of our players, especially girls? One league’s experience seems to indicate that they are.

The Roar Of The Crowd

Stories of loud and obnoxious soccer parents are not hard to come by. We’ve all encountered them, though in my experience they’re not as widespread as the media would lead you to believe. When you do encounter them, it’s usually a couple of parents being loud and/or obnoxious while the other parents behave (and often try to get as far away from the loud ones as possible). Even then, the loud parents are loud in bursts, but it’s sporadic. Recently we encountered what had to be the loudest and most obnoxious group of team parents we’ve ever heard.

A Flip and A Goal

The 96 Girls soccer team I coach has had a couple of players who can do a flip throw in, which has led to more than a few funny moments and scoring opportunities.