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Letter from the President

By Lee Moyce, 02/15/19, 9:45AM EST

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Weston Soccer Club

Letter from the President

Spring 2019

Dear Weston Soccer Families,

Our Board has been very active in recent months reimagining what a great town soccer club looks like, and I’m excited to share our conclusions with you. Please take a look below for the latest developments from the Club and to see how you can help us make playing for the WSC a better experience for your family.

More Fun

Kids are dropping out of youth sports in droves these days.  It’s complicated, and there are many reasons we can’t control, but the research tells us there’s one reason that we CAN affect: the kids aren’t having fun.

When you’re running a soccer club it can be easy to focus on teaching soccer.  But we’re upping our game, and re-emphasizing fun.

  • Last fall, that meant giving K-2 players the opportunity to play on teams and organizing a World Cup Day for the last game.  Players and coaches dressed in the colors of their assigned countries, we decorated Alphabet Field with flags, and members of the girls high school varsity walked the field with temporary tattoos for the players.
  • Fun and a sense of community should extend to the coaches as well – it’s increasingly challenging to attract committed volunteers, and making those who do volunteer feel valued and part of something larger and supportive is important.  So we had a cookout for coaches, to bring everyone together and say thank you.
  • Look for Tangible Signs of Fun in all age groups this spring, and tell us how we’re doing on this initiative.

 

Our 3rd-6thGrade Structure

It’s important to ask ourselves regularly how we’re doing and whether we could do better for our young players.  This fall, the Board undertook a series of conversations to ask ourselves questions like:

  • does the level of our player movement between teams adequately reflect the changing abilities of our young players?  Are we adequately rewarding the hard work of players who improve?
  • do we do as much as possible to support the development of players on lower-ranked teams while remaining true to our developmental/pedagogical beliefs that underpin the notion of leveling teams? is the Player Placement process as transparent and consistent as it should be?

 

In response to these conversations, you’ll see players in each age group from 3rd-6thgrade train once a week with their team and once a week with all of the teams from that age group in the same place at the same time.  Our Director of Coaching will plan and supervise all of these sessions, working closely with the coaches from all of the teams.  Some days the teams will train separately, some days they’ll train together, and on some days the session will offer multiple stations working on different skills or concepts and players will be grouped by the things they need to work on rather than by team.

Scrimmages on this day can be by team, or players can be mixed from different teams.

Benefits of this structure include:

  • - We’ve experimented with this format over the past 2 seasons and have found that players enjoy it – so it helps the Fun Quotient.
  • - Coaches and players love working with Lee, our Director of Coaching, but if he does sessions with teams 1 by 1, he sees each team 2x/season.  
  • - With this structure, every coach and every player in the whole program will have an opportunity to work with Lee every week.
  • - Our player placement process will improve because Lee and every coach in the age group will see every player every week of the season.
  • - These sessions will also give the Age Director multiple opportunities to see the entire grade together, and to see how players from lower-ranked teams would fit in playing with players from higher-ranked teams. 

 

In summary, we think this structure improves Player Development, Coach Development, the Player Placement process and Fun!!  We’re excited about the change and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Feedback

Speaking of your thoughts...we want to know what you think of the WSC and want from it.  We know that life has changed substantially over the years, from the rise of social media and video games to the rise of club soccer, other year-round sports and many other activities.  We know that the way that families consume the WSC has evolved.

We’ll be putting together a survey to seek your thoughts, but surveys are by nature broad and simplified – so please consider this your invitation to write to me at jpower11@me.comand tell me anything you want us to know about how we could be better and give you more of what you want from town soccer.

Finally...Etiquette!!

Please be aware of 2 policies from BAYS that we are bound to support and which are consistent with our philosophies as a club:

Zero Tolerance (ZT)– none of us (coaches, administrators, parents) may speak to or harass the ref.  Unfortunately, we’ve had an uptick in recent seasons of ZT violations from Weston parents.

From a practical standpoint, the attrition rate among referees is astronomical and that’s because they get sick of the stick they get from fans. From a philosophical standpoint, we teach our coaches not to be yellers because yelling sets a bad example and doesn’t simply distract players, it upsets them.  We need our parents to adopt the same peaceful attitude toward the game and the referee.  

So there are many good reasons to leave the ref alone and enjoy your young player’s performance!!  Please know that the coach is responsible for the behavior of the team’s parents, and let’s help make your young player’s coach’s life easy.  Coach and player will both love us for it!!

Running Up the Score– BAYS believes, and we concur, that good sportsmanship at this age and level of competition precludes continuing to score against clearly overmatched competition.  BAYS prefers to keep margins of victory to 5 goals or fewer.

We recognize that managing to a specific level is an imprecise science, especially with young players.  And we know that our coaches are good people who don’t set out to be unsportsmanlike!! But it’s worth keeping in mind that we keep score to see which team is better, and that once that question is no longer in doubt there are things we can do to create a better experience for both teams.  Lee will be working with coaches this spring on ways to manage blowouts in ways that are developmentally positive for both teams.  We wanted you to be aware of this in case you notice a sudden change in the trajectory of one of your young player’s games.

That’s it for now –have a wonderful Spring 2019 season and we’ll see you on the field!!

John Power

President

Weston Soccer Club

jpower11@me.com