Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week 3 & Soctoberfest volunteers

Hello Parents,

Welcome to Week 3.

The field assignments are below, but first please save the date of October 17 for Malden Youth Soccer's annual SOCTOBERFEST!  

We are always looking for volunteer bakers to make treats for sale at the event.  If you are interested, send me an email.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Fall Week 1 (Sept. 13) - Here we go!

Hello Parents,

Welcome back.  I hope you found some rest during the summer break because...  soccer starts now!

If you have not already seen the welcome letter, check it out here.  If you have not gotten your team assignment, something went wrong.  Let me know.

We always have a lot happening on our first day.  It is important to arrive 15 minutes early.  You will get your uniforms, meet your team mates, and deal with some challenging parking.

If you have not claimed your trophy at the spring banquet, you can get it this Sunday as well.

Field Assignments

We will play at the field inside the track at PineBanks field.  NOTE THE CORRECTION from the original communication.  We are playing inside the track, not at the artificial baseball field.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Open Letter to U7 Coaches

<EDIT 9/12 - Added a rules section>

Hello U7 Coaches,

Welcome to the new Fall season.  Thank you for stepping up for this important job.  I know you understand how valuable your contributions are to your family, your community and yourselves.  Thank you for helping to make Malden Youth Soccer the pure community gem that it is.

There are a few important things to communicate as we start the new season...


We have a specific philosophy for the younger ages.  We aim to introduce the benefits of soccer and develop a love for the sport.  Our primary objectives are for the kids to Be Active, Have Fun and Learn Soccer Skills.  These aspects are the direct responsibility of the coaches.

"Winning" is not primary objective.  To that end, we do not keep official score.  I go so far as to deliberately try to NOT keep the score in my head and to NEVER comment on it.  I always reply "I think we're tied" if the topic ever comes up.

I get the other perspective of "winning" being the goal, but based on everything I have observed so far, it is entirely unnecessary and can be detrimental to the primary objectives.

That said, awesome play and goal scoring are hugely exciting and it is entirely beneficial to encourage and strive for those.  But... if you get the sense that you are crushing the other team, try to incorporate some more challenging alterations into your play, such as "only So-n-so can score, let's all pass to him/her".

Some rules related to philosophy coaches are expected to enforce:

  1. Everybody gets equal playing time.  Do not favor better players.
  2. Everybody plays every position.  Yes, this sometimes means your best players are on defense or goaltending during your hardest games.
  3. Do not loose your temper with players, parents or other coaches.
  4. Do not tolerate inappropriate treatment or taunting of your players toward other teams or other team mates.

Game-Day Logistics

Each 90 minute session is split between 3 game fields.  2 teams will occupy half of a game field for the first 45 minute practice session.

The coaches with the early 9:00 session are responsible for setting up their own nets.  This takes 15 minutes, including the walking.  Please be early enough to setup your net and start the practice on time, every week.

Coaches should keep an eye on their opposing team incase that coach is running late.  If necessary, coaches should incorporate the opposing team into their own team's practice.

Coaches should keep the number of players balanced at game time.  For example, if the RED team has 9 players and the BLUE team has 6 players, one player from RED can play for BLUE to balance the teams at 8 and 7.  Ask for volunteers...  you always get some.

We normally play 5v5 plus goalies.  Coaches can alter this if needed.

U7 Rules

Here are the rules we use when refereeing the U7 games:
  1. Throw-ins:  If the ball goes out of bounds on either side, the ball is thrown in by someone on the team who did not touch the ball last before it went out of bounds.  Enforce the overhead throw and ensure child's feet are planted on the ground when throwing.
  2. Corner Kicks: If the defending player last touches the ball when it goes out of bounds behind their own goal line, the offensive team gets a corner kick.  Place the ball in the corner of the field and one player from the offensive team may kick it into play.
  3. Goal Kicks: If an offensive player last touches the ball when it goes out of bounds behind the goal line, the goalie gets a goal kick.
  4. Center Kick:  At the start of each half, and after each goal, there is a Center kick.  Place the ball at the center of the field and the kicking team initiates play by kicking the ball.  The ball may not move backwards and must complete a full revolution before being touched by another player.  The opposing team should give at least 10 feet of space to the kicking team.
  5. Indirect Kicks: If any of these violations occur, the opposing team gets an indirect penalty kick.  The kicking team places the ball near the violation and may kick it into play.  The ball may not be kicked directly to the net.  It must be touched by somebody other than the kicker before being scored.
    1. Hand balls
    2. Side tackling
    3. Pushing or checking
    4. Tripping
    5. Headders - Striking the ball with the head is not allowed at this age
  6. We do not have penalties for these violations
    1. Off sides
    2. Too many players on the field

The First Day

All teams (except 1) have received the team bag.  This includes uniforms (shirt, socks, shorts).  Pass these out to players.  Keep a shirt for any player who did not show up.  Keep one extra shirt in the bag for subs.  RETURN THE REST TO ME AT THE END OF THE GAME!

Good Advice

There are a few valuable tips that I've been collecting...
  1. Learn every player's name on the first day.  Call them by their name often.  Both parents and kids notice this.
  2. You do not need to be harder on your own kid than you are to others...  the memories you build of this time will literally last a lifetime.
  3. Be on time...  which means BE EARLY!
  4. No, it is not OK to just not show up without making a plan and letting me know.
  5. Go into each practice session with a plan...  What are you going to focus on? what drills will you run?  Remain flexible and keep it interesting.
  6. Use drills that keep all players active all the time...  avoid lines, lectures, long lasting drills and standing around.
  7. Try to keep your assigned equipment in your own bag (cones, balls, etc.)


Please have fun, show up, be prepared and have fun.