Thursday, May 24, 2007

JT's Blog - California North's President’s Workshop - May 24

JT's Blog will be a weekly addition to the US Youth Soccer Blog. John Thomas "JT" is the Assistant Director of Coaching Education for US Youth Soccer.

On May 19-20, I attended the California Youth Soccer Association North’s President’s Workshop in Oakland, hosted by the Director of Coaching Karl Dewazian. It was my first time attending a California North event and I was excited with anticipation of what was to come.

The outline of the scheduled events was:
Mr. John Murphy, Sideline Behaviors
Ms. Regan McMahon, Author, Revolution in the Bleachers
Karl Dewazien and myself, Choosing the Right Coach
Mr. Kurt Barthel, Independent Contractors vs. Employees
Mr. Marc Pinnell, Online Registration

Mr. Murphy, Sideline Behaviors, discussed the following:

- How positive leadership can affect the sideline behavior
- Never underestimate the effect of the positive leadership as a model for others to follow.
- Acceptances of responsibility: Not only coaches, but parents and spectators must own up to appropriate sideline behaviors.
- If coaches, managers, parents and spectators can’t manage their sideline behavior, then the referee should.

Coach Karl and I discussed some of the requirements the board may want to consider when hiring a new coach:

- The personality fits with the children
- Appropriate levels of soccer education
- The right attitude towards children
- The right attitude toward coaching
- The right attitude toward the game

Mr. Barthel discussed employee vs. independent contractor. Mr. Barthel explained the differences between the definitions of an employee and independent contractor. It is very important that the paid coaches and hiring organization are both clear as which contract the coach will work under. This will help to avoid any issues with the IRS.

Mr. Pinnel discussed the upgraded software now being used for online registration.

Lastly, Ms. Regan McMahon discussed her research and new book called Revolution in the Bleachers. In her book and article Ms. McMahon looks at what has happen the last 20 years with childhood and the family life. The demands of sports for our youth today are pushing family time and structure away from what it use to be. I think it’s very important to understand the cost of what is being called hypercompetitive sports life. Kids are getting stressed out, burned out, injured and are not spending holidays at home or with the entire family. What’s more important is that Ms. McMahon gave her thoughts on how we can give some of the playtime and childhood back to our kids. Ms. McMahon gave permission to copy and re-print her article. To learn more see McMahon’s article in the
San Francisco Chronicle.

1 comment:

SoccerCoach said...

I fully agree with JT's summary of the issues that youth soccer is confronting today regarding sideline behavior. Parents are taking the game way too seriously, and think that winning is everything. Behavior toward the referees, coaches, and even their own son or daughter is often inappropriate to say the least.

The coach has to set the example for how these youth players (aka kids) should be treated during practices and games. Unfortunately, there are coaches who symbolize anything but what I would consider a coach to be: caring and supportive of each individual player on their team. They often yell at, belittle and otherwise do more damage to these players characters than their parents often realize.

Maybe USYS should consider developing a psychological screening test that can be taken when coaching certification courses are conducted. This would complement the game knowledge that is being trained for and tested, to ensure that the individual seeking to be called 'coach' is truly fit to be one.