GoalI have 1 goal, "Get to the Next Level" or "Reach Higher." That means, first, to develop every player so they reach whatever the next level may be for them. Second, to field a regionally competitive team and once we get to that level, maintain it and reach higher. (Is that one goal or like 7 goals? Ha.)
Playing with CharacterPlayers should read the Playing with Character web page and understand that they need to agree with all the points. Each player is expected to show up, work hard, play smart and give their all.
Parents with CharacterParents also need to read the Parenting with Character web page. We really haven't had any big problems with parent behavior on the sidelines and I am sure that will continue. I am a teacher and I know that "pre-teaching" is still a good idea, that is, laying down the expectations, even if your group is really good (which you are.) We also ask you to read the Transparency Document that I will attach to a separate email.
On the sidelines, the parent's job is to encourage the team, staying positive. I would discourage you from criticizing or giving instructions to your daughter or to her teammates during the games. What you may be instructing them to do may not be what I am instructing them to do. We don't want to confuse them. They develop better with a head coach and assistant's consistent message, not 30 other "coaches" yelling different things at them. Why? Kids generally play better when you encourage them and tend to play worse when you criticize. Also, please ignore the behavior of our opponents or of our opponent's parents. I know that is sometimes difficult to do. Please don't yell at the ref's, even if the other team is doing it. Please refrain from complaining. Complaining does not accomplish much and it is way too contagious. Cheer wildly for our successes and be dignified when the outcome isn't to our liking. Like I said, you are a great group and I know we will continue to have a classy bunch of parents.
Include, not excludeAnother fantastic thing about this team and the families in the team is how inclusive everyone is. I can't really identify cliques on the team and that is a rare thing for a girl's team. Let us keep that up, especially going out of our way to include our new players and families. I have coached some girls teams that have been very cliquey, players going so far as to not pass the ball to someone not in their clique during practices and games (hard to believe, but I have seen it.) It is something that we have to proactively guard against happening. I will definitely make it a point of emphasis as I coach them. I need your support. We are not mean girls. No cliques on Solar. We are one.
PracticesI have requested practice early on Mondays and Thursdays and on Saturday morning. Practice will begin July 30th. I will let you know the times and locations for sure when I know. Players should wear their gray practice jerseys until further notice.
League PlayWe have applied to the NSL U12 league. It is important to dominate our own age group this year, preparing for our first state cup in u13. We hope to go back to the KC league in the spring (11v11) and also do 4 NSL games.
Fall TournamentsThe tourneys we are going to look to be a good balance.
Aug 10-12, Elkhorn Soccer Festival -U12 8v8
Sept 01-02, Omaha FC-U12 8v8
Sep 22-23, Just for Girls, Des Moines-U12 8v8
Oct 12-14, Midwest All Girls, Overland Pk-U12 11v11
Oct 26-28, Halloween Havoc, CB-Play U13 11v11
Parent HelpTiffany Farrell has agreed to be the team manager again and Robin Seran has agreed to be our hotel manager. Other help--will the parents who do the nets before and after games still do that? What also would be great is a parent or 2 to be in charge of stats for all the games. If anyone has an ipad, there is an easy app to use. There may be some smart phone apps too. Basically, we need one or two parents who will be at every game, writing down our opponent's name, what the score of the game is, who scored on our team and who had any assists and how many shots we had. There can be other stats too, like how many saves our keeper had, etc. Anyone willing to take this on?
Playing TimePlaying time is not guaranteed. That being said, however, I believe that it is difficult to develop if a player isn't playing in games. I attempt to get everyone in as much as possible and be as equal as possible. If, however, we are in a closely contested important game, I will go with the players who are playing well at that time. If there is a choice between playing midfielders, forwards or defenders more, I usually choose to play defenders more.
StartersI don't necessarily start the same players every game. I think it is important to start a balanced team to begin games. If your daughter starts one game and then does not start the next game, it doesn't necessarily mean that she did something wrong, it is just someone else's turn to begin. If I do start players consecutively, it is usually defenders. If I sit players for a specific reason, I usually tell them.
PaperworkTiffany will let you know the paperwork needed from you. Player passes need pictures. We need a copy of your birth certificate and medical release forms and all that kind of stuff.
AttendancePlease do everything you can to attend our Elite summer camp, all practices, tournaments and games. I do understand that there will be conflicts. I may have conflicts too (hopefully not.) All I ask is that you let me know beforehand when your daughter will have to miss.
Text the following:
To the number:
I will use Twitter to let you know of any late practice changes or game changes, et cetera. I may occasionally post inspiration sayings. The reason I want to use Twitter is that it is public and transparent. Instead of me texting parents privately or even players as they acquire cell phones, this keeps communication between players, coach and parents in the open. I have used it for my high school team and it works pretty well.