I have had the great pleasure to coach both A.Y.S.O. U7 and U8 soccer
and am looking to the slightly larger and significantly more
sophisticated play of U9. As a child I both played and refereed
soccer for several seasons and am wildly amazed as an adult watching
the progress of our children learning this game.
For our first practice on Friday, September 5th, 5:30 pm, Ohlone School
each child must bring water, shin guards, shorts and be warmed up and
ready to begin. Break in any new footwear before practice,
perhaps wear a double layer of socks, and/or bring a pair of tennis
shoes. Our regular practice schedule is Wednesday and Friday at
5:30 pm. Games start between 8 am and 11 am on Saturdays.
A quick team meeting will follow the practice at 6:20 please attend if
at all possible.
Our first "Practice Game" will be on this Saturday at 9:45 am at New
Hoover Park. The format is as it was in U7 and U8 except a larger
playing field and 5 on 5 teams (where it was 4 on 4 ). A complete
schedule is available at www.ayso26.org.
Please reply so that I know that you have received this information and
are able to attend the first practice. I have received a number
of telephone calls and I apologize for not being able to reply in a
More information and links at
Many more pages of information at www.ayso26.org
I will not publish the roster on a public internet site for the safety
of the children. Note that while webayso.com has these names it
is password protected. I have in the past and wish to continue to
publish pictures of our kids and other team related information on my
personal web pages (a public site). Please let me know if you
have any concerns about this.
Agenda for team meeting at the end of
the first practice
- What can team members and parents expect from A.Y.S.O? Every player has fun,
every player plays every game, and has an opportunity to learn,
practice their skills, be challenged and be a contributing member of
- Parents must encourage and respect the players and support the
team. This league, and this age bracket in particular is all
about learning the game and developing skills. Scores and
statistics are downplayed for now. The league actively
discourages "blow-out" games and tries to adjust teams (and sub-teams)
to have matched talent. In addition to supporting your child,
parents will take over the following tasks:
- Prepare the field for the game with nets and corner flags.
- Organize the snacks at games.
- Participate (a coaches helpers) in an exercise or monitoring a
sub-team. No experience or formal structure is required for this
job. If we usually have one or two parents stay for the practice
this will be fine.
- Two Referee's per team are usually necessary one referee/week
with a backup, more
- Safety. Soccer is not the chess club. Played properly
soccer is not a contact sport like boxing, football or rugby. It
is however, a very intense sport and does involve considerable
risk. Safe play and respect for others and one's own body will be
stressed. Good habits and attitudes are likewise
encouraged. Safety includes drinking plenty of water, and wearing
proper attire, including shin guards, no hazardous jewelry, and as the
weather becomes wet proper footwear.
- Sportsmanship. Soccer, more than many popular American
sports, is about team effort and less about individual strengths.
Three fair and cooperating players can surpass two super-star
athletes. Scores are more likely to be known by the kids than
coaches or referees. Respect and good conduct must be given to
team mates and the other team.
- Punctuality and attendance at practice will help everyone use our
limited time well. Practice is the only place coaches can give
individual attention. Techniques can be carefully considered,
drills interrupted and actions carefully contemplated. The
coaches will try their best to not instruct from the sideline at a game
(a traditional difference from many popular American sports).
Such instruction is at best ineffective, and at worst frustrating, in
this quick and dynamic game. The games are fast and fluid, a
remarkable place for the child to apply exciting new techniques and
teamwork. The players will get the greatest satisfaction when
most players, participate most of the time, at most of the practices.
- Punctuality and attendance at the games is important because it
is difficult to make good last moment adjustments for two working
5 on 5 teams. Understandably, your child will want to play on his
team. When we don’t have the right numbers we have to loan
players out or play without substitutions. All games must begin
on time due to rigid field constraints.
- Siblings and friends are welcome to attend the practices at the
discretion of the coaches. These children must be under the
supervision of another adult and promote the activities of the
team. There are two reasons for these restrictions. First,
A.Y.S.O. and the coaches are not insured for accidents, nor can they
speak on behalf of parents in the case of medical emergencies for
non-registered children. Second, while it may be productive and a
lot of fun to have other siblings in play and practice, it would be
very unfair if these guests would disrupt practice of those on the
team. In the past years we had some younger and older siblings
attend. The older ones have been very helpful with the exercises
and the younger ones enjoyed watching and scrimmaging.
- The team needs to come up with a name! Have your kids bring
- After we decide upon a name could someone please construct a
banner and flags ( Friday, September 5th from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., 1491
Arcadia Place, Palo Alto, corner of Arcadia and Newell, 1 block north
of Newell/Channing intersection.)
- Questions are entertained. Here are some common answers to
questions regarding philosophy
and addressing common
misperceptions of the game .