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SCCSA Travel Philosophy and Goals

 

To our players and parents


You and your child are about to begin a new season with the Southern Chester County Soccer Association Travel Team program.  For those who have participated in the travel program before, some of what follows may be repetitive; however you need to carefully read and understand the information in this letter.  If you have any questions, please send them by email to travel@scssasoccer.com

SCCSA has provided children with an opportunity to participate in this wonderful sport since 1977.  As many of you know the club provides an in-house instructional program as well as a travel program – together there are more than thirteen hundred children participating in the club.

The Travel Program has grown from a few teams to as many as 24 teams.  This sustained growth has only been accomplished through the extensive and sometimes exhaustive efforts of the many parent volunteers associated with the program.  To them we owe our continued thanks for their countless hours on and off the field. 

U.S. Club Soccer and United States Youth Soccer Association (“USYSA”) are the national governing bodies our teams play under. Most of our teams play under U.S. Club Soccer rules. A few teams, play under Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association (“EPYSA”), which is USYSA’s recognized governing body for our geographic area.  Many of the rules and regulations that we must adhere to are established by these two bodies.  The two primary leagues that our children participate in, DELCO for the boys and PAGS for the girls, provide additional structure, rules and requirements.  These two leagues are highly regarded and offer some of the highest levels of competition in youth soccer in the East.  We as a club fully support and agree with both the letter and the intent of these rules and regulations.

SCCSA’s Travel Program has several goals and objectives.  These are:

  • To provide the necessary training and coaching staff so your child can develop their skills and knowledge of the game.
  • To teach our children good sportsmanship in both theory and practice.
  • To provide interested parents an opportunity to become actively involved in the growth and development of our youth within the context of a structured sports program.
  • To provide support for parents interested in developing their coaching skills and capabilities.
  • To provide an appropriate level of competition for each child – in both their placement on a specific team and that team’s selection of an appropriate competitive environment.
  • To make each child’s experience as positive and enjoyable as possible and to continually foster a passion and love for the game.  In a word – have FUN.

It is sometimes difficult for us as parents and coaches to understand and fully comprehend perhaps the most basic underlying truth about our children – especially when it comes to their development as soccer players.  Within the limits of their athletic abilities, they will become the player that they want to be.  The time and effort they spend learning the skills required to play the game, developing an understanding of the game and learning to be part of a team effort will be the primary determinant of their success.  The coaches and trainers associated with the program, the leagues and tournaments that they participate in, the summer camps and clinics they attend provide the framework and instructional support – but in the end the success they achieve is entirely dependent upon the efforts they put forth. 

As with any human endeavor, the more joy we take in an activity the more frequently we want to do that activity.  It is therefore imperative that as parents, coaches and administrators we seek to maximize our children's enjoyment.   At the same time we must recognize that our children have varied interests, must attend to schoolwork, family and church commitments and equally important, have time to just be kids.   Within the structure of the club we try to meet these needs in many ways from the free clinics we have offered to the summer “pick-up” games.

If we are successful in achieving our goals, our children will have fun, take pride in their club and become the soccer player they want to be – for some this could culminate in playing for their middle and high school teams and for others it may lead to playing at the collegiate level and beyond.  As coaches we take particular pride in the scholastic accomplishments of the players coming out of our club program.

Travel Soccer is a competitive game – it’s why we keep scores and standings, have playoffs and reward champions.  A primary objective of SCCSA as well as EPYSA and USYSA is to develop players to the highest level that they have the athletic ability and commitment to achieve.  However, great players do not develop from only practicing twice a week and playing a game on the weekend.  They become great players because they develop a passion and love for the game, but not because their parents push them or constantly ride them to work on their skills.  We can nurture and support them, but we can’t do it for them and applying undue pressure only serves to eventually turn them away from the sport.  As the saying goes:  “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink”. 

Each child is unique and develops according to the lessons that they learn within the family, school, church and every activity that they participate in.    It is incumbent upon us to provide our children with proper example for it is from us that they learn most of their behavior.  Unfortunately, there has been a growing problem in the USA within youth sports related to the behavior of players, coaches and parents.  The causes for this can be debated at length; the reality is that actions must be taken to end it.  Within our sport and our primary competitive leagues, DELCO and PAGSL, there has been extensive discussion about these issues and actions have been taken to address them including an improved reporting system for notifying league officials of problems and random observations of behavior at games.

We have developed the following guidelines governing the behavior of players, coaches and parents within SCCSA.  These guidelines are consistent with the goals and objectives of the club and must be adhered to.


GUIDELINES FOR PLAYERS

  • Good sportsmanship and respect is to be shown at all times to parents, coaches, teammates, opponents and referees.
  • Players are to follow the rules and training regimens established by their coaches and trainers.
  • Players must adhere to all league rules and regulations.
  • Foul language and taunting will not be tolerated.
  • Fighting or playing with an obvious intent to injure will be dealt with appropriately by both the league and the club.
  • Players are free to ask any question of their coaches; they should not have their parents ask on their behalf.
  • Coaches should be made aware of any illnesses or injuries or planned absences from training sessions or games.

 

 GUIDELINES FOR COACHES 

  • Good sportsmanship and respect is to be shown at all times to parents, teammates, opposing coaches, opponents, spectators and referees.
  • Foul and abusive language will not be tolerated. 
  • Player safety comes first and foremost, before the need to win.
  • Players are to be given equal and fair treatment at all times.  This does not, however, mean equal playing time. 
  • Training sessions shall be well organized and structured to maximize participation and touches on the ball for all players. 
  • Players shall be encouraged to develop all aspects of their game and given the opportunity to play multiple positions.
  • Questions by players shall be honestly answered in a manner suitable to their abilities to comprehend them.
  • Questions by parents about their child are to be answered promptly, forthrightly and in a confidential manner.  Questions about another player shall be deferred to that player’s parents or guardians.
  • All SCCSA, league, EPYSA and USYSA rules and regulations must be adhered to:  This includes player and team registrations, filing of game reports, attendance at required meetings, and following established procedures for dealing with problems.
  • Coaching from the sideline should be kept to a minimum.  Players must learn to communicate among themselves and “figure out” the game as it is being played.
  • Coaches are encouraged to continually improve their knowledge of the game and their coaching skills by participating in advanced coaching licensing programs, clinics and independent study.
  • Coaches are responsible for the sideline behavior of their players, parents and other spectators associated with SCCSA.  To this end, coaches may remove any parent or spectator from the field during a game or training session for failure to adhere to these established guidelines.

 

 GUIDELINES FOR PARENTS 

  • Good sportsmanship and respect is to be shown at all times to your child, your child’s coaches, teammates and their parents, opposing coaches, opponents and parents, spectators and referees. 
  • Derogatory or abusive language is expressly prohibited.
  • Parents are not to address the referees under any circumstances.  That is the role of the speaking captains on the field and the coaches.   Parents are also prohibited from addressing the referee away from the game.  Questions about calls and game situations shall be directed to the coaches; coaches may, at their discretion, seek clarification from the referee.
  • Parents, regardless of any playing or coaching experience, are not to coach the team from the sideline under any circumstances.  Involvement as a parent/fan must be limited to positive statements that encourage fair play and sportsmanship without providing specific instructions to players during the play of the game.
  • Parents can discuss any problems and questions pertaining to their child with that child’s coach.  However, players should be encouraged to ask their coaches any questions they have and not filter them through their parents.
  • Parents cannot discuss another child with the coach; such questions must be directed to that child’s parent or legal guardian.
  • Parents and spectators must follow the instructions of the coach and/or referee during a game – including leaving the area if their behavior or actions so warrant it.

 

While some of the rules laid out above may seem obvious, these are the guidelines that we operate under as a club.  It is my sincere hope that no SCCSA parent or spectator will ever have to be prohibited from watching his or her child play; however, we will take such action if necessary.

Please review these Guidelines with your spouse and your child.

Wishing all our children success and enjoyment during the coming year,  


Southern Chester County Soccer Association

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