Starting Nov. 1, we no longer have any practices at Jackie Robinson / Brookside for the rest of the year. All teams have been relocated -- see https://ayso13.org/practice.
Want to run faster? Try Steve Chavez's plyometric speed drills for 5 minutes every day.
Sign up for an hour staffing the tent at Victory Park. AYSO works because of you, and this is an easy way to contribute.
This is also your friendly reminder that if your child is listening to your directions from the sidelines, then they are not paying attention to the game, their teammates, or to the coach. Just sit back and relax in that comfy chair!
In a normal year, referees in 10U and 12U would start the season with a couple of years of experience. Thanks to the pandemic, some volunteer referees may be holding the whistle for the first time this week. Remember: it's not the World Cup. There aren't any professional referees available to hire anyhow, and it takes time and experience to be able to concentrate on the game for an entire hour. How many times do you, as a spectator, look away from the game? Yes, I see you, looking at your phone during the game. So be understanding, and be sure to be kind to those referees who are doing their best, so they are motivated to come back when your kids are 14.
This is the week when players start to push the envelope, get frustrated, and hurt themselves. Try some passing & moving drills to focus on working with teammates, and maybe also some relaxation and deep breathing. Kids have been shut away for a year and a half, so if you can help the players build some relationships, you can call that a win!
Yes, the games are unbalanced. That's what it takes to play through a pandemic. If you're winning a lot, it's probably the luck of the roster, more than your coaching skill. Next year will be different, so please, try to relax, because you're in it for the long haul. The coaches who stick around all the way to 14U are pretty chill: try focusing on the things you can control. This takes time and experience, so be patient with yourself.
Be nice to the referees, too! In a normal year, all the coaches and referees would greet each other before the game, and the volunteers have stronger relationships with each other. Try introducing yourself to the other coach and to the referees before the match!
Hockey, baseball, basketball, soccer.
You can keep playing soccer with Region 13. But if you're ready to try something different, we're fortunate to be neighbors to many other great sports clubs, most of which start registering players in November. You'll see many of the same AYSO players and volunteer coaches playing softball and baseball with and PONY League. Those games start in March, about when All-Stars and Grad Series end. Girls can and do play baseball, by the way. If you already know how to ice skate, check out Li'l Kings hockey in Pasadena for kids 5-9, wherein the NHL provides all the equipment, to keep! It's the best value in youth sports, and the sport that most welcomes girls and boys to play together. Futsal is like soccer, but different. Lacrosse is growing in popularity, as well as Flag Football. Basketball goes year-round, and you'll find a league at just about every recreational center. Rounding out the genre of glorified keep-away is Ultimate Frisbee, with U15 and U20 teams.
For individual sports, there's Tennis, Wrestling, and lots of Swimming. If you're looking for the most laid-back, no commitment recreation, try the pickleball courts in La Canada on weekends and in Altadena at Farnsworth Park.
There's much more. We've linked to a few programs with similar philosophies to AYSO - positive coaching, everyone plays, balanced teams, and player development. The costs are similar to Region 13 soccer, and you can register as an individual player, not as a team. If we missed any, let us know to include them in a future newsletter.
See more by subscribing to the Region 13 calendar
|Every Thursday||Free COVID testing at the clubhouse, 711 W Woodbury, Unit E, 4-8 pm|
|Nov 2||Sisterhood of Soccer, 7:30 pm on Zoom|
|Nov 4||Board meeting on Zoom, 7:15 pm|
|Nov 7||All-Stars & MST tryouts|
|Nov 26-28||Myles Standish Tournament|
|Dec 2||Board meeting on Zoom, 7:15 pm|
Kris and Lacey McLaughlin are fixtures in youth sports. Kris coaches several soccer and baseball teams, and Lacey serves on boards for baseball and lacrosse. Remember to thank them, the next time you see them hustling their kids off to the next activity. Why do they do it? Coach Kris quips, "It's not like our kids are getting any younger!"
Do you want to recognize a team or referee for greatness? Go to https://ayso13.org/ > Menu > Forms and send a nice note.
The final tryouts are on Sunday, Nov 7 at Muir North. Beware the no parking zone on the west end of Montana St. Register in advance.
Thanks, Geoff Jennings! Send your pictures or tag @aysoregion13 on Instagram
If you are feeling stressed out this season, so is everyone else on the field. Some weekends I feel like a frayed nerve on the field. We are all trying to fo figure out how to navigate this trying time. Remember! We are playing youth sports in the middle of a pandemic. Things are weird. They are not perfect. We have LOTS of brand new coaches, and LOTS of brand new referees. In a regular Fall season approximately half of our coaches and referees in 10U and 12U would have experience in that division - not this season. We all skipped a season! Not just the kids - the volunteers as well. It is so hard for us as adults to remember that youth sports - are for the youth - not for us. The kids are learning, they are playing, they are socializing, they are learning to follow rules and get frustrated by the rules and their teammates and their coaches. Parents cheer, coaches coach, referees referee. Whichever role you are playing on any particular field, play that role - and not any of the others. Don't coach and referee. Don't parent and referee. Don't parent and coach. Pick one, and then relax and let the kids play. I am keeping my fingers crossed that by next Fall season our lives - and our soccer season - will feel and be much more "normal." Please keep this in mind the next time you feel like a frayed nerve on a soccer field.
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