Top coaching tips, shoelace secrets 

Players

Shoelaces letting you down? Your boots probably came with wide, flat laces. Order some oval or semi-oval laces that will stay knotted (31" for up to around 4' tall, 39" for taller kids) .

Now is Not The Time To Get Your Ears Pierced. When you just get a piercing, you really can't remove them to play, even for an hour. The referees will not let you play with ear-rings, for good reason, even if they're covered in padding. The potential consequences of having a sharp piece of metal in between your neck and a wayward soccer ball are severe.

Parents

If your 10U-14U player would like to play in the Myles Standish Thanksgiving Tournament or All-Stars in the winter, sign up for tryouts. Details below.

Please answer the parent survey if you haven't already.

If a referee or coach did something well, or you think there's an opportunity for improvement, please tell the league! You'll find a form on ayso13.org to send feedback to the coach and referee staffs.

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Coaches

One of the top tips from last week's coach meeting came from David Bailey: I realized my players weren't understanding most of what I said during games, so I decided to limit myself to a very limited vocabulary of a few phrases, and make sure the players know what those phrases mean. So when I say, "Go to goal," everyone knows what to do. Join this week's meeting on Wednesday October 12 from 7:30-9:00. Next week, it'll be on Thursday.

Preliminary ratings are due by Sunday. Follow the guidelines so we can have fewer blowout games in 2022.

For divisions 6U, 7U, 8U, the team spreadsheet has a new column, "How do you want your name to appear on the trophy?" Please find out how all your players prefer to be addressed.

To coach an All-Stars team, apply online by October 16.

Referees

Join the referee staff open house tonight (Tuesday) at 7:30 on Zoom. Topics include: go ahead and blow that whistle!

Why do 6U-8U teams have game cards now? These reports help the coach and referee staffs provide oversight of the program. You can return the cards to Victory Park, drop them in the mail slot at the clubhouse, or use the QR code at the bottom to upload pictures. The reports are reviewed by the coach staff for problems, the pandemic team to ensure everyone who participated was cleared to do so, and the referee staff to track credit for advancement.

Please mark your availability for each game. This year, many kids are learning how to referee. If we are to have a pool of high school students as referees in four years, we have to start giving them 6U-8U opportunities now.

Looking ahead

See more by subscribing to the Region 13 calendar

Every Thursday Free COVID testing at the clubhouse, 711 W Woodbury, Unit E, 4-8pm
Oct 12 Referee meet-up, 7:30 pm on Zoom
Oct 13 Coach meeting, 7:30 pm on Zoom
Oct 16 No games for 4U/5U this week
Oct 21 Coach meeting, 7:30 pm on Zoom
Oct 23 Picture day #2
Oct 30 Picture day #3
Nov4 Board meeting on Zoom, 7:15 pm

Pandemic update

Nobody wants to miss a game because of contact tracing. Please set a good example and help protect our kids who are not yet vaccinated, by wearing our masks when watching the games. Players still wear masks during games in 12U and younger, where players tend to bunch up. For referees for 10U and older, who are fully vaccinated and can distance themselves from the players, masks are optional. Common sense still applies: if you want to take your mask off, create some distance around yourself! 

Good Sportsmanship

AYSO is fundamentally a community development organization, that also plays soccer. The kids playing 6U soccer today will be playing with, and competing with, each other for at least the next 12 years. More than a sports league, AYSO is a forum for teaching life lessons -- how to be part of a team, the value of perseverance, how to be a good winner, and how to be a good loser. Some teams will win more than others. When the game is really unbalanced, coaches can take steps to help all the kids on the field make the most of the opportunity.

There's also another team on the field, the parent team, that sets the tone for the kids. While you're enjoying watching the game, the kids are also watching your example -- how you respect the referees, the coaches, and the players from the other team. LA may be a big city, but Pasadena is a small town, so you'll probably be seeing each other for many years to come!

Winter programs

Region 13 has winter programs for players of all levels. Apply now to try out for an All-Stars or MST Tournament team. Check back in November to play in Grad Series or Winter Stars.

Picture of the week

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Thanks, Cara Meyer, for capturing the excitement of 8U soccer in Victory Park. Send in your pictures or tag @aysoregion13 on Instagram

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