To the New York State West Youth Soccer Association (NYSWYSA) Membership:
There is a fundamental premise that has served me very well throughout my adult life. Simply put, despite the life challenges that are presented to us, even in very difficult times, if we choose to look hard enough there are silver linings to be found or created. All it takes is the resolve to focus on what may be possible instead of focusing on what we may have lost. Last Monday, one of those silver linings presented itself to me in the form of a single person representing one of our club members. She reached out to share some ideas she had about how we might be able to keep kids playing soccer this spring and summer within the NYSWYSA footprint. Her enthusiasm and perspective truly boosted my spirits and I’d like to share some thoughts for consideration that resulted from our conversation.
Within our youth soccer community, many may be lamenting lost opportunities during this time. Perhaps it is concern about lost opportunities relating to college recruiting, league play, national tournaments, coach and/or referee education, or just simply playing soccer. But honestly, I believe that if we were to ask our children right now what they want most, they would simply answer that they just want to get out and play soccer with their friends, regardless of the format or competitive level. So, then, the question is how can we best give that gift to our children now, despite current physical distancing restrictions, and then in the near future once those restrictions are relieved? Below are some ideas to think about. Many of you coaches and administrators are already employing some creative concepts. If you are, that’s awesome! Please post and share your successes on the NYSWYSA Facebook page so that others might benefit.
The Summer of Love for Futbol
Here is our 2020 opportunity. New York State West Youth Soccer Association wants to work with you to create “The Summer of Love for Futbol”! Let’s make it simple, let’s make it fun, let’s think “out of the box”, and let’s do it together!...We MUST be creative!
Since it is possible that many or all of this year’s league and tournament schedules will be compressed if not cancelled, let’s be open to creative alternative game-day schedules, setting aside traditional roster restrictions or freezes, and perhaps scrapping league standings if that facilitates being able to play games. Let’s be proactive with our response instead of reactive.
o Coaches: Create and distribute to your players simple, fun, skill and fitness challenges that they can do at home in their back yard and inside, either alone, or with a family member.
- If you need help, the NYSWYSA Technical Staff is available to assist you with creating them. Just call us or check our web site for ideas.
- You can create a virtual skill Olympics comprised of various exercises.
- Have them report daily and/or weekly progress on Facebook to you and their friends.
- Ask them to challenge each other.
- Create a fun way to make it a friendly competition.
- Challenge the players to create their own fun exercises and to share them with you and each other.
Rather than waiting out the uncertain timing of decisions on traditional leagues, tournaments, etc., then scrambling to start, let’s consider instead to assemble a plan for flexible play dates for all who want to participate in May, June, July, and perhaps even August, that can be efficiently and quickly implemented when physical distancing restrictions are lifted. NYSWYSA is ready and willing to help make it happen. Yes, it may mean we collectively decide now to forego traditional competition seasons for 2020, but at least this might provide more certainty that kids can play some soccer this spring and summer.
If your club, league, or team is willing and interested in participating, please respond to Alex Brame, Executive Director of NYSWYSA (firstname.lastname@example.org). Also, if you have some creative ideas, please share them with us.
Beginning this week, NYSWYSA will post the end of each week a status update report to include the following items.
- NYSWYSA Program Updates
- Olympic Development Program (ODP)
- State Cup & National Championship Series
- Coach Education
- US Soccer Position
- US Youth Soccer Position
We have an outstanding soccer community throughout NYSWYSA. Please consider helping us to help you enjoy a successful, albeit different, and new soccer experience. While it may have been unanticipated, it can still be great!
Curtis R. Regruit