In recent months, the national media has focused on the negative, even violent, behavior of players, coaches and parents involved in youth sports. In a proactive effort to counteract this trend of violence, AYSO is initiating a program called Kids Zone.
As part of AYSO’s education agenda, Kids Zone is a dynamic program targeted to eliminate negative sideline behavior. It is aimed toward producing a thoroughly positive impact on everyone involved in youth soccer. To execute this program, three basic elements are involved:
- The Pledge. We will require AYSO parents to sign a pledge that holds them to the Kids Zone standards.Download Pledge and return to your Team Coordinator
*Note: It is very important that the Team Coach signs his/her form including printed name, phone number and the division (e.g., U10).
When collected, Team Coordinator can send forms to:
- The Badge. This is a pin-on button bearing the program’s logo. This will be worn by program supporters at games, and will serve as a reminder of the importance of positive sideline behavior.
- The Sign. A large sign, which lists positive behavior standards, will be posted at the entrance of participating fields. Parents and spectators who will abide by these standards are welcome — all others are not.
By entering the kids zone,
you agree to the following:
Kids are #1
Fun, not winning,is everything
Fan only cheer and only coaches coach
No yelling in anger
Respect the Volunteer Referees
Leave no trash behind
Set a proper example for our children
Go to AYSO National site to see the online Kids Zone video.
Tools for Parents
The following ideas may be helpful for being an AYSO supportive parent.
Conversations before the games
- Tell your child you love him/her regardless of the outcome.
- Tell him or her “Go for it, give it your best shot and have fun!”
During the game
- Understand that kids are over-stimulated during games. The coach is yelling instructions, opponents and teammates are talking, the crowd is cheering, and the referee is blowing the whistle. To a youth sports participant the atmosphere is much like that of a fighter pilot with enemy jets racing all around.
- Do not yell instructions to your child during the game, since it only adds to the confusion. Sometimes the best thing you can do as a parent is to be quiet.
- Cheer and acknowledge the play by BOTH teams.
After the game
- Thank the officials for doing a difficult job.
- Thank the coaches for their efforts. Understand that after a difficult loss is not a good time to question a coach.
- Thank your opponents for a good game.
- Congratulate your child and his or her teammates for their effort.
- Compliment individual players on the efforts they made in the game.
During the car ride home
- Point out a good play your child made during the game.
- Avoid criticizing or correcting mistakes.
- Ask open-ended questions about how the game was played rather than how many points were scored. Examples of open-ended questions that might apply:
- “Did you have fun?”
- “Did you give it your best effort?”
- “What did you learn from the game?”
- “What was the best play you made and how did it feel?”
- ” Did you bounce back from your mistakes?”
- Remember each child’s feelings are important, win or lose. Don’t focus on winning only.