Dear Jamaica Plain Youth Soccer U8 Families,
This message is for all children participating in the Under 8 (1st and 2nd grade) Academy program.
There will be two practice sessions from 6:15 to 7:15 at English High School on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week. Children may attend either or both practices. The first practice session is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11 and concludes on Thursday, June 8. Academy games will be held on Sunday afternoons from 1:00 to 2:00 at Pagel Field on Hyde Park Ave. The first game is scheduled for Sunday, April 9. The last game is scheduled for Sunday, June 11. Check-in commences approximately 15 minutes prior to all sessions.
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
JPYS is a volunteer organization, and can use any help that you can provide - from a regular weekly commitment, to a one-time shot. This includes greeting kids and sending them to fields, picking up supplies, transporting goals, contacting other parents, fundraising, coaching (training and lots of support provided - you'll never be alone), etc. We all have busy work and family lives, and therefore must rely on each other to share the burden and joy of providing an amazing opportunity for the healthy growth and development of our children. Please consider volunteering. We continue to need more volunteers in all areas. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you can provide any assistance.
Official JPYS T-shirts will be distributed to players who did not participate in the fall at practice sessions during the first week of practice. A marking pen will be available to write your child’s name on the back and front of the T-shirt. Please bring the following equipment to all practices and games:
- official JPYS T-shirt
- clothes for running
- shin guards
- water bottle
Children should bring their own soccer ball to practice sessions. Size 3 soccer balls are best for U8 children. Please do not bring a ball to the Sunday games.
- an adult responsible for the child must be present at the field during all practices and games
- children must wear shin guards during all practices and games
- children must check-in upon arrival at the field
- no coaching from the side-lines – children are learning to make their own “soccer decisions”
- children are required to “play safe” – no pushing, no running into others
- no disputing referee or coach decisions – children must learn to accept “bad” calls
- at the end of the session, players and a parent or guardian must check-out together
- the session will not commence if it is raining at start time, or if there is lightning in the area
JP SOCCER ACADEMY PHILOSOPHY
The JP Soccer Academy in founded on three guiding principles: 1) soccer for kids should be, first and foremost, fun; 2) technique, skill and confidence with the ball, is key; and 3) free play leads to creative play. The program is player-focused and builds from the following progression of soccer logic: 1) develop skills, that allow players to 2) control the ball, which allows teams to 3) control the game, which positions teams to 4) win the game. The program dispenses with some of the regular features of youth programs – identity with one team and one coach, game results, and standings. Such features can lead to a reversal of the logic, such that winning is prioritized above skills development. Unfortunately, children that lose games in a highly competitive program often lose interest in soccer and give up. With a focus on skill development, all children in the program are encouraged to develop their skills at their own pace. With skill development as the goal, all children are winners and will hopefully stay in the game. During games, children are encouraged to apply and experiment with the ball control skills they have practiced during the week. Scores are not recorded and standings are non-existent. Minimal intrusion during games (from coaches and parents) allows children to play freely, make their own soccer decisions, develop creativity and flair, and learn from their mistakes.
The JP Youth Soccer Academy strives to develop passionate and skilled soccer players by offering an inclusive, fun-first program focused on soccer education for boys and girls, ages 7-10 (first through 4th grades). The Academy was established to advocate the enjoyment of soccer and the patient development of fundamental skills.
We need your help ensuring that our Academy is safe and fun for all of the participants from those new to the game to the most experienced players.
We understand that players in grades 1 to 4 are children who are energetic, often very competitive, and prone to make mistakes. All of us are responsible for helping the children learn appropriate behavior during practice and games.
Player Behavior Expectations
- Respect the safety of all players
- Play under control.
- No reckless play.
- Take responsibility if you hurt another player by mistake.
- Never try to hurt another player.
- Be a good sport
- Celebrate your teams success.
- Do not taunt or tease any players.
- Never swear, curse, or call other people mean names.
- Play soccer
- Have fun.
- Play with energy and spirit.
- Follow the rules.
- Do not cheat.
- Follow the directions of the coaches.
Coach, Field Volunteer, and Adult Spectator Expectations
- We all must hold all of the children to high standards of behavior, while at the same time understanding that these are young children who will make mistakes and need adult guidance.
- Coaches/Field Volunteers deserve our thanks and support. And they must also intervene quickly when children do not follow the guidelines.
- For minor errors; pull player aside and quietly remind him or her of the rules.
- For unsafe play, unsporting language or actions, you are encouraged to send the child to sit out for 5 minutes with their adult.
- Briefly explain the reason for this action to the adult.
- The player must check in with you before re-entering the activity.
- Persistent or extreme behavior (this should be extremely rare)
- Send child to their adult and do not allow the player to return for the session.
- Briefly explain your reasoning.
- Contact Academy director (
- Parents/guardians/responsible adults are expected to be at the field for all practices and games.
- It is difficult for volunteers to manage other people’s children’s behavior. You know your child be active when needed.
- Support the decisions of the field volunteers and coaches. Reinforce the message that they are giving and help your child improve her or his behavior.
- If a child is not following the guidelines their adult should calmly remove the child from the activity and remind the child of expectations before allowing the child to return to the activity.
- If a child continues to misbehave their adult should take them home. They will be welcomed back at the next event.
Practices involve a period of intense technical training, followed by small group challenges and scrimmages. The first third of practice focuses on individual technique, and trains the children to control the ball with all surfaces of the feet. The second third of practice focuses on skill development with another child, including passing technique and ball protection. The final third of practice involves small group scrimmages (4 versus 4) so that children may apply the practiced skills in a friendly game setting.
On Sundays, children are organized into teams and play for an hour or more. Teams and games are organized to ensure that children spend no time - or next to no time - watching from the sideline. Games are usually 4 versus 4 without goalies, and teams are re-constituted each week. Children will invariably keep score during the game, but scores are not recorded and standings are non-existent. The objectives of the Sunday game are for the children to apply and experiment with the ball control skills they have practiced during the week, develop creativity and flair, and learn from their mistakes. Children are expected to make their own “soccer decisions” during the game – there is minimal coaching, no parental intervention, and no pressure to “get a result”. Game activity (ball control, ball protection, etc) will be analyzed at appropriate breaks in play, and will be used to guide the subsequent practice session.
We look forward to meeting everyone in due course.
JPYS Board member