Travel soccer is a step up from recreational soccer in competition and commitment. The players will benefit from the increased competition, more practice time, and licensed coaches and referees. When you play travel soccer you are committing to weekend games (Saturdays and/or Sunday afternoons) and 2 nights a week for practice.
The increased commitment and expectations applies to coaches, as well. Some of what you should expect from your coaches:
- Demonstrate good sportsmanship, teach players what it means to be a good teammate and treat players fairly
- Organize practices to train soccer fundamentals appropriate to the age and abilities of the team
- Provide a safe environment and keep player safety a top priority
- Know the rules of the game, respect the referees and act in a controlled manner
- Disrespectful behavior to players, coaches, parents, spectators and referees will not be tolerated.
- All head coaches will hold a Class E license (or greater) through the Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) and will pass a thorough background check
Players and parents must be aware that being on a competitive/select team comes with increased expectations that are shared with one’s teammates. The team’s success is dependent on all players supporting each other and being able to count on one’s teammates to have the same level of commitment to the TEAM. This commitment includes the following:
- Attend and be on time to all practices and games; persistent tardiness and/or absence will affect playing time.
- Work hard, play fair, have fun and give your very best effort each and every time you are on the field for practices and games.
- Wear all required equipment (cleats, shin guards, mouth guards, uniforms, etc.) to all practices and games.
- Pay attention to all coaches when they are speaking and providing instruction on and off the field.
- Be a team player; learn the rules of soccer and play by them at all times; learn and develop teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship…practice them at all times.
- ALWAYS respect the decisions of the referees. Disrespectful behavior to coaches, referees, parents, spectators or other players will not be tolerated. The use of indecent or profane language is unacceptable.
- Fighting, any physical or verbal abuse will not be tolerated.
- Please READ and CHECK your emails frequently. It is your responsibility to stay on top of schedules and detail changes. Most information is sent via e-mail but you coach may also communicate with another vehicle(s). Most of the Club coaches and managers are involved in a number of other activities. Please do them a favor and check regularly and before heading to any Club functions. When possible the team manager or coaches will also try to call and notify of any changes, etc. If you are unsure or will be unable to attend, it is YOUR responsibility to call one of your coaches as far in advance of the scheduled event as possible.
- Drop off/pick up players on time for games and practices. On time means early enough to be completely dressed and ready for play at the designated start time. The general expectation for games is that players are ready to warm up 30 minutes to 1 hour before game time (warm up time will depend on your coach), so please allow for that in all travel times. If you are unable to make that start time on a regular basis, it is your responsibility to communicate this to the team coaches. Most schedules can be easily accommodated with good communication.
- Disrespectful and disruptive behavior towards the coaches, managers, players, spectators and referees – both at practice and games – is unacceptable.
- During games, please feel free to positively support (not coach) and cheer the players and team. Support great plays or good soccer for BOTH teams.
- At some point, your opinion of your child’s play and abilities may differ from that of the coaches. If you have a question for the coach concerning an incident with your child that directly relates to a game, please wait 24 hours before calling or e-mailing the coach (the “24-hour rule”). This allows you to react in a calm manner. Please allow coaches time to respond to your questions. Directly after a match is the worst time to discuss with the coach any issues, especially sensitive ones. It is important, however, that you discuss any issues you may have directly with your child’s coach (as opposed to other parents, etc.); questions, input and positive suggestions should be voiced to the coach in the absence of players and other parents. Club officials will get involved as needed.
- Please help the coach by reinforcing appropriate sporting attitudes and behaviors. Examples of unacceptable conduct include:
- Being overzealous on the sideline during games
- Berating or directing degrading remarks at players, opposing coaches, spectators or referees
- Putting too much pressure on your children or others; humiliating them by shouting at them or degrading them in front of others; or embarrassing them by criticizing coaches and officials
- Not following the “24-hour rule”
- Using foul or profane language
- Coaching from the sideline – this causes confusion; players should take instruction from coaches and referees only.
As a parent, you play an important role in promoting your child’s happiness and success in soccer and sports in general. Your expectations and behavior have a significant bearing on your child’s attitude and behavior while participating in soccer. Support and encouragement from you will contribute to your children having:
- A sense of personal achievement
- An enjoyment of soccer
- Improved physical fitness
- Higher self-esteem
- Improved social skills