Led by: Brian Sheehan | 8U-10U Central Recreational Director
Take the ‘Let Us Play!’ Pledge!
- I pledge to let players do the thinking
- I pledge to positive cheering and a high standard of civility & sportsmanship
- I pledge to abide by CRYSC sideline behavior guidelines
The sidelines of every youth soccer game are lined with parents and spectators wanting their team to succeed. Fans communicate in many ways, from chanting and cheering to clapping. Too often this enthusiastic exuberance can come with shouting instructions and trying to coach from the stands (joysticking the players). As a club, we are committed to a positive player experience of learning and individual growth of our team members.
In all Rapids Zone 1 programming, parents, coaches, and CRYSC staff commit to fostering an environment where players grow in confidence as masters of their own on-the-field decision making. To honor this commitment, all parents, coaches, and spectators are encouraged to take the ‘Let Us Play!’ Pledge during the season.
What Do Our Players Have to Say?
The touchline zones at all CRYSC In-House League matches have been designated as “Let Them Play Sidelines”. This creates a calmer atmosphere in which the children can hear themselves think, hear each other and make their own decisions, free from adult interference. Those watching are welcome to applaud both teams (e.g., clapping when a player tries a move, completes a great pass, or a goal is scored) but must not shout or call out instructions to direct players.
Why Do You Play?
The reasons that each player plays the game of soccer are different for each individual. For some, it’s all about being with friends or the community you gain when you belong to a team. Others might be drawn to the life lessons that the sport brings out. For many, playing to compete or to even win is a thrilling enough reason to play. What is important is that each individual playing soccer has different reasons, and knowing the reasons they play helps us as coaches and parents support them along the way.
Spectators or No Spectators?
The COVID-19 Pandemic provided the youth sports world an interesting experiment, what would youth sports look like without spectators? Our CRYSC players played nearly an entire season without fans or minimal fans. When we asked them whether they preferred to play with or without fans, the answer was undoubtedly with fans. However, there were some caveats to this response. As much as the players loved having the support of friends and family, they did not enjoy instances where fans told them what to do, behaved negatively towards the other team or referees, or yelled out coaching instructions. They all agreed that their fans should be there to support them positively no matter what.