We believe our youth gain confidence and love for the game through positive feedback from parents, coaches, and other players. Skill levels develop at different rates for different children, but having fun and putting forth maximum effort can always be achieved. We will try to always provide positive feedback for effort and will teach all players on the team to do the same. We encourage you as parents to take part in this practice both at home and while at the field.
We think it is important that a coach take a more than casual interest in their players. We will strive to talk with every player at some point during practices and games. We may not be successful at getting to every player on every day, but we want them to know that we are interested in what they have to say and more importantly we want them to know that their coach respects them as an individual.
We believe in trying to make practices as fun and entertaining for the players as possible while providing the instruction and practice they will require to improve. We have found that players respond to well-structured and organized practices. Attention spans are often quite limited at these age groups, so we will strive to keep them moving and active.
Teamwork and friendships are an important element of any team sport. We will always try to tell the players how important it is for them to support each other and to always be positive towards their teammates. We will encourage and expect the players to follow the rule that many of us were taught when we were young – if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all. Negative or derogatory comments will not be tolerated from coaches, players or parents and will be dealt with swiftly, but fairly.
Competition is an important element of any sport and as children grow they naturally become more competitive. We will not talk to the players about “needing to win a game,” “winning at all costs,” or “how important it is that we win.” We feel our roles and that of parents is helping the players develop the ability to deal with competition in a healthy way. Effort and attitude will be our primary focus. We have found that if we can achieve that, then the chances are better than average that we will win those games we are capable of winning.
We will continually work on teaching the fundamentals and skills required to be competitive at this and the next level. This will provide a solid foundation. Players will enjoy the game more as they master passing, catching, cradling, scooping ground balls and shooting. At this age players need positive and constructive feedback in order to improve their skills. We will strive to acknowledge the contribution each player makes to their team. Expect us to concentrate on the fundamentals!