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Hapoel Soccer Meeting - March 24, 2009

 
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:49 am    Post subject: Hapoel Soccer Meeting - March 24, 2009 Reply with quote

Hapoel Soccer Meeting - March 24, 2009

These were the suggestions that were sent after the 2008 Fall Season. Please post replies to speak to any and all issues. Your comments are appreciated.

Games
Start the season earlier (We've always started the season so it ends exactly before Thanksgiving. But, when we don't have Yom Tovim on Sundays, this should be do-able. A downside is that people need to sign-up earlier and, when sign-ups are before school starts, etc., this can be tricky. But, we somehow manage when we start the league early due to Sunday Yom Tovim so... Let me try and coordinate this.)
Practice - “Integrate more practice into the schedule. Team practice every other week on a weekday afternoon (at least for 2nd grade and up).” “More drills and learn some skills (ie trapping the ball) until they are older. Other than a little bit of scrimmaging at the end, I don't think they really need to play games until around 2nd grade.” “I believe that there needs to be more emphasis on skill building, like soccercise. If the older kids (K-5) play for 1 1/4 hours, perhaps the first full 30 minutes they can drill with one of the coaches and then play for 40 minutes. I saw improvement in my kids throughout the year and think it would have been even more pronounced with structured practicing upfront.” “Have drills with the kids so that they learn to play.....we would have been fine if the kids did fun drills the 70% of the time and played for 30%.” (This is much trickier. We have a limited amount of time and... The kids want to play. Historically, we've tried having longer "training time" but the kids simply didn't want to do it. I'm open to ideas. I have some thoughts but I'm curious to hear some ideas first.)
Number of Players per Team - “We’d prefer to have more players per team than less.” “The number of players per team should be equal.” (Having the exact same number of players per team is difficult and contingent on the number of kids that sign-up. Our preference is 8 players per team with a miximum of 10. With this said, we can skew higher than lower when we set teams.)
Bat Mitzvahs For G678, maybe contact the schools and ask about bat mitzva schedules and try to work around the bat mitzvas. (Coordinating around so mnay kid's Sunday schedules, especially shomer Shhabas kids' schedules, is not simple. With this said, I can contact the schools, send an e-mail to parents, etc.)
Matt at Fields It would have been nice to have you [Matt] here in Silver Spring at least some of the time. The league feels more organized that way. (I'd love to be and only be at Layhill Village all day. It's closer to home, I could see, let alone coach, my kids' games and i wouldn't have to drive so much. With this said, currently, we're at three locations. For what it's worth, changing to two locations may be helpful with this issue.)
Referees It was *wonderful* having "real" referees this year when we had them. A huge improvement. In one of the games a referee was calling a tight game, but reasonably so. But he wasn't explaining his calls, so no one could learn from it. I finally asked him about a call on the other team at one point, and he said it was for sportsmanship because they had one player who was yelling to confuse his opponents - the call was very much in the spirit of our league. This referee called a particularly good game, but that communication component would have made it much better. (I like the idea of the referees being more communicative as well.)
Winning The focus on the win is inappropriate...focus on playing, kicking the ball and having fun. (This comment was from a Rockville parent of a boy in specific league and... I agree. I think the heart of this issue was that "the teams weren't balanced". This is resolvable. Otherwise, any suggestions to facilitate the players - and coaches - competing in a healthier manner is appreciated.)
Coaches - appears to be a volunteer army....perhaps some folks are not destined to be coaches......and....they should focus on having fun..doing fun drills, getting the kids excited. (I think something that might help with this is coaches training, coaches sharing best practices and ideas and... Just more organization so we're all on the same page.)
Play-Offs The only sour point was during the key play-off game, where our coach “benched” the 2 weakest players, my son and one other child. Subbing them in and out for very limited times would have been cool, but when they didn’t play at all for 20 minutes at a time, they felt like they were singled out as less a part of the team/less worthy. Maybe their first taste of the reality of competitive sports, but until this point the spirit of the team/league had felt a bit more inclusive. (I think the two points above might help with this.)
No Goalies Games..perhaps no goalies are needed...get all the kids playing at once, instead of 2 bored kids playing in the nets. (We've played with smaller goals and no goalies and the kids hated it. Ranked similarly to having jerseys with no numbers. with this said, I'm open to it.)

End-of-Season Banquet
End-of-Season Banquet Call up an entire team at once and then discuss each player. Also, if possible (only you know how the schedule works), it might be better to have the K,1,2 kids scheduled for an afternoon rather than night/dinner. (I 100% agree that we need to make changes to the banquet. It's still fun etc. but... It's lost something. I like your idea, I think we need to get the coaches more involved, etc.)

Other
Porta-potties (We had one or two porta-potties this past season. I can look into making sure we have the same for this coming season. Coordinating this with the Park & rec isn't simple but... I can try.)
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:14 pm    Post subject: From a Hapoel Silver Spring Parent and Coach: Reply with quote

From a Hapoel Silver Spring Parent and Coach:

For what it is worth.....

Games
• Practice - Personally, I would rather see us go past Thanksgiving and allotting the first 2 Sundays for the coaches to do practice/drills with the kids. Midweek practices are going to be very difficult.

• Number of Players per Team - I would top it at 9. 10 means 3 are on the bench. I like it when we have just one sub.

• Referees I liked them but one referee was calling too official of a game. He was issuing yellow cards when there was no reason for it. LOL But I do like the idea of at halftime or after the game the referee explaining his calls but making clear that no one is to argue with the ref -- just learn the rules better.


• Coaches I would love this. Especially on teaching the coaches the finer points of the game since some, like me, don;t know the game much at all. Soccer for Dummies only goes so far. Also, I think it would be nice if the league would encourage parents not to leave right away but allow the coaches to speak to the kids for a few minutes after the game to learn from the game, etc. I try but the kids disperse so quickly it is hard.

• Play-Offs Grrrrrrrrrrrr

• No Goalies Nah, goalies are an integral part of the team.

End-of-Season Banquet
• End-of-Season Banquet Frankly, I liked it when you did everyone together. Weather permitting, how about a large BBQ? Smile

Other
• Porta-potties I don't remember seeing any at Layhill.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:53 pm    Post subject: hap father and coach... Reply with quote

Thanks so much for kicking this off and posting the feedback with your responses!

1) I think we should have one of the professional coaches lead one drill a week for the above K kids for 20 minutes a week and let them play two halves of 20 minutes each.
2) Perhaps have a 5 goal rule where if one team is winning 5-0 or 6-1 the game officially ends and then a few players can switch to make it more even/fun in the un-official 2nd part of the game
3) If one team is just man handling the other teams through the first 3-4 games, make "trades" to even things out.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:18 pm    Post subject: Number of Players; Practice, etc. Reply with quote

1. Number of Players. Eight Players per team is plenty. What I've seen in 5 years of coaching is that with more kids, the players on the sidelines get frustrated, and some of the coaches sit the weaker players more than they should. I'd really rather be undermanned -- kids play more and have more fun.

2. Practice. With school, and Shabbas, and the need to get errands etc. done on Sundays, organized practice is pretty much a pipedream. For most of our kids, especially the younger ones, the best practice is to run a lot (back yard, playground, etc), especially while kicking a soccer ball, and to do basic ball control drills (tons of them are available on the internet) Matt, it would be great if you could have links to some sites on the Hapoel site. Or videotape yourself, Louie, etc. and post the videos.

3. Referees. Most of the refs last year were pretty good. It would be great if they, and we, all had a clear idea of the League policy on hand balls.

4. Coaches. Hapoel coaches need to have a little sechel, and to be relentlessly positive with the kids on both sides.

5. Playoffs. Not broken. Don't fix it.

6. Goalies. Have to have them.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:16 pm    Post subject: Comment from father and coach... Reply with quote

My only comment is related to size of the team. I would prefer to have as many kids playing as many minutes as possible. More kids means more subs means less time playing for each kid. I know the issue is when teams are short players. I say resolve this by agreeing to minimum number of kids needed to play a formal match. If minimum is not reached then game is forfeited then kids are divided up and play for fun. I understand and respect the concept of letting the kids decide (I know I would always want to play as the underdog) but in the end it can be less fun for them as well as less fun for the team (and coach) with more kids who has to keep more subs out or try not to have the kids run up the score. Just my two cents.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:33 am    Post subject: Hapoel Father... Reply with quote

Thanks for giving us the opportunity for feedback. I'm the father of two kids who played Hapoel soccer for the first time last fall.

Both of my kids had a great time playing soccer. I must say, however, that I was surprised and often dismayed by the spirit of excessive competition that I often observed among some of the coaches and parents. I know you have worked hard to foster a spirit of menschlichkeit among the kids, and I never once observed inappropriate behavior from a single kid. But I saw a good amount of it from a few coaches and a few parents (I stress -- not all). For example, I could not believe the amount of yelling from the sidelines that I often observed from coaches. There were many times when I wanted to run up to one (including, I'm sorry to say, my own son's) and say "these are 5 and 6 year old kids -- they can't absorb the instructions you're yelling at them while trying to play soccer." I understand that the coaches are trying to help the kids improve, but in my view, it got way out of hand. These kids are far too young to endure the kind of pressure that comes from having a coach directing your every move during a game, and in any event, shouldn't they just be allowed to play and enjoy themselves? The kids are competitive and talented enough that they will figure it out. The same goes (though to a lesser extent) for parent involvement, which at times was also excessive. I really cringed at some of the comments I heard -- and it made me long for when I was a kid and there were no organized sports, just kids playing on their own at the local field.

We are planning to have our sons play in Hapoel again next year because they both really enjoy it. And I know you are doing the best you can do to make the league a place where being a mensch is the most important value. I really commend you for it -- you set the right tone. Somehow, though, the message isn't getting through to all the coaches and some parents. Since I prefer making constructive suggestions to just carping, here are my suggestions: (1) All coaches have to agree before the season to tone down the aggressive yelling at players during games, keeping in mind that these are kids who, God willing, will be talmidei chachamim and not stars of the English Premier League, and (2) you should carefully observe games when you can, with an eye and ear toward the kind of inappropriate behavior I have described above -- and then talk to offenders, particularly, coaches, when you can. I suspect you do this already, and I know you can't be everywhere on game days, but maybe a bit more vigilance will make the league a more enjoyable place to be on Sundays in the fall.
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