By Russell Sellers, Army Flier StaffAugust 26, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Youth soccer season begins Sept. 7 and parents, coaches and players began preparing Aug. 19 at the annual parents and coaches meeting at the Child, Youth and School Services Sports Complex.
Randy Tolison, Child, Youth and School Services sports director, spoke to parents and coaches about what they can expect from the upcoming season, and what is expected of them during practices and games.
"Children listen to what you say, but they remember what you do," he said. "It's great to root for your children, but don't 'ride' them."
Other points Tolison covered included rules parents and spectators are expected to follow:
* Only players and coaches are allowed on the field during practices and games.
* Cars are to be parked in the parking lot and not on the grass.
* No pets are allowed on the field.
* No smoking or drinking is allowed during practices or games.
"We want everyone to be safe and have a good time," Tolison said. "It's important that all parents and players follow the guidelines for conduct."
Parents who attended the meeting received a Parents' Code of Conduct and signed an agreement to abide by it during the season.
Jackie Johnson, CYSS program assistant, said coaches and assistant coaches are still needed for each age group. Anyone interested in becoming a coach should call 255-9105 for more information.
All coaches and assistant coaches are volunteers, Tolison added. They're not perfect and if parents have any concerns about them or other game officials, they should bring them to the CYSS sports director.
"One of our goals is to make sure every child gets a chance to play," Tolison said. "We ask that no one become confrontational with officials, coaches or other parents. If there is a problem or concern, let us know and we'll do everything we can to resolve it."
Children in the 8-10 year old and 11-14 year old groups participated in evaluations at the Youth Center soccer fields Aug. 21 to determine the level of skill new players had before being selected for a team.
Tolison said the evaluations helped make sure no one team has better players than another.
Lt. Col. Kyle Burrow brought his son, Jacob, to the event because this will be their first soccer season here. Jacob played last season at Fort Bragg, N.C., but Kyle was deployed during the previous season and was unable to see any games.
"I missed out on last season, so I want to be there for as much as I can this time," Kyle said. "I played soccer when I was younger, but I was never a great player. (Jacob) really seems to enjoy it and it's a great activity we can do together."
Tolison asked that parents practice at home with their children as a way of encouraging them and being involved with their activities.