Parents of In-House Recreational and Instructional Players,
We always tell our youth coaches that they have had a successful season, with kids this age, if the kids are smiling, had fun, learned a little soccer and want to return. While our registration numbers are up over 20% over last year! The kids are returning and bringing their friends! That is great news!
To help us make the first few evenings of practice run as smoothly as possible, we will need your help. During these early practices please bare with us as we set up teams, get new coaches acclimated, work through finalizing registrations (i.e., birth certificates, etc…) and get the kids to the right place on the field. We ask for your patience during the first couple practices. Please understand there will be over 145 players on the fields. Until you and your child are familiar with how things work, at first, it can seem a bit chaotic and overwhelming.
Below are a few reminders to help with the first few evenings of practice and the upcoming season. Please take a couple minutes to read through the entire list:
1. First Practice (Thursday, August 21st): Please plan on arriving a few minutes early.
- Everyone must visit the "Check-In" desk as they arrive at the fields. Players that have played before or know where to go, do not need to wait in line and may go directly onto the fields. This will help us finalize registrations, team assignments and answer any questions you may have.
- 2. High school coaches and players run the first practice: MAYSA In-House has a long standing practice of doing everything possible to not turn away any child that wishes to play soccer. To help us with that goal, finalize registrations, team assignments, further review coaching policies and more, each year the Mercer Mustang boys or girls high school coaches and players run the first evening's practice.
3. Team Assignments: We do our very best to finalize team assignments before the first practice end. However, sometime we need until a little more time. If for any reason we do not finalize team assignments prior to the end of the first practice, we will contact you via email within a couple days. Also, Team Assignments will be available at the Check-In Table as you arrive for the second week's practice.
4. Kindergarden Orientation: Some Beginning Level players may miss a portion of the first practice due to the Kindergarten Orientation which annually takes place on the first evening of practice. Our coaches are aware and understand. If you can make a portion of the practice, check-in and meet your child's coach, that would great.
5. Equipment : All children must have the red/white reversible MAYSA Mesh Team Shirt, order through our online registration process. Shirts from previous years are fine. Shin guards with socks over the top are required to play. Soccer cleats or turf shoes are encouraged but not mandatory. Soccer cleats do not have a toe cleat (that's the cleat at the very front of the shoe). Baseball and football cleats do have a toe cleat and can not be used for soccer.
6. Practice/Team Shirts: Players do not need to wear their MAYSA playing shirt for any practices throughout the year, although they are always welcome to wear them. If you ordered a MAYSA playing shirt, you will be able to pick it up at the Check-in table during the first or second week of practice.
7. Practice Locations: All In-House practice take place at our fields located at Cool Springs Fitness. During the first and second practice you will see three red flags located at different areas of the fields. Each flag represents an particular area (Beginner, Junior, and Senior).
- Beginner players practice and play at the field area closest to the Concession Stand
- Juniors practice and play in the middle fields
- Seniors practice and play at the far (north) end furthest from the Concession Stand.
8. Swap Box: There are many pairs of slightly worn soccer spikes available for the kids, so please take what you need.
9. Not-a-Drop-Off: MAYSA's practices and games are not considered a "drop off" situation. We ask all parents or guardians to be at the fields while their child is playing or practicing.
10. Parking & Crosswalk: There will be over 145 players arriving and practicing at the fields, please drive with great care when entering or leaving the field parking lot areas. Please park in the two gravel lots closest to the Soccer Fields or at the far end (North end) of the fields. Please do not park in the paved fitness center lots.
11. Weather: Generally, soccer and MAYSA play in the rain, but not in a torrential downpour and not if there is lightening present. For the most part, the kids don't mind the rain and mud and seem to enjoy an occasional game in rain.
Our fields were built with special drainage underneath and even after a great deal of rain we are often able to play. However, if we decide early in the day that a practice or matches can not be held due to weather, we will attempt to email and text everyone on or before 4:30pm. If you do not receive an email or text on or before 4:30pm, then any weather decisions will be made at the fields. For the most part, 99% of the time, we make practice and game decision at the fields.
If during practice or matches there is lightening present, then we will ask everyone to leave the field, get in their cars and we will take a 20-30 minute break. When possible we communicate and coordinate with the Cool Springs Fitness (CSF) pool manager. CSF's pool policy also requires the pool to be shut down if lightening is present. We may begin games again after a 20-30 minute break, however, if we see any repeat lighting, we will be done.
12. Field Conduct: MAYSA soccer is an instructional recreational program. We strive to insure family-friendly environment for our players, coaches, referees and families. There is no smoking and no alcohol permitted while at the fields. Also, abusive or negative comments directed at the players, coaches or referees will not be tolerated. Help us maintain an environment in which our players can play, learn and grow.
Finally, If you haven't yet sign up for our text messages, take minute to do so by texting followmaysa to 84483. You should receive an immediate response confirming you've been added to the list.
Honor the game,
MAYSA Soccer In-House Instructional/Recreational Team
MAYSA's (Online) Parent/Coach Training Resources
Parent Coaches, as a follow up to our Parent Coaches Clinic, below you will find important information discussed during the Clinic. Please take a few minutes to review items 1-7 below:
1. Coaching Clinic 2014 - Click on the image below click here to view or download this year's Coaching Clinic Notes. The notes include the link that must be used to authorize your child protection/background check.
2. Child Protection Clearances and Background Checks - Coaches and assistant coaches, you must complete your PA West Child Protection Background check. Please do not wait to start the process. Below is a link that will get the process started.
a). If you haven't signed up as a coach as part of your Affinity Account, please do so. I think everyone has an Affinity account and has been set up as a coach, however, you may need to login to your account and enter a Driver License or proper Date Of Birth. If you have any questions please contact our Registrar, Lynn Long, at LynnLongSoccer@gmail.com or (724) 662-0745.
c). When you get to the point of payment, please mark paid with check and use the check #1520. Once all coaches have completed this process MAYSA will send a check coving the cost.
3. U.S. Youth Soccer Practice Activities for the Parent Coach (free) - click on the image below to view or download:
Beginner Division (U6, U8) Junior Division (U10) Senior Division (U12)
4. Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) video: click on the image below to view a short 2 minute video
5. Soccer Made Easy - Borrow a (free) copy from MAYSA or purchase you own by clicking below: 6. The "Small-Sided" Game (SSG): SSG is a FUN environment that focuses on the young soccer player. Small-Sided Games are developmentally appropriate environment for our youngest soccer players. MAYSA, strongly supports . . . to read more click the image below.
"Professional coaches measure success in rings. College coaches measure success in championships.
High School coaches measure success in titles. Youth coaches measure success in smiles."
-P. McAllister, Youth Coach
Cool Springs Fitness has added a CROSSWALK between the two gravel parking lots. We ask that everyone use the new crosswalk when entering or leaving the fields. Please, take 5 seconds and learn more about crosswalk safety guidelines:
1. Always cross at the (new) crosswalk.
2. If a vehicle is approaching, make eye contact with the drive to make sure they see you before crossing.
1. Slow down and be prepared to stop.
2. Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
3. Be alert for children running to and from the fields.
During practices and game days we will be posting caution signs to remind us all to slow down when coming to or leaving the fields and facility.
Thank you in advance for your help and attention to this important matter.
We encourage Parents to take advantage of the most convenient way to receive all MAYSA Club communications.
In-House Parents: You can receive all In-House and Club Annoucenemments by simply texting the keyword followmaysa to 84483 (a five digit number). You will receive an immediate confirmation and all future Club and In-House specific information and updates.
Travel Parents: You can receive Travel specific announcements as well as all Club Annoucements by texting the keyword followtravel to 84483. You will receive an immediate confirmation and all future Club and Travel announcements.
The "Small-Sided" Game is a FUN environment that focuses on the young soccer player. Small-Sided Games are developmentally appropriate environment for our youngest soccer players. MAYSA, strongly supports Small-Sided Games and will implement such games as part of introducing our youngest players to soccer. Generally, used for our K-1st grade level players, Small Sided Games can be used at any level.
Although, entry level soccer may appear to be simply allowing the kids to play and run around in a small area, there is actually very serious thought behind Small Sided Games. The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and U.S. Youth Soccer both endorse the approach of 'staying small-sided longer' after studying its successful application in the top European clubs and national teams (e.g., Spain, Holland, Germany) where emphasizing player development and long-term competitiveness have been traditional hallmarks.
What is a Small Sided Game?
Small Sided Games are soccer games with fewer players playing on smaller sized fields. These are fun games that involve each player more because there are fewer players. Small Sided Games have a definite developmental impact on our players. At this young age playing on a larger field generally results in one or two athletically advanced children sprinting ahead of everyone. This limits touches for all players, but also eliminates the development of footwork (even for the athletically advanced). Because on the larger field the children tend to kick the ball far ahead and chase it instead of developing footwork in close-courters.
Additional benefits of a Small Sided Game:
1. We want our young soccer players to touch the ball more often and become more skillful with it! (i.e., Individual Technical Development)
2. We want our youngest players to make more, less complicated decisions during the game! (Tactical Development)
3. We want our young soccer players to be more physically efficient in the field space they are playing in! (Reduced Field Size)
4. We want our young soccer players to have more individual teaching time with the coach! (Fall In-House) Less players on the field and on the team will guarantee this! (Our youngest children all have a need to feel worthy and need to feel important as part of a team)
5. We want our young soccer players to have more, involved playing time in the game! (More opportunity to solve problems that only the game presents).
6. We want our young soccer players to have more opportunity to play on both sides of the ball! (More exposure to offense defensive situations)
7. We want our young soccer players to have more opportunities to score goals! (It's just fun!)
These are the reasons why MAYSA, US Youth Soccer and USSF all support "Small-Sided Games". The "Small-Sided" environment is a developmentally appropriate environment for our young soccer players. It's a FUN environment that focuses on the young soccer player.
It just makes sense, doesn't it? If you have further questions about Small Sided Games contact us.
Registration for the 2014 Fall In-House is underway!
To begin the registration process, click on the Registration Tab
Fall In-House soccer is for children eligible for K-6th grade. Players are assigned a team, coach, practice on Thursdays and play each Saturday. This year's practices will begin Thursday, August 21st at 6:00pm. Matches will be played on Saturdays beginning September 6th.
To learn more about Fall In-House soccer or to view our complete list of FAQs, click on the In-House Soccer tab above.
The more Coaches and Assistant Coaches the better! If you are interested in coaching or being an assistant coach, please email us at MAYSA.InHouse@gmail.com
. There will be a Coaching Clinic on August 14th at 6:00pm. The clinic will be held at our soccer fields fields at Cool Springs Fitness.
If you have any questions about registration, please contact our Registrar, Lynn Long at LynnLongSoccer@gmail.com or 724-662-0745.
ponsibility and pride of representing our community as they travel. Travel soccer asks for a greater commitment from both the player and parents.
Parents, Coaches and New Recruits,
If you are a new "soccer parent", someone thinking about helping out, one of our current coaches or would simply like to learn more about MAYSA, I encourage you to set aside 90 minutes next Thursday, August 14th at 6PM and come learn more about MAYSA at our fields located at Coolsprings Fitness.
If you are relatively new to MAYSA, you may be unaware of the depth of playing and coaching experience that exists throughout the MAYSA organization. MAYSA works hard to maintain a high level of soccer experience and positive youth coaching principals throughout the organization.
For years, MAYSA has had a strong relationship with our high school men's and women's soccer programs. Beyond their high school duties, Men's Head Coach Ryan Hoffman and Women's Head Coach Emilie Humes, both help coordinate MAYSA player development, coach MAYSA spring travel teams and provide guidance to our MAYSA coaches throughout the year. Mercer's high school program has been a dominate force in the District 10 Division over the years competing at the highest levels. Over the past four years the program has captured four Regional-1 Titles, one District-10 Championship and a District-10 Championship runner up.
Last year's Parent Coach Clinic included a visit from a long time friend of MAYSA, Grove City College Men's Soccer Head Coach, Mike Dreves. Mike has been the Head Coach at Grove City for 7 years after being the assistant coach for 5 years. Mike holds the NSCCA "Premier" license as well as the United States Soccer Federation's "B" license. Mike has been awarded, by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) the Team Academic Award 4 times and the Ethics award. Mike has often shared his experience and knowledge on coaching youth soccer with MAYSA coaches and continues to make himself available to MAYSA and all our coaches (even the newest beginner level coaches) for any questions or help.
This year we are proud to have Bill Juergens lead our MAYSA Parent Coach Clinic. Many of you may know Bill and his family as long-time members of our community. If you do know Bill, you're aware he is humble and would not bring up past accomplishments. I've asked Bill to allow me to highlight some of his soccer background so that our newer coaches and families may have the opportunity to learn more about MAYSA.
- Bill brings over 25 years of coaching experience to MAYSA
- He was the first head coach for the boys varsity team at Mercer High School and in four years took the team to it’s first District 10 play-off appearance
- Coached multiple State Level teams for Stars United out of Pittsburgh, PA with numerous semifinal and final appearances
- Two State Cup Championships
- In 2009, won the prestigious NIKE Challenge Cup in Columbus, Ohio with the Stars United U-17 Boys
- Toured England with the U-16 Stars United Boys in 2011 defeating academy teams from The Leatherhead Academy and National Training Center while he trained in residence at Chelsea Football Club
- Bill was a 2014 Inductee into the Grove City College All Sports Hall of Fame
- As a player, Bill was a four year letter winner, three year team Captain, team MVP, three year All-Presidents Athletic Conference team, Regional All-American and National All-American while at Grove City College
- In 2001 Bill was part of the inaugural class inducted into the Grove City College Soccer Hall of Fame
- Currently Bill is President of MAYSA and a volunteer assistant coach for the Mercer High School Boys and Girls teams.
It is my hope that you will take this opportunity and plan to attend this year's Parent Coach Clinic next Thursday, August 14th at 6PM. Our 2014 Parent Coach Clinic is a great place to learn more about MAYSA, youth coaching and how we operate.
"Professional coaches measure success in rings.
College coaches measure success in championships.
High School coaches measure success in titles.
Youth coaches measure success in smiles."
-P. McAllister, Youth Coach
Summer Pickup Soccer
Summer Pickup Soccer is intended for children (K-2). The spirit of our Summer Pickup Soccer program is to provide a less structured pickup game atmosphere for our youngest soccer players (i.e., entering K-2nd). We believe that for this very young age group having fun, getting "touches" and simply playing will go a long way towards helping further their skill set and develop a love of the game.
To view our Frequently Asked Questions Flyer, click--> Pickup FAQs
- Who: Children eligible for K (in the Fall) through currently in 2nd grade
- When: June 5th - June 26th, Thursday evenings, from 6:00pm - 7:15pm
- Where: MAYSA soccer fields at Cool Springs Fitness
- Cost: Free for previous In-House players. New players $10 to cover insurance and PA West registration.
- Players will be split into different teams each week based on skill, age, and size.
- Pickup is an informal series of games, however, in order for it to work we ask that participants try to commit to a majority of the evenings.
Join us Saturday, April 5th to kickoff the Spring Travel season. Our U10 Travel Teams will host 13 travel teams from around the area in our U10 Festival Tournament. The action begins at 9:00am and will continue past noon as each team will play three (3) games.
The purpose of this early season tournament, beside to get the kids playing, is to help train newly certified PA West young referees.
Come cheer on the kids and encourage our new referees Saturday, 9:00am at our fields located at Cool Spring Fitness.
Calling all volunteers! We will be preparing the fields on March 31st @ 5:00. We've purchased new nets for all the goals. The fields will be marked and painted. The Concession Trailer will be moved into place and readied for the coming weekend's tournament. If you can help out, we will see you at the fields.