Search this site
Parent's Guide‎ > ‎Newsletter‎ > ‎

Newsletter Posts

 

Palo Alto Parks, Trails, Open Space and Recreation Master Plan

posted Aug 10, 2014, 5:08 PM by Regional Commissioner

A NEW MASTER PLAN IS BEING CREATED FOR PALO ALTO
GET THE FACTS - BE IMPACTFUL



Aspiring to make our community better for you and the next generation of Palo Altans!  We need your help in charting the future of our parks, facilities and recreation program.

Sign up on the email list below to stay involved and updated with the process. 

INTERACTIVE SURVEY 
Click on the link below for more information and feedback concerning Palo Alto’s Park & Recreation System. 
http://maptionnaire.com/en/56/

GET ON THE EMAIL LIST AND STAY INVOLVED 
Click on the link to send us your email pwecips@cityofpaloalto.org or call 650-617-3183. 

Purpose and Goal of the Parks, Trails, Open Space and Recreation Master Plan 
The purpose of this project is to provide the necessary analysis and review of Palo Alto’s parks and recreation system for the preparation of a long-range (25-year) Master Plan. The master plan will provide the City with clear guidance regarding future renovations and capital improvement needs for parks, trails, open space and recreation facilities. 

The goal of the master plan is to provide clear guidance and recommendations on how to meet the demands for future recreational, programming, environmental, and maintenance needs, as well as establish priorities for future park renovations and facility improvements. 

Why do we need a Master Plan? 
The City currently has no cohesive plan to manage, improve and expand its parks and recreational facilities. The master plan is needed to ensure that the open-space and conversation needs of future generations are appropriately balanced, and to provide adequate funding to meet these needs. 

The last comprehensive city parks and recreation master plan was completed in 1965. 

Upcoming Meetings and Dates
Look for us out in the community this summer! Staff will be in the following locations to provide information on the project and gather your ideas: 

• Event #1 – Rinconada Park, Saturday June 28, from 11am to 2pm  
• Event #2 – Downtown Farmers Market, Saturday July 19, 8am to noon 
• Event #3 – Mitchell Park, Saturday August 9, from 11am to 2pm (tentative)
• Community Survey – Coming in September 2014 

Presentation Materials from Previous Meetings 
City Council Study Session 3/24
Stakeholder Advisory Group Study Session 6/25 

Opening Day & Golden Anniversary

posted Jul 31, 2014, 7:14 PM by Regional Commissioner   [ updated Aug 10, 2014, 3:49 PM ]

An AYSO Soccer Party !!
Opening Day & Golden Anniversary Celebration


WE are inaugurating an annual Opening Day Celebration and player fun event on this Anniversary year for AYSO.  

50 Years of Service to our nation, and 44 years of service in Palo Alto.  Yes, 44 years ago parents in Palo Alto began forming the first AYSO region in the Bay Area, and anchored the growth of AYSO through the south bay and peninsula.  AYSO regions from Redwood City to Saratoga and San Jose is a legacy of the original Palo Alto AYSO parents. 

More Information Will be Added to this Page as it Develops

Sign Up Below to Attend - we need to know how many to plan for.


When::  August 30, 9am to 12 noon
Where:  Festivities will be at Greer 1, 2 and 3
Who:     Registered AYSO players and their family & friends
What
 - fun, fast, short sided pickup games suited for each age group
 - an inflatable mini-soccer field for outrageous soccer fun
 - keeper wars
 - fun games for kids
 - balloons and ice cream
 - Golden Anniversary training balls for the first 75 players
 - soccer ball for each Palo Alto AYSO registered player 
 - pens and decals to personalize your soccer ball onsite
 - visits by soccer personalities
 
 - coaches can pickup season equipment at the field
 - team managers can pick up team uniforms at the field
 - return last seasons' uniforms
 
 - onsite registration for new u4, U5 and U6 players
 - onsite registration and guidance for volunteers



MUST DO:  Be sure to bring your player form and wear your shin guards and suitable shoes.  If you have your uniform, wear that, too!  Non-AYSO children must be accompanied by a parent, and the parent will be required to sign a liability waiver.

Parents - would you like to help?  Drop an email to volunteer-coord@ayso26.org and let us know.

U5 & U6 Coach Clinic - coaches, take the online U6 Coach course and then this 1 hour field clinic at the celebration, and you are set to go!  10am - 11am.


Soccer in America??


50 Years of Enriching Lives Through Soccer


AYSO Anniversary Rose Bowl Float


Opening Day Attendance


First Week of Summer Camp

posted Jun 14, 2014, 5:29 PM by Regional Commissioner   [ updated Jun 16, 2014, 11:34 AM ]


Palo Alto AYSO - UK Summer Camp - Greer 2

 


Sign up for summer camp now.  Each camp is a week long.  Choose form half day or full day.  More information is HERE



My son had a great time. The coaches, Andrew and Ben, were awesome. I feel like they really inspired my son to learn this game.  I think they took very good care of the kids. I never worried about their safety. We especially enjoyed the video that they put together at the end of the week and posted on YouTube. My son has a summer full of camps, but he does have two free weeks and we are definitely signing up again. Please relay my thanks to the coaches, they did a great job.                                            Michael Yen

Sports Should Be Child's Play

posted Jun 11, 2014, 8:37 AM by Regional Commissioner


In a recent article in The New York Times, June 10, 2014, David Epstein wrote an op-ed addressing two key issues in youth sports today, field size and specialization.  

" Several studies on skill acquisition now show that elite athletes generally practiced their sport less through their early teenage years and specialized only in the mid-to-late teenage years, while so-called sub-elites — those who never quite cracked the highest ranks — homed in on a single sport much sooner." -- Epstein

"Because families with greater financial resources were better able to facilitate the travel and private coaching that specialization requires, socioeconomic status turned up as a positive predictor of serious injury." --Epstein

AYSO, 50 years ago, addressed both of these issues by formalizing, for the first time in youth sports, small sided fields, small equipment, smaller teams, and simplified rules, appropriate to the age level. AYSO encourages players to play many sports, not just soccer, recognizing the injury prone-nature of repeated same-stress on growing bones, joints and muscles.  Additionally, AYSO policy is to discourage specialization within the sport of soccer in young divisions, and only in u10 is position specialization permitted to begin, and not until U12 is position specialization encouraged. 

Read the full article here.


End of Season Survey Results

posted Jun 8, 2014, 8:58 AM by Regional Commissioner   [ updated Jun 8, 2014, 9:45 AM ]


I want to thank our parents who took the time to provide us feedback.  This is your organization into which you have entrusted management to myself and your board.  We work hard to manage your program, but need your feedback and guidance to know where we are doing well, and where we are not.  Especially, I want to thank those of you that provided some ideas and guidance in the comments section, especially valuable to improving our programs.

As a result of this feedback we are taking two major actions, as well as making some minor adjustments to our programs to improve them and bring them more in line with your expectations.  The two major actions are;
  • bringing the Instructional and Advanced programs into better alignment
  • reviewing our coaching roster and making changes

More detail of the results are collated below.

The following information is from respondents to the Season Feedback and is intended to be representative of the total.
Feedback  was given prior to June 8, 2014

23% of the respondents identified themselves

2/3 of the responding families had 1 child in the program
10% had more than 2 children in the program

Instructional and Select families responded in equal numbers, implying that the Select family representation was triple in percentage

85% would recommend their coach to another family

7% felt their coach did not follow AYSO principles

8% felt their coach did not help their player make expected progress

2% felt their children were very unsatisfied
8% felt their children were unsatisfied
12% felt their children thought their experience was ok
31% felt their children were satisfied
48% felt their children were very satisfied

Similar numbers of satisfaction were recorded for the parents satisfaction.

Coaching  12% very unsatisfied
                 6% unsatisfied 
                12% OK
                14% satisfied
                44% very satisfied

Refereeing quality was almost all positive comments

68% of the respondents did volunteer in some capacity


Any Comments About Volunteering that Would Help Us?
  • Coaching and refereeing is way too much for me to accomplish. You should train some young coaches/high school kids like Soccer Shots to make the practices fun for the kids. 
  • All parents should at least take a role instead of one person does it all. 
  • Palo AYSO really needs more active and involved age-group commissioners. They could help resolve any issues in a given league and allow the lead commissioner to focus on big picture management issues. 
  • An in person volunteer's meeting at start of fall season would help for first time volunteers, maybe little tables where you could learn about duties of each job. The website is confusing, and too busy. 
  • I felt like the website had so many links and so many places to go to find information that it was overwhelming. I was never quite sure if I had read everything because whenever I thought I had it all down, I'd find a new link with a whole new set of information and guidelines. It was very stressful in the beginning and at the end as I wasn't quite sure if I was doing things properly. I'm still not sure we did everything quite right... 
  • Better organization. Expectations are not clear and communication to regional volunteers was not good.
  •  I was a spontaneous volunteer as a line judge on several occasions. I would have liked to do more, but work and family commitments really got in the way this spring. 
  • On Line videos for helping coaching and players understand where to focus on. UK Soccer help. 
  • Get paid refs and increase the cost per girl to cover the extra cost 
  • Being a Field Marshall is easy. I did it twice this year. It does not require a 1 hour in person training session for a 2 hour volunteer job. Send an email description of the job to parents instead of asking them to attend a meeting. Removes a barrier to participation. Parents are too busy for xtra evening meetings.
  • Discount fees for coaches 
  • Very unequal distribution of volunteer work. Anyone can ref, only three of us did. Many parents NEVER helped move goals or anything else. 
  • I noticed that there were 3 assistant coaches and 4 team managers signed up, but two of the assistant coaches were never there (and one of them, the child was never there, did he play with another team perhaps?). None of the team managers did much either, our snacks were unorganized. I think I expected our head coach to send out one beginning-of-the-season email to nominally get us organized. That didn't happen. So... the season was fine, but not as awesome as it could have been. I guess my only comment to the league specifically is to encourage the head coach to send that email at the beginning of the season so things seem more organized. 
  • assigning ref to games was confusing, different logins for kids, parent, instr. / elite, even different home pages 
  • Some people bring their kids to be babysat and I prefer to be a coach not a babysitter and that is the reason why I do not volunteer to be a coach. Also, you cannot be strict when you coach in AYSO. I am glad that others are able to volunteer and i command them for that 
  • Was very fun. I am so happy that I helped out with field Marshall. It was a great experience. 
  • Did not want to give my social security number 
  • I refereed. Too few referees meant I did games alone, which had the usual effect -- unhappy coaches. 
General Comments Provided in the Feedback

What was your favorite part of the season?
Weekend gamespractices Great coaches The games! Spending time with other families my daughter had all her school friends on the team and it helped to know the parents games on saturday every practice was fun Practice flexibility Coach and team spirit some of the players it was all good Practice I like how Kinder soccer is organized with 1 day on Saturdaywatching boys have fun togethe Tournaments Games Fall tournament The Coach Traveling to Davis and being in Presidents Cup Positive energy coaches Games, friends Davis cup Coaches taught so well and were organized When it was over Practices and games Season League Games The training sessions watching the kids enjoy free play all of it Doing shared practices with another team Watching my son play coach did a mini keeper wars for spring instructional Other teammates The first 3/4 of the season was great allWhen the players knew they played well and had fun, even if they did not winCoach


What was your least favorite part of the season?
Team strength Injuries not long enough Single field.  Memorial Day wekeend game. Games in other towns Trying to wheel nets that the wheels did not work on. El Palo Alto practicing with 3rd Select team Negative coaching clickiness among players no team manager Not feeling respected or listened to by the coach Practices Started spring season late and a bit disorganized at first losing nearly every game -- quite uneven range of team skills Can't think of any Spring usual AYSO disorganization Occasional blow ups from the coachNone spring - coach was only at games Terrible practice field Practice time, wish it was slightly later. 10 am or later in the morning. n/aKids who didn't really want to play Davis Tournament Not enough parents participation The schedule none early morning games :) Uneven competitiontraveling to games far awayGames lack of carpool games/practicesthe crazy uniform policy Lack of parent volunteers on team first 2 times were chaos. my son would not go back. The last 1/4 because the season was too long last fall. It started early so it was just too much. The games ending My child's response to negative coaching Not sure

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

posted Jun 8, 2014, 7:27 AM by Regional Commissioner   [ updated Jun 8, 2014, 8:13 AM ]


The Elite Program is beginning its 3rd year this fall.  It was originally conceived in Palo Alto as part of the AYSO Extra® Program, similar to the Spring Select Program.  Intended to provide more advanced instruction and competitive play, the Elite Program included a game venue against similarly competitive teams in the greater Bay Area, and tournaments.

The prior year, the Recreational Program was transformed into the Instructional Program with increased emphasis on soccer instruction.  Still intended for recreational soccer players, the increased instruction is intended to better enable recreational players to understand, enjoy and play soccer.

Spring Instructional was added to the Palo Alto AYSO program, providing for more recreational soccer fun.  

Altogether, the Fall Instructional, Fall Elite, Spring Instructional and Spring Select permit a near year-round enjoyment of the great game of soccer at both the recreational and competitive level.

However, our experience from the past did not prepare us for some of the challenges that have emerged, and we need to make an extra effort, and adjustment of our programs, to re-align them to better fulfill our intended program benefits.

Our historical experience was based upon Fall Recreational and Spring Select only.  The two programs provided fall recreational soccer, and competitive soccer for a small subset of players in the spring.  The two programs did not overlap or compete with each other for coaches, resources, players, fields, or management attention.  

With the addition first of Instructional Spring soccer and then Fall Elite competitive soccer, these programs do overlap.  Our challenge is to now dovetail the programs in such a way that resources are shared, and in such a way that each program complements and enhances the other.

A model for this exists in AYSO, called Concurrent AYSO Extra.  In this model, the coaches, teams and players are bound more integrally, with a mixture of common and separate training and game venues.  The planning of this model can be complicated, but the end result seen from the point of view of the player and their families is not much different than it has been, other than the training and play being improved.

I will be working with our Board and our coaches on this  for the next two months.  I hope to be able to report more detail July, and for certain, we will address these issues this fall.

Thank You for reading our Newsletter posts.
Gordon Short
Regional Commissioner
Palo Alto AYSO




Davis World Cup Wrapup

posted May 28, 2014, 11:51 AM by Regional Commissioner   [ updated Jun 4, 2014, 8:27 AM ]



Congratulations to all of our Palo Alto Spring Select (PASS) teams for a job well done this past weekend at the Davis World Cup tournament. We had 9 PASS teams go this year and 4 of them made medal rounds, and another made the quarter finals. The road to play on Monday in this tournament is not easy, especially in divisions with double elimination such as U12 and U14. Playing 6 to 7 games in 3 days is difficult enough without having to deal with the 94+ degree heat we had this weekend. All of the teams, whether they made it to Monday or not, can be proud of their hard work this weekend and for the entire season.






5 Teams Made It Past the Elimination Round 


NETRIPPERS

G10 Net Rippers finished 2nd. They finished 5th in the White Bracket of 6 teams, but did not let up in the quarter final elimination game against Sunnyvale. The game with Sunnyvale was 0-0 late in the game when the Net Rippers scored a late goal to end 1-0. Their hard work earned them a trip to the semi final round against a fresh PHMSA team who earned a first round bye. The Net Rippers won the game 2-1 to advance into the finals against Davis, where they were eliminated 0-3.







SHARKS

B10 Sharks finished 4th. The Sharks finished 2nd in pool play even with a rocky start in their first game loss against the eventual champion of the White Bracket of 6 teams. They made up for it with a dominant quarter final win over Concord, but couldn't keep the momentum going in their loss to Sunnyvale in the semi final game only to play Davis in the consolation game.


SPARTANS

B12 Spartans finished 4th. They had a difficult path to the medal round, a total of 7 games with a division of 16 teams. The Spartans finished 3rd in pool play. The first elimination game was against Davis with a sound 5-2 win, then faced Mountain View in the quarter final elimination game that battled to a 0-0 tie at the end of regulation. Setting up kicks from the mark to determine who advanced. The Sharks won the shootout 4-2 with their keeper blocking 3 of the 5 MV attempts. The win put them in the semi-final game against PHMSA, and an unfortunate 5-1 loss. They matched up against MDSA in the consolation game. Worthy of note, three of the top 4 teams that placed out of 16 teams came from the Spartan's original pool, finishing 1st, 2nd, and 4th.



ELITE

B14 Elite made the final 8 of 12 teams, but were eliminated in the quarter finals. They finished in the bottom of their pool, but did not get discouraged. They had an exciting first round elimination game against PHMSA. In a very close 2-1 match. In this key elimination game, a PK was called with only seconds remaining in regulation time. The Palo Alto keeper selected the right direction, defended the shot, and before any one could play the ball the game was over and they advanced to the quarter finals. Their quarter final game ended in a 3-0 loss to 2nd place finisher, Visalia. Visalia had earned a bye and was fresh coming in against Elite. 


RAPTORS

B19 Raptors finished 4th. After finishing first in their pool, this young B19 team headed into their quarter final elimination game against PCSSL arch-rival Millbrae. The game ended 2-2 and went to kicks from the mark to decide the match. Palo Alto made their first two and the Palo Alto keeper blocked Millbrae's first two shots. Millbrae made their 3rd to close the gap to 2-1, Palo Alto missed again just off the pipe, followed by another deflected shot by the Palo Alto keeper. With needing only one more goal to win the game the Palo Alto keeper took and made the 5th shot to advance the Raptors to the Semi final. Down 1-0 in the second half, Palo Alto lost their keeper to injury and was out of the tournament, the final result was a 2-0 loss to Davis who took first place. The consolation game ended in a close 1-0 loss to the other Davis team.


The heat of this past weekend and the experiences were an excellent primer as they head south to Riverside, CA for the National Games.


Congratulations and Good Luck,


David Mucciarone
PASS Coordinator

Spring Select: PCSSL Season Wrap Up

posted May 19, 2014, 12:05 PM by Regional Commissioner   [ updated May 19, 2014, 12:29 PM ]

http://www.ayso26.org/parents/coach-certifications/advanced-coach-david-mucciarone


Spring Select:  PCSSL Season Wrap Up

Program Director:  David Mucciarone

With Davis as our next event coming up this weekend, I do want to take a moment to reflect on the PCSSL season while it's still fresh in our minds, and since all of our teams will not be attending the Davis World Cup tournament. For them, the season has come to a close. I want to say thanks to all of the players, parents and the coaches for a job well done. 

Overall this was a good season for our 14 Select teams. We have seen some young teams that are now the older team as their division progressed well over the past two years. It's not just about the Wins in the standings, but improvement that is being made with each passing season and that these players are sticking around to play more soccer, in our program. It shows that we are working to do the right thing in providing them a positive playing experience. Coming back for more is one of the most important indicators that our coaches are providing the right environment and reflects well upon our program as a whole.  

PCSSL put together different flights that was intended to match similar team strength. They didn't always do this well, especially in the two flight divisions, so the win-loss records can be misleading. I hope next season, when possible, all teams within a flight should play against each other, and if another game is needed to complete the 8 game schedule, then playing outside of the flight is okay.  This is better than playing the same team twice. I will work with the scheduler next season to fix this. 

The season does have its highlights in PCSSL. We should look at all of our divisions, not just your own, to see and to congratulate our fellow coaches and their teams for a job well done. Even the teams that did not place, their record may be misleading. Looking close at some of the match ups, there were some close games. 

This PCSSL Season

G10 Net Rippers coached by Jim Pflasterer finished 2nd in the upper division
G10 Predators coached by Karl Yost finished 2nd in the lower division

G12 Thunder coached by Jim Smith finished 2nd in the upper division

B10 Serpents coached by Jerome Dochez finished 1st in the lower division. 

B12 Spartans coached by Sefano and Jim McGregor finished 2nd in the upper division. They also finished 2nd at Concord this past weekend. 

B19 Raptors coached by me finished 1st in the solo flight

Tryouts went well this past weekend. More tryouts this Thursday for some of the divisions. Thanks to all that could pitch in Saturday to help. High 5s to Gordon for all of his hard work getting the word out and for his endless amount of support on so many fronts.

Cheers,

Dave


RC Footnote; I am pleased with the progress of our Select and Elite program to rebuild our competitive teams.  Clearly, providing year-round opportunity, and improving our coach bench have both been seminal to rebuilding this service to our community.  It is accomplished with the hard work and many hours our coaches are dedicating to our community and families.  Many thanks and kudos to the coaches.

El Palo Alto Recap

posted May 7, 2014, 5:13 PM by Regional Commissioner   [ updated May 7, 2014, 5:54 PM ]


El Palo Alto Recap



El Palo Alto Invitational Tournament was a great success, by all accounts.  With nearly 50% more teams than last year, El Palo Alto is enjoying phenomenal popularity.  This year,
El Palo Alto hosted 95 teams with 1139 players.  12 of those teams of 143 players were from Palo Alto.

Our parents from Spring Instructional joined with our Select Field Marshals to provide a great experience from team check-in for the Tournament, to field management, and setup/tear-down.  A big thank you to the volunteer help.

El Palo Alto hosted play in U10, U12, U14 and U16 for both genders.  Three U19 girls teams played in the U16 division.  Keeper wars for U10 and U12 were a big hit, with lots of cheering and audience participation.

Officiating was a highlight of the Tournament, with 151 games played.  Only 3 games did not have a complete team of a referee and 2 assistant referees, certified to the divisional level of the game.  Those 3 games required a club linesman to help call ball in/out.  The AYSO referees pitched in from all over the Bay Area and we especially appreciate their efforts to make El Palo Alto a success.

The team that traveled from the furthest away this year came from Visalia. YMC Alliance played in the U14B division.

Coaches and parents from visiting regions have cited the following factors as great positives for El Palo Alto
  • hospitality and efficiency of Field Marshal operation
  • great playing weather
  • good officiating
  • good fields (lets not talk about Greer 5)
  • flexible tournament format to accommodate strange numbers of teams
  • good seeding of teams to provide competition at different levels of play
  • same day tournament check in for traveling teams
  • late-start game schedule for teams that travel into the Tournament
  • Earthquakes' game on Saturday night (ahem, well, ok, so that was not our doing)
We received a few suggestions for improvement as well
  • tighten up the delay time between reporting of game results and challenges
  • on-field method of displaying game results
  • consolidate U10 onto a complex, rather than scattering them about the city
  • ensure all Field Marshals are fully trained


Championship Teams

Girls

U10
  1. 218-Hurricanes
  2. 26-Netrippers
  3. 305-United
  4. 44-Cheetahs

U12
  1. 223-Heat
  2. 109-Fireballs
  3. 45-Avalanche
  4. 249-Celtic

U14
  1. 45-Revolution
  2. 1-Spring
  3. 109-TNT
  4. 44-Demolition


U16
  1. 218-Fusion
  2. 218-Notorious
  3. 218-Finesse
  4. 45-Aftershock
Boys

U10
  1. 45-Venemous Tigers
  2. 62-United
  3. 64-Barcelona
  4. 26-Sharks

U12
  1. 35-FC
  2. 26-Titans
  3. 26-Spartans
  4. 64-Spurs

U14
Blue Flight
  1. 145-Unted
  2. 45-Terremotos
  3. 305-United
  4. 109-Select
White Flight
  1. 129-YMC Alliance
  2. 62-United
  3. 44-Fury
  4. 43-Albion

U16
  1. 36-Clasico
  2. 45-Wanderers
  3. 44-Strikeforce
  4. 62-United

AYSO Sets World Record for Largest Pickup-Up Game on Earth

posted May 6, 2014, 7:46 AM by Regional Commissioner   [ updated May 6, 2014, 7:48 AM ]

May 3: AYSO Sets the World Record for Biggest Pick-Up Game on Earth!

We did it! The first world record for the Biggest Pick-Up Game on Earth was set on Saturday, May 3, as 14,628 soccer players in 136 communities across the U.S. joined together to celebrate AYSO's landmark 50th Anniversary.

Open to both AYSO and guest players, the pick-up style national event spotlighted soccer and fun as the foundation of a healthy, active lifestyle. Thousands of parents, siblings, volunteers and fans were on hand to cheer the players on to this first-ever world record.

A special THANKS to DOLE® Fruit Squish'ems, the Official Snack of AYSO and Presenting Sponsor of #SoccerFEST14, and to FOX Sports 1, Presenting Sponsor of AYSO's 50th Anniversary.


1-10 of 83