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Fall Season is Winding Down, Spring Season Starting Up

posted Dec 5, 2010, 11:28 AM by AYSO26 Regional Commissioner   [ updated Dec 5, 2010, 12:43 PM ]
This has been a great Fall Season with many new challenges and additions to our program.  I would like to take a minute to mention these, as well as to talk about our Spring program and the new additions and challenges there.

Also, our Volunteer Dinner is being scheduled for January 29, evening.  All volunteers are welcome to attend and enjoy the festivities.  This is a sit-down dinner, and we will need you to RSVP.  An invitation to volunteers will be forthcoming.

For this last Fall Season we have endured a number of challenges.  
  • First, and probably most aggravating, was the difficulty we had with uniform orders.  Our vendor changed their methodology and really messed us up with regard to our orders.  Some of our orders did not include all the equipment we expected, and other orders were lost altogether.  As we tried to recover from this our Uniform Coordinator, Joan Shen, spent extra time and did a great job collating the missing information and getting special partial orders processed.  Thanks Joan, for keeping this problem from being even worse than it was.  
  • A second aggravating issue is that some of our fields were not well managed.  The City had a lot of maintenance work done on some fields over the summer, and the "shake-down cruise" for the new watering systems occurred during our season.  Well, our cruise was not uneventful, but, should be settled out now.  Thanks to Shia at Parks N Rec for calmly dealing with us and our many complaints and issues this past season.
  • Registration was not well done this year, and we will be changing that a bit to streamline it more.  We are limited in what we can change by the applications that we have to use, but we can make it a bit easier.
  • email addresses in WebYouthSoccer and eAYSO need to be accurate and current.  These addresses are often not, and people are missing important notices.  These email addresses are protected and cannot be harvested from the web.  Please feel secure about your CORRECT and CURRENT email address, and know that we need it.  If you are not correctly receiving an email today about the equipment return, your email address in WebYouthSoccer is not correct.  Go to http://login.ayso26.org to fix the problem.
New features to our Fall Season
  • We had a renewed focus on Player Development this season, and expect to keep this focus moving forward.  Player Development depends principally on Coach Development.  It is the Coaching that primarily defines the quality of the experience, and the learning and skills development that the player can enjoy.  This is true from U5 through U19, no exceptions.  So, A VERY STRONG THANK YOU TO THE COACHES.  Your contribution to our community is easily measured in the smiling faces of the 2064 kids who played this year.

  • Of course, not everyone had an equally fun and great experience.  We at Palo Alto AYSO want to improve that record, and we need your help.  We need to know where to improve, where we did well.  A survey will come out shortly asking for your feedback.  Also, we have on the web site a feedback area, http://kidszone.ayso26.org.  Please use it.  Your five minutes of constructive input may be multiplied many times over by our efforts and do great things for future players.  

  • This year we changed the way we run the kinder program to make it more organized for the coaches and easier to execute as a program.  Hopefully the program will go even smoother next year having learned lessons from this year.

  • We also added the Coach Mentor program this year.  This resulted in a mixed review.  When our Coach Mentors could show up and execute the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.  There were a few exceptions and we will learn from these.  The biggest problem however, was the logistics of getting the mentor scheduled and deployed.  Definitely need to work on this for next year.

  • We introduced Top Gun clinics this year for our older division players.  They were lightly attended and vastly underutilized.  The players that did use the clinics thought highly of them.  The timing of the clinics was a problem in that they were held on a holiday weekend, and most families had conflicting plans.  Need to do a better scheduling job next year.

Spring Select
Our Spring Select tryouts are completed.  Congratulations to all the players who tried out.  The number of Spring Select teams we can field, hence the number of players we can accept into the program is limited by the number of coaches.  True to our philosophy, we include all players in the Spring Select program that can be accommodated.  We need the tryouts to ensure the strongest players get the advantage of the limited slots on our teams.  If you can coach a Spring Select team and increase the number of players we can accept into the program, please email spring@ayso26.org.  We would love to include more players.

This year we are adding a "winter game schedule" to our Spring Select program.  In the past, Spring Select starting practicing in January but did not play games until the tournament play began in April.  We are coordinating games with neighboring regions to start by end of January, providing the players with more fun and learning.  More on this in our next issue.

Also starting this year, our Spring Select teams have web sites, group aliases, and accounting support.  In keeping with AYSO policy for transparency, each team can see the expenditures on their web site.  Team funds are managed by our Regional Treasurer and included in our audit.

That's all for now. 
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