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Feedback From a Parent

posted Feb 15, 2014, 8:12 AM by AYSO26 Regional Commissioner
We rarely post a parent feedback online, but Kara Kockelman touched on so many 
policy issues that it provides an opportunity to inform.   ;-)



Thanks for a great fall season!  We really enjoyed the two practices a week, nice uniforms, re-use of uniforms, lack of trophies, well-trained referees, and the three amazing 17 year-old coaches we had for my daughter's championship team. (The 3 Paly HS pals were MARVELOUS mentors for every one of our team's 3rd & 4th graders.) 


My family and I are from central Austin, Texas, and our kids play in the popular WAYA teams (, but they offer only 1 practice a week at this age, and we have loads of t-shirts & socks & trophies we don't need each year.  WAYA's seasons are also much shorter, so children just don't learn as much soccer as they do in your AYSO.  (WAYA is also less expensive, though they lease & maintain all their own buildings & fields.  But I realize central Austin land is cheaper than Palo Alto land.)


I need to unsubscribe from your emails, because we are back in Austin now (after a sabbatical at Stanford). I followed the AYSO26 commands online, about putting in nothing for my account's email address. But our account's email address is that of my husband (Steve Rosen), so I've removed his.  My email is not in the alternate email line, so I'm not sure how to unsubscribe. Perhaps that's something your web designers can work on?  I imagine you can remove me from your list anyhow.  Thank you!


I also want to talk to you about the regional championship games' not allowing 2 of our daughters' coaches (who hadn't yet turned 18) to interact with the girls during the games (over in San Mateo, when we played teams from Sacramento, Burlingame, & somewhere else).  The staff said that our amazing coaches were not supposed to be coaching all along, but I'm guessing that a father (to Brittany Rowe, I imagine) also signed up with them, and that's what allowed them to coach. Is that right?  Of course, it's always a low probability that we can make it into the championships (& be stopped from coaching while the games are in play), so WE ALL REALLY HOPE YOU WILL ALLOW HS SENIORS TO COACH TEAMS.  It was priceless for the girls. Attached is a letter of reference my husband and I wrote.  I think all the parents would very happily sign onto this letter. (There just wasn't time to get their names & titles over the holiday break.)  This is how we felt about all the coaches.


Please confirm for me that you will continue to allow 17 year-old seniors to coach teams.  I hope you & others can encourage it, in fact. It made a huge difference for us - and for these HS seniors, no doubt.


Thanks so much, Gordon.  You did & do so much work for AYSO.

Hope to join you all again in a future season!


Kara & family


Dr.  Kara Kockelman, PhD, PE

E.P. Schoch Professor in Engineering

Department of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering

The University of Texas at Austin


Thanks for the encouragement and support.  I agree, high school students can be awesome coaches and mentors. My own daughter started last year while in 8th grade, and the feedback from her team's parents is similar to yours. 


For legal and liability reasons, AYSO policy is to not allow minors to perform in a supervisory capacity of children, which is a part of a coaches function. 


We work with this policy by ensuring there is a properly trained and certified adult present to act as the 'official' coach, and the high school coaches are officially, 'coach helpers'.   This all works out fine within Palo Alto, and as you observed, the dad was present at each function to fulfill our policy requirement. 


At tournaments, only official coaches may stand in the coaches area and perform the coaching function. We make sure our high school coaches know of this issue ahead of time and are prepared for it. 


I will check your accounts and unsubscribe you.

Gordon Short

Regional Commissioner

Palo Alto AYSO