Silent Saturday - Scheduled for Oct 22, 2022
Every Season, Palo Alto AYSO, in cooperation with our Area 2J Interlock partners, holds a "Silent Saturday" - this is when we, the coaches and parents all dial it back during the games, and let the players figure out how to play soccer without our voices as a distraction. The idea harkens back to the schoolyard tradition where kids figure out for themselves how to work the game so that they are almost completely unaware that we are there to support them.
The following is borrowed from AYSO Laguna Hills which captures the spirit effectively:
The objectives of holding a "Silent Saturday" are:
To emphasize that the game is about letting the kids play and have fun
To give the players a chance to play totally on their own
To help the few parents and coaches who feel they must provide constant direction understand how disruptive it is
To show all parents that the kids can play well on their own with limited instruction
While the vast majority of adult verbal participation is intended to be positive and constructive, the fact of the matter is that games can (and have in the past) become so loud that the players often have difficulty hearing each other on the field. Taking one week off from any verbal interference may help adults gain perspective on just how loud they've been in the past. You will all be amazed at how quiet the field will become.
We request that you make no verbal comments about the game or direct any comments to the players or referees (or coaches) on or off the field. Clapping IS allowed! Be creative in how you choose to cheer your child's team - make signs to hold up or bring a rally towel in the team's color and wave it wildly. There are lots of ways to cheer other than verbally. But please no noise makers and especially no whistles. Often field permits for these school fields surrounded by neighborhoods will not support artificial noise makers.
You are encouraged to talk to each other on the field as normal. You are free to support each other and provide direction to each other. Substitute players on the bench must be quiet as well and not cheer or provide tactical instruction to their teammates. Let the players on the field figure play as if this is a game just for them. Your coach will substitute you at the appropriate point in the game.
Let's make this the one Saturday that we let the kids do (almost) all the work encouraging themselves!