Net safety reminder

source: CMSA

Please remember to anchor goals and do not hang on or swing from the nets.

Injuries are completely preventable if clubs, coaches, parents and players work together to ensure that goalposts are anchored to the ground and that at no time do individuals swing or hang from the nets.

A Global News story from Ontario reporting on a fatal incident where a goalpost fell on a player: CLICK HERE


Definitions of Bullying and Harassment

Source: ––bullying-and-abuse-prevention/educators/bullying-and-harassment-prevention/definitions-of-bullying-and-harassment

What is bullying?

Bullying is a form of aggression where there is a power imbalance; the person doing the bullying has power over the person being victimized.

The different types of bullying

  • Physical bullying: using physical force or aggression against another person (e.g., hitting)
  • Verbal bullying: using words to verbally attack someone (e.g., name-calling)
  • Social/relational bullying: trying to hurt someone through excluding them, spreading rumours or ignoring them (e.g., gossiping)
  • Cyberbullying: using electronic media to threaten, embarrass, intimidate, or exclude someone, or to damage their reputation (e.g., sending threatening text messages).

The difference between bullying and harassment

Bullying and harassment are similar, yet different:

  • Harassment is similar to bullying because someone hurts another person through cruel, offensive and insulting behaviours
  • Harassment is different from bullying in that it is a form of discrimination.

What is discrimination?

Discrimination is treating someone differently or poorly based on certain characteristics or differences. Bullying turns into harassment when the behaviour goes against Canada’s Human Rights Laws and focuses on treating people differently because of:

  • Age
  • Race (skin colour, facial features)
  • Ethnicity (culture, where they live, how they live, how they dress)
  • Religion (religious beliefs)
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation (if they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual)
  • Family status (if they are from a single parent family, adopted family, step family, foster family, non-biological gay or lesbian parent family)
  • Marital status (if they are single, legally married, common-law spouse, widowed, or divorced)
  • Physical and mental disability (if they have a mental illness, learning disability, use a wheelchair)

The Talent That Whispers



The scouts snickered. They looked at the time again. To this day the 5.28 second 40 yard dash time is one of the slowest for quarterbacks in the history of the NFL combine. His 24.5 inch vertical leap didn’t have them lining up at his door either. He had been a good, but not an outstanding college quarterback, and as far as statistics went, he was far from a sure thing. The New England Patriots used the 199th pick in the NFL draft to select him in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL draft. The quarterback’s name was Tom Brady.

Five Super Bowl championships, four Super Bowl MVP awards, two NFL MVP’s, and numerous regular season and playoff records later, Brady is arguably the greatest football player of all time. So how did all the experts select 198 players ahead of him in the NFL draft?  And why are we writing about Tom Brady?

Because we are in such a hurry to turn our kid’s sporting experiences into adult ones, to select “talent” as soon as possible, and to focus on statistics instead of other characteristics that are harder to measure. Our system is setup to weed out kids who are late bloomers and have neither the time, the money, or the desire to go all in on a sport in elementary school.

Our system is setup to find the talent that shouts, but not the talent that whispers.

In our hyper-competitive youth sports world, we are racing to the bottom in a huge hurry to accelerate development. We are pushing single-sport specialization younger and younger. We are having tryouts, making cuts, and forming travel teams while children are still in elementary school. Parents are afraid that if they don’t hire a private trainer for their 8-year-old, she will be pushed out of the system. We are pouring the training volume of a fifteen-year-old into a nine-year-old, and then proclaiming “look how good he is” and splattering the video all over YouTube.

We are creating a youth sports environment that only works for those with the most money, the most time, and often, the well-intentioned parents with the greatest willingness to look the other way and ignore not only all the science and research, but that gut-feeling that says “I don’t think this is working for my kid, but I am going to do it anyway because I am scared if I don’t, my kid will miss out.

We are throwing dozens of eggs against a wall and hoping one or two won’t crack, and with little regard for those eggs that do break.

We are great at selecting the talent that shouts. These are the kids who are usually born within a few months of the arbitrary calendar cutoff, known as the relative age effect. Study after study has shown the bias toward older birth dates in sports (those born in the first half of the sporting calendar year.) Another study shows how the relative age bias is increasing. Programs select those who have specialized first. We grab the biggest, fastest and strongest, and select based on output, instead of looking at the input that created said output.

As author Rasmus Ankerson says in the video below, we are ignoring the talent that whispers.  We are cutting the late bloomer before she has a chance to grow. We are stifling the love of the game for the multi-sport child who is searching for a sport that he loves the most. We are so results driven that if a kid cannot help us win today, we don’t have time to wait for tomorrow.

Why? If NFL scouts cannot pick a Tom Brady at age 23, why do we deify Pop Warner football players, or let others rot on the bench?

If Lorenzo Cain can become an MLB playoff MVP and World Series champion by playing baseball for the first time as a high school sophomore, why are moms and dads led to believe that if their son wants to try baseball for the first time at age 9, it’s too late?

If NHL scouts and coaches still could not peg future Hall of Famer, MVP and scoring champ Martin St Louis at age 24, why are we so worried about who makes the PeeWee AAA team?

If swimmer Conor Dwyer can win gold medals in swimming at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and he was a college walk-on who did not start swimming full time until his senior year of high school, why are some youth swim programs telling kids to go all in by age 10 or it’s too late?

Sure, Dwyer, St. Louis, Brady and Cain are outliers, similar to the “talent that shouts” outlier examples of Tiger Woods or the Williams sisters in tennis. Yet the research is clear on one thing: if you want to have the best chance of identifying long-term potential, be patient. As world-renowned sport scientist and researcher Jean Cote states, “long-term prediction of talented athletes is unreliable, especially when detection of talent is attempted during the prepubertal or pubertal growth periods.

Every athlete has his or her own path. Some show aptitude from day one and others burst upon the scene later. Some are the first to grow, and dominate early on through sheer physical prowess, while others grow last and develop grit and resilience to go with a good sporting brain and skill set. If you are developing athletes simply to win the 12-year-old championship, then, by all means, force them to do as much as possible as soon as possible. They will likely win now, but not be prepared to win long term. But if you can put aside the fear, and take the long view, you have a much better chance of helping your own children, and any athletes you coach, find their greatness, regardless of whether their talent whispers or shouts.

It is time for parents, and coaches, to not only ask, but demand our sporting institutions do the following:

  • Train as many kids as possible, for as long as possible, in the best environment possible (see Johan Fallby interview here)
  • Develop all kids, not just the ones who seem the best right now
  • Recognize that some kids play simply for the sake of playing, with no long term focus on performance
  • Instill a love of the game, so that kids want to play more and get extra time on task
  • Create pathways for performance-focused and participation-focused children
  • Train all our coaches, even if this means fewer volunteers and more paid AND prepared men and women (a soon to be released study by Dr. Mark Robinson of University of Delaware demonstrates paid, trained coaches increase participation and retention).
  • Demand continuing education of our coaches and anyone working with kids, not just on Xs and Os, but on motivation and communication
  • Start treating coaches like valued educators and provide them the respect, trust, and necessary tools to do their job the right way

We also must start teaching and promoting other qualities in young athletes other than those easily measured by a stopwatch or tape measure, qualities that allow for a bigger upside as training volume increases:

  • Are they coachable/do they have a teachable spirit?
  • Do they work hard?
  • Do they have a growth mindset?
  • Are they focused on what they can give, rather than what they can get?
  • Do they work well with others?
  • Do they deal well with adversity?
  • Are they a good decision maker?
  • Are they accountable?

Parents and coaches, please let our kids play lots of sports until they find one that is a great fit.

Please understand the effects of Relative Age and whether that is advantaging or disadvantaging your young athletes.

Please be patient with development.

Please look beyond current output by gauging the level of current input, and observing qualities that will allow for additional input when it really matters.

Please remember Tom Brady, the less than impressive NFL combine performer who became the best of all time.

In other words, forget for a moment the talent that shouts. In every town, in every age, there is an athlete just waiting to be found if we give him or her the chance.

Look for the talent that whispers.


Podcast #4: David Epstein, The Sports Gene, and the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Perfromance


This week on the Way of Champions Podcast, John O’Sullivan gets to chat with David Epstein, author of the internationally best-selling book The Sports Gene: The Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance and one of our FAVORITE all-time books. The book is a top 10 New York Times bestseller and was chosen as a best non-fiction book of 2013 by The Washington Post and Publisher’s Weekly. Runner’s World chose The Sports Gene as its book of the year, and the book was a finalist for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, the PEN/ESPN Literary Sports Writing Award, and the National Academy of Sciences Communication Award. It has been translated into sixteen languages.  In the conversation, John and David discuss:

  • How his book debunked the “10,000-hour rule” that Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in Outliers
  • Is it nature, or nurture, or both when it comes to athletic development
  • How Tiger Woods’ path was not the same as Roger Federer, Steve Nash or Lorenzo Cain
  • How in some complex activities, practice actually pulls athletes apart rather than bringing them together, as those sensitive to learning improve faster
  • How coaches and parents can help young athletes find their “true calling” in sports by creating and encouraging multi-sport environments
  • Ways coaches can serve the individual needs of every athlete within a team environment
  • How he is more concerned with doing things the way research says instead of how we’ve always been doing it.

Our first four episodes are now available for download from iTunes. You can listen to, subscribe and download by clicking here:

Listen to the Way of Champions Podcast on iTunes.

How to Subscribe to a Podcast

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider subscribing. You can also help us by leaving a review as it will help us grow our reach, as our goal is to become a go-to resource for sports parents, coaches and anyone involved in youth, high school, college and professional sports.

You can buy the Sports Gene here: The Sports Gene on Amazon

You can find David on his website: The Sports Gene Website

Twitter: @DavidEpstein

Minifest takes place May 27 & June 3

Source: CMSA

240 teams, 2000+ players and two weekends of grassroots soccer

Hosted by the Calgary Minor Soccer Association (CMSA), Minifest is a season-end grassroots soccer festival for all youth soccer players ages 4 – 8. Minifest helps young players learn the game of soccer and encourages physical activity in a fun, non-competitive format with additional activities open to all players and family members.

The Minifest celebration has grown to be so big that it now expands over two weekends:

Players from across the city participate in this memorable soccer festival and are cheered on by their family as they participate in two games followed by family fun activities including bouncer castles, trampolines, a petting zoo, food trucks and more.

Minifest is not only CMSA’s largest annual tournament, but one of the biggest grassroots festivals in Canada thanks to the support from the event’s two major sponsors: Tim Horton’s who sponsors all U6 teams, and Shane Homes who sponsors all U8 teams. It is with the help of Tim Hortons and Shane Homes that CMSA is able to host this incredible soccer festival for these young soccer players and their families each year.

Outdoor 2017 How-To Reschedule a Game

Source: CMSA

Rescheduling due to field closure/weather and other requests

How-to reschedule a game

Rescheduling due to Field Closure/Inclement Weather

Note: Artificial Turf fields are considered ‘all-weather’ and closure will be at the discretion of the referee.

Other Rescheduling Requests

Note: Requests due to player vacation, injury and/or coach availability will not be approved. 

The CMSA Rescheduling Procedure can also be found online, HERE. Should you have any questions regarding game rescheduling, please contact the CMSA Office.


Episode #1-3 of the Way of Champions Podcast with 36x NCAA Champion Dr. Jerry Lynch, EPL Sport Psych Dan Abrahams, and Coach Lisa Cole


Today marks a huge day in the evolution of the Changing the Game Project, as we launch the first three episodes of our brand new endeavor, the Way of Champions Podcast (click here to subscribe)! Our goal is to give parents, coaches, youth sports administrators, and athletes access to the top minds in coaching, talent development, athletic performance, and more. Every week we will be interviewing fascinating figures such as world champion athletes, Olympic and international level coaches, as well as top researchers and authors. Some may be household names, and others you may never have heard of, but you will be glad you do.

This podcast is a partnership between Changing the Game Project and the Founder of Way of Champions, Dr. Jerry Lynch. For those who have not heard of Jerry’s work, he has been in the leadership and team development business for decades and his teams have won 36 NCAA titles and world championships. He has worked with iconic coaches, and college programs from schools such as Stanford, The University of North Carolina, University of Maryland, Syracuse, and many others. Many of his twelve books are considered mandatory reading for coaches and professional athletes. We are so excited to be working with Jerry to give you access to many of the top minds in sport.

Our first three episodes are now available for download from iTunes, and every Friday we will post another episode. We will embed the audio in our Friday blog post. You can listen to, subscribe and download by clicking here:

Listen to the Way of Champions Podcast.

How to Subscribe to a Podcast

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider subscribing. You can also help us by leaving a review as it will help us grow our reach, as our goal is to become a go-to resource for sports parents, coaches and anyone involved in youth, high school, college and professional sports.

Over the next weeks, you will hear from guests such as 2x Olympic Gold Medalist Ashton Eaton, author of The Sports Gene David Epstein, World Cup soccer players Angela Hucles and Jay DeMerit, World and Olympic Champion coach Tony DiCicco, and many others.

Let’s get started. Here are our first three episodes:

WOC #1: 36x NCAA Champion Team Consultant Dr. Jerry Lynch

Dr. Lynch and John talk about meeting the great Dean Smith, the qualities of great teams, how to build and coach values based and purpose-driven teams, and so much more. He has worked as a Sports Psychologist for men’s and women’s Basketball, Lacrosse, Field Hockey and Soccer teams at the universities such as North Carolina, Duke, Maryland, California, UConn and Stanford and continues to work with several teams nationally. He has been involved with athletes at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado, helping them to overcome fears, blocks, and slumps, and to perform up to their potential. Several of his clients have participated in various summer and winter Olympic games. Aside from sports, Dr. Lynch has worked with performing artists and corporate executives and currently works closely with Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors. You can find Dr. Lynch at

WOC #2: EPL, PGA, and Olympic Sports Psychologist Dan Abrahams

Dan Abrahams and John discuss how he works with professional and Olympic athletes to remove interference and help them perform their very best. They also discuss how coaches and parents can best help, and not hinder their athletes progress on every level from youth to the pros. Dan is a former professional golfer and now a global sports psychologist, working alongside leading players, teams, coaches and organizations across the world in multiple sports. He is known for his passion and ability to de-mystify sports psychology, as well as his talent for creating simple to use techniques and performance philosophies, and he is the author of several sport psychology books as well as the founder of the Dan Abrahams Soccer Academy.

Find Dr. Abrahams on Twitter: @DanAbrahams77 or @AbrahamsGolf

Website: get 20% off the online Dan Abrahams Soccer Academy psychology program by emailing [email protected] and mentioning Way of Champions Podcast.

Books: Click here for Dan’s Amazon author page to find Soccer Tough, Golf Tough and others books

WOC #3: Professional Women’s soccer coach Lisa Cole, Head Coach of Papua New Guinea Women’s National Team

John O’Sullivan sits down with Lisa Cole to discuss her amazing coaching journey as a longtime college assistant and head coach, Head Coach of the Boston Breakers in the NWSL, and international coach with Papua New Guinea Women’s Soccer during the 2016 U20 Women’s World Cup. She discusses some of the qualities of the best athletes and coaches she has worked with and tells us about her experience the past 18 months working with PNG and their amazing ride through the World Cup. The story is an incredible example of the power and impact of sport and will give you goosebumps.

You can find Lisa on Twitter at @LCole22

Outdoor 2017 Regular Season start dates

Source: CMSA

U9 – U10
Seeding round ends Sunday, May 14
Regular season starts Tuesday, May 23
Schedules will be available online by Friday, May 19

U11 – U12
Seeding round ends Sunday, May 14
Regular season starts Tuesday, May 23
Schedules will be available online by Friday, May 19

U13 – U18
Preseason ends Thursday, May 18
Regular season starts Monday, May 29
Schedules will be available online by Friday, May 26

CLICK HERE for a complete program calendar.

Preseason and Seeding Round
Preseason allows for a transition from indoor to outdoor maximizing the amount of play-time for teams. Teams will participate in a 4-game preseason against competition registered in the same tier. During this time, clubs will use the results and feedback from their coaches to determine if the team has been placed in the correct tier. U11-U18 tiers 1-6 participate in preseason.

U9-U10 teams participate in a seeding round against teams registered in the same tier. Over the course of the seeding round, CMSA will use the results to ensure teams are placed with equally competitive teams for their regular season and city finals.

Regular Season
Regular season schedules are created once preseason and seeding round games have completed. This allows member-clubs the opportunity to move teams to a more appropriate tier based on their performance in the preseason. The regular season is comprised of a single round robin, double round robin or in some instances, a triple round robin if there is a small number of teams registered in that group. The results of regular season determine the final league placements and post-season competition placement.

Picture day for outdoor 2017 season

Good Afternoon DUFC Families,

This coming Saturday is Picture Day!

Our pictures will be held at Thorncliffe Greenview Community Centre located @ 5600 Centre Street N between 10:30am-2:30pm. They will be taken in the old lobby which is where the arena is located, the sign above the door says 5600 room. If you don’t know your exact time please contact your coaches and manager.

We have requested a second day for those who can’t make it and if they are able to accommodate us we will advise the coaches.

Please have your players dressed in: black shorts, jersey, black socks and shoes.

The cost for the Team Pictures was included in your registration fees.

DUFC Team Pictures
10:40U4 Seahorses & Beavers
10:50U4 Dolphins & Wolves
11:00GU10 Silverfox
11:10BU10 Magik
11:20BU10 Mavericks
11:30U8 Shockwave
11:40U8 Speedballs
11:50GU12 Mystique
12:00GU16 Wildcats
12:10BU12 Kraken
12:20BU12 Titans
12:30BU12 Surge
12:40U6 Avengers & Aztecs
12:50U8 Nova
1:00U8 Nitro
1:10U8 Stringrays
1:20U6 Raiders & Hurricanes
1:30BU16 Juventus
1:40BU18 Atletico
1:50GU14 Tigers
2:00BU16 Eagles
2:10BU18 Seagulls
2:20BU14 Snipers

See you Saturday!

Facts on Bullying and Harassment

source: redcross ––bullying-and-abuse-prevention/educators/bullying-and-harassment-prevention/facts-on-bullying-and-harassment

Bullying, cyberbullying and harassment jeopardize learning

  • Canadian teachers ranked cyberbullying as their issue of highest concern out of six listed options—89 per cent said bullying and violence are serious problems in our public schools.1
  • Victims of harassment report a loss of interest in school activities, more absenteeism, lower-quality schoolwork, lower grades, and more skipping/dropping classes, tardiness and truancy.2
  • Young people who report lower academic achievement levels or negative feelings about the school environment are more likely to be involved in bullying.3
  • 71 per cent of teachers say they usually intervene with bullying problems; but only 25 per cent of students say that teachers intervene.4
  • Over half of bullied children do not report being bullied to a teacher.5

Statistics on bullying and harassment

  • A 2010 research project studying 33 Toronto junior high and high schools reported that 49.5 per cent of students surveyed had been bullied online.6
  • Between 4–12 per cent of boys and girls in grades 6 through 10 report having been bullied once a week or more.7
  • For boys, bullying behaviour peaks in grade nine at 47 per cent, while it peaks for girls in grades six, eight and nine at 37 per cent.8
  • In a 2007 survey of 13–15-year-olds, over 70 per cent reported having been bullied online and 44% reported having bullied someone at least once.9
  • One in four students from grades seven to nine in an Alberta study reported experiencing cyberbullying.10
  • Over 80 per cent of the time, bullying happens with peers around 11—and 57 per cent of the time, bullying stops within 10 seconds when a bystander steps in. 12

Trends in bullying and harassment

  • Since 2002, fighting behaviour has increased, especially in grades six to eight. As many as 18 per cent of boys and 8 per cent of girls report having been in four or more fights in the past year.13
  • Boys are more likely to experience direct forms of bullying (physical aggression) while girls experience more indirect forms of bullying including cyberbullying.14
  • Sexual harassment is higher for boys in grades six and seven, but higher for girls in grades nine and ten.15

1 N.S.T.U. Cyberbullying Statistics, “National Issues in Education Poll,” Canadian Teachers’ Federation (2008).

2 Pepler, D. & Craig, W. (2000). Making a difference in bullying (Report #60). Ontario: LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution and Queen’s University.

4Pepler, D. & Craig, W. (2000). Making a difference in bullying (Report #60). Ontario: LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution and Queen’s University.

5 Fekkes, M. Pijpers, F. I. M., & Verloove-Vanhorick, S. P. (2005). Bullying: who does what, when and where? Involvement of children, teachers and parents in bullying behavior. Health Education Research. 20(1):81–91. And Li, Q. (2007a). Bullying in the new playground: Research into cyberbullying and cyber victimization. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 23, 435–454.

6 Faye Mishna et al, “Cyber Bullying Behaviors Among Middle and High School Students,”  American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 80, no. 3 (2010):  362–374.

7 Craig, Wendy M. & McCuaig Edge, Heather. “Bullying and Fighting.” In Healthy Settings for Young People in Canada. W. Boyce, M. King, & J. Roche (Editors). Ottawa, Ontario: The Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008.

8 Craig, Wendy M. & McCuaig Edge, Heather. “Bullying and Fighting.” In Healthy Settings for Young People in Canada. W. Boyce, M. King, & J. Roche (Editors). Ottawa, Ontario: The Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008.

9 Lines, Elizabeth. (2007, April). Cyberbullying: Our Kids’ New Reality. Kids Help Phone.

10 Beran T & Li Q, 2005, Cyber-harassment: A study of a new method for an old behavior. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 32(3).

11 Pepler, D. & Craig, W. (2000). Making a difference in bullying (Report #60). Ontario: LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution and Queen’s University.

12 Hawkins, D.L, Pepler, D.J., & Craig, W.M. (2001). Naturalistic Observations of Peer Interventions in Bullying. Social Development, 10(4), 512-527.

13 Craig, Wendy M. & McCuaig Edge, Heather. “Bullying and Fighting.” In Healthy Settings for Young People in Canada. W. Boyce, M. King, & J. Roche (Editors). Ottawa, Ontario: The Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008.

14 Craig, Wendy M. & McCuaig Edge, Heather. “Bullying and Fighting.” In Healthy Settings for Young People in Canada. W. Boyce, M. King, & J. Roche (Editors). Ottawa, Ontario: The Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008.

15 Craig, Wendy M. & McCuaig Edge, Heather. “Bullying and Fighting.” In Healthy Settings for Young People in Canada. W. Boyce, M. King, & J. Roche (Editors). Ottawa, Ontario: The Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008.