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)

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

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

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.

Yes this happened!

source: CMSA


I have been refereeing since 1993 and have officiated over 4000 games. I have also coached over 850 games since 1992. Since joining CMSA in 2010, I have become aware of truly unfortunate situations that occur within the game of soccer in Calgary. Most games are fun and entertaining for everyone involved. The fans cheer at the top of their lungs, coaches convey tactical messages to their team and players enthusiastically respond by playing with speed, finesse and skill. Then, there are the other games – where players try to live up to parents’ unrealistic expectations and coaches exhibit disappointment with their team through negative and discouraging comments that destroy their player’s self-confidence. To make matters worse in these situations, both coaches and parents display a dismal lack of respect for youth referees, to say the least. I will be posting these stories and events to let you know what goes on in front of your child’s eyes in the hope that you may give some serious consideration as to  whether or not we want to see this kind of behavior in the game of soccer. The short stories posted below are actual accounts of soccer games that have taken place in Calgary – with the identities of players, teams and clubs undisclosed. Stories will be posted periodically. The two teams involved will be named a white team and a black team.
Brian Wilkens
Referee Mentor, Coordinator and Discipline
Calgary Minor Soccer Association


July 25
CMSA meetings promoting respect for referees
I am writing as a concerned parent regarding the display of poor sportsmanship of the two opposing coaches, one adult female and one adult male. The first concern is that both of the coaches consistently barraged the referee of the game with questions and challenges regarding the game and calls. The yelling and questioning of the referee set a very poor tone to the game. Had the referee been younger or less experienced individual, these actions and questions could have had a very negative impact on their willingness to continue refereeing. I recall from past CMSA meetings that the preservation of referees is an important aspect of the CMSA’s work and the behaviour of these two adults was clearly contrary to the CMSA objective of promoting respect for referees.
Also of concern was that at least one of the adults in question, at points in the game were also mocking the opponents keeper in response to her giving direction to her players. For example when the keeper yelled to her team to spread out, one of the adults yelled out that they can’t spread out because the field is too small. No doubt this was related to their dissatisfaction with the size of the field which was also expressed during other times of the game. However, to express this in a mocking way to a younger player exhibiting teamwork and leadership is completely unacceptable and was unsettling to the keeper and teammates.
One of the points of contention from the female coach (inappropriately vocalized at different times throughout the game) was that the length of play should be 35 minutes for U12 but it clearly states that it is 30 minutes per half for U12.

There is a line drawn in the sand for coaches, parents and referees. When coaches’ coach and referees ref, the game can be quite fun. When coaches and parents cross the line and start refereeing, this is where controversy and unpleasantries ruin the game for the kids.

May 10
Two sides of a referee
Side one
Teams from all over the area gathered there to play local youth matches, some bringing a small crowd of supporters who line the field. Close to kick-off time for one particular match, a small figure strode out towards the center circle, blowing his whistle to get the attention of the players. Impatient with their apathetic response to his imperious blast, he blew it again, adding some shouts to various players to get over to where he stood. Finally a couple of players strolled over, one in green and the other in blue. “What’s up, ref ?  You need a couple of AR’s ?” ” Yes I do. Get them over here so I can instruct them. And call your players so I can inspect their boots.” “Sure ref, hey lads, come over here, The bloke wants a word.” “Alright gentlemen, please be quiet and listen. I am the referee today. I only want the captains to talk to me. Is that understood? Now here is what I expect of you. You must retire 10 yards on free kicks or I will book who doesn’t get back. Anyone who questions me will also get booked, is that clear? I’m not paid to take alot of rubbish from players.”
Side two
On the same weeekend, two U18 teams warmed up for their first match. A few minutes before kick off, the referee and his two young AR’s walked out to the middle of the field where they stood for a few minutes chatting. A few players noticed them and called for the captains. The captain from both teams came over and the referee held out his hand. “Hi, I’m Fred and these are my two AR’s. It’s nice to see you again. Didn’t you guys play each other a few weeks ago? 3 – 3, wasn’t it and I heard it was a great game? When I got this game I hope it’s going to be a great game again. It’s a beautiful day so enjoy yourselves. If you want something explained, just ask, OK? As the players changed ends, he was looking at the boots of all the players noting all the brand names they were wearing. Because the ground was hard, they were all wearing molded soles with multi studs. Then he notcied one player with a small cast on his arm and stroled over to him to ask how he broke it. “I broke a bone in my wrist falling off a trampoline.” “I said better stick to soccer.” “Thanks ref, a couple of weeks and it’ll be out of a cast.” I checked the cast and told him, “You’d better be carefull and no backflips if you score.” “Oh sure ref.”
As the AR’s were checking the nets, the ref walked over to the coaches and said,”theres a bit of a bother with substitutions lately so the league wants me to clean it up. Can you help me with that? Make the subs wait until the player is off before the sub comes in. Great, have a good game.”

I think Side two is what teams and coaches prefer so keep this in mind.

January 06
Two coaches vs youth referee.

In the first half, the black team’s parents were criticizing the calls and so were the black team’s coaches. One call, which easily could have gone either way, was called as a charge on the black team, which had the two coaches raising their voices toward the referee, which was the only questionable call in the first half. The first half was all the black team, score was 4-1. Around 5 minutes in to the second half, there was a 2 on 1 going down towards the black teams net, and the defender made a play on the ball, and in doing so was injured, and went down. Seeing as he went down around the top corner of the box and white team had the ball, the ref let the play continue. Nearly right after that, the white team scored, which brought both black teams coaches out of the box (without being signaled to come on) and paid little attention to the boy on the ground, and got up and in the face of the referee, loudly criticizing his calls, saying “it’s complete ******** “open your &%$# eyes ref!” “Oh ref you’ve got to be &%$# kidding me!” And so on, right in the middle of the pitch while the team is still on the field. The white teams coach offered the black teams coach ice for the injured player, to which the black teams coach declined. After the first black teams coach declined, the second coach came over to the side of the bench and said “What’s he saying? No, we don’t want your &%$# ice” to which the white teams coach replied “you are an ignorant turd” which did manage to get a mumble about shoving something, I could really hear it. For the rest of the game, the black teams coaches would remark that “I’ve never seen something like this”, “this is the worst ref I’ve ever seen” and so on. The final score was 6-4 for black team. When both coaches came to get their cards and game sheets, they had an argument about what the right call was, with the black teams coach being very angry at the ref, who was signing game sheets at the time. In the middle of the yelling, he was interrupted by the white teams field marshal came on and interrupted the coach, saying “this is ridiculous, you have to calm down. That was insane what you did, it was the right call and you cannot harass the referee like that” to which got another unimportant and blatantly rude response, “I’m sure you would have reacted the same if it was your s****y son!” And then was pushed away by the other black teams coach.

Kids should never hear words like this from adults, coaches, Dad’s, Mom’s and strangers.

Novemberber 28
A referee’s first game experience.

Our daughter refereed her first 2 games tonight and had a great experience.  When she took her refereeing course, Brian Wilkens spoke to her about the opportunity to have a mentor present at her first game.  She emailed Brian last week and he assured her that someone would be there for her.  When she arrived for her game tonight, Brian himself was there to help get her started.  He set her up with an ear piece and introduced her to John, who was her mentor for the game. We just wanted you to know how impressed we are with the course she took, the support she’s been given up to and including her first games, and how appreciative we are of all the time and effort Brian & John have put in to making her first games such a positive experience.                        Thank you
NOTE:   As part of the CMSA mentoring program, a walkie talkie / earpiece set was purchased. This gives the mentor the opportunity to talk to the referee immediately as the game is in progress. The young referee builds confidence knowing they have back up in case they need the help on the field in tough situations.
Novemberber 6
Here is a referee’s account of a GU18 game.

Two players, one from each team were involved in a tackle near midfield. I stopped play for the foul committed during the tackle as both players fell to the ground. I indicated that the restart would be for the black team as it was the white team’s player that committed the foul. As I signaled direction for the foul, the two players were still tangled together on the ground. When they were separating from each other, the black team’s player was making her way up first, looked at the opponent and kicked her in the head with her cleats in a stomping motion. The white team’s player started crying as a result. I ejected the black team’s player for violent conduct and she left with no further incident. The injured player was able to make her way back to the bench.
Punishment : The ejected player received a 4 game suspension for “Kicking with intent to injure”, violent conduct.

September 18
Here is a referee’s account of a BU12 game. The referee is 16 years old

I blew the whistle for a dangerous high kick in the penalty box and awarded a penalty shot for the white team with a few minutes left in the first half. The black team’s coaches disputed my call and I went over and gave him a warning and that if he continued, he would be dismissed.  I continued to proceed with the penalty shot and the white team scored from this. The coach of the black team continued to dissent my decision for the penalty shot and said “That call was b******t” out loud. This promoted me to dismiss him but he would not leave. He said there was nothing I could do to make him leave and proceeded to make fun of my speech impediment. I asked him one more time to leave and then blew the half time whistle. I was very offended by his remark about me personally and had to recover over half time. This coach was still at the side of the field at the start of the second half. The two boy’s teams were ready to play but I had to wait 2 minutes for this coach to leave the area.

Foul called by the referee: Law 12 “Playing in a dangerous manner” An indirect free kick is called if in the opinion of the referee, a dangerous kick is observed. If the kick makes contact with the opponent, the call is changed to kicking, and now is a direct free kick which is what the referee did.
Punishment : The coach received a 4 game suspension for OIAL (Offensive, Insulting, Abusive Language) towards a game official. A 2 game suspension for being dismissed by a minor official (12 to 18 yrs old) and a 1 game suspension for failure to leave the field after being dismissed.

September 4
Team Manager comments U10 boys
I am the Team Manager for the BU10 white team. Tonight, we played the black team. Our referee was a young girl maybe 14 years old. She was extremely organized and did a great job on the field – not afraid to blow the whistle, vocal with the kids so they knew what the call was, probably one of the best refs we have this past indoor and so far in outdoor.

The other parents from the black team were awful to her, including their field marshal. It got really bad in the second half. They were all standing over on the player’s bench side (parents and players and coaches) and a number of the adults proceeded to yell at and ridicule the referee, saying stuff like “what was that” and “are you even watching the game” and more at this poor girl. As a result, she was extremely flustered and you could just see it in her face. I was approached by at least 5 parents from our team, who also overheard the comments and were concerned for the ref as well. I did go over – I talked to their team manager first since I knew who he was from handing in game sheets and asked him if he could remind his field marshal about what his job was. He said no. So I went over to their field marshal and basically reminded him that as field marshal, he needed to stop his parents from yelling at the ref, that she is 14 and this is the whole reason for the field marshal program. He looked at me like I was crazy. But I think either enough parents overheard or he did say something, because it pretty much stopped for the last bit of the game. After the game, we got our sheet from the ref. She was ready to cry. I told her that we thought she did a great job and to please hear that and just let the other stuff go in one ear and out the other. Not sure that she will be able to do that though.

I hope that you will be able to follow up with her, as this was not an easy game for her tonight. I have no idea what kind of reminder or follow up can happen with the parents of the black team, but my biggest concern is the ref and how she is feeling.
August 23
White team coach comments regarding black teams coach.
In the first game, the coach from the black team was continually very loud and aggressive towards the referee, calling for fouls or offside to be called at any perceived infraction.  He was especially critical when one of our players fouled one of his players, who was painfully injured.  That player could not continue the game.  The referee did give a yellow card to our player and the game continued, with increased criticism from the coach.  We feel that the young referee handled the situation calmly and with maturity.
The next time we met, the black team’s coach, from the start of the game, continually very loud and aggressive towards the referee, calling for fouls or off sides to be called at any perceived infraction. The match was a hotly contested affair with physical play from both teams.  Late in the game, his player was fouled by one of our players and went down in pain. The coach ran on to the field towards the referee and confronted him in a very loud manner at very close quarters. The referee, who had red carded our player who had committed the foul, immediately red carded the black team’s coach and ordered him off the field.  The coach then proceeded to call his players off the field to the bench area. The coach left the field area proceeding immediately behind our bench area complaining loudly about the way our coaches trained our players and headed to his car. His players stayed on the field and the game continued with out him.
CMSA should not allow team officials that behave in this manner towards game officials to be part of a coaching staff.  They drive referees from the soccer system and set a poor example for the young players they coach. I feel very strongly that we need to support our referees, the up and coming as well as the ones with experience. The referees are usually refereeing alone and when cases like this happen you can see how very unprotected they are on the soccer field.

3 Myths that are Destroying the Youth Sports Experience for our Kids

Source: Changing the game project –



Every year, I travel throughout the US, Canada, Asia and Europe, and give well over 100 presentations to parents and coaches. I speak to tens of thousands of people about youth sports, coaching, and athlete development. Every time I do a live event, I get asked the following question:

“If you are presenting all this science based evidence about how to raise happy, healthy and high-performing athletes, why don’t most coaches, clubs, schools and parents follow these protocols? Why do I see the exact opposite happening”

What a great question!

So many parents I meet are extremely frustrated these days, because youth sports has changed so much since their childhood. There are no longer seasons, just year-long commitments for kids. The costs and travel distances have gone through the roof. And the pressure on parents to keep up with the Jones’s has become astronomical.

Many parents are simply trying to sort out the myths and facts of athlete development. They are told what to do by other parents and coaches if they want their children to have success in sports. Yet the path that so many children are following, and in many cases are forced to follow, is not the best path to develop as an athlete, nor as a human being.

In fact, their chosen path does just the opposite.

It leads to high rates of injuries and burnout (70% of kids quit youth sports by the age of 13).

It leads to a variety of psychological issues by attaching ones identity to sport success.

It robs children of their childhood.

It turns youth sports into big business that ties advancement to financial means (the haves vs. the have not’s) instead of ability (the can do’s vs. the can’t do’s).

It professionalizes and adultifies youth sports by taking the emphasis off of enjoyment, development and play.

Sadly, there is a lot of misinformation out there. There is a lot of ignorance of the facts. In my opinion, this is driven by three pervasive youth sports myths.

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic,” said John F. Kennedy. These three myths are incredibly persistent, very persuasive, and most troubling, they are damaging the very people they are intended to develop, our young athletes.

Myth #1, “The Tiger Woods/10,000 Hour Myth:” Your child must specialize as early as possible if he or she wants to play college or pro sports

We have all heard misinformation from a coach or parent telling your child he/she needs 10,000 hours of deliberate practice as soon as possible. I have written about specialization many times on this blog, and in this book, and yet every time I present these statistics people are skeptical, because this myth is so pervasive and convincing.

The problem with this myth is that it ignores many components of athletic development beyond practice that determine athletic performance, namely genetics, coaching, enjoyment, and intrinsic motivation.

Outside of female gymnastics, figure skating, and diving, there are no definitive studies that directly tie early specialization to greater chance of long-term, high-level success. The number of pro athletes, Olympians and top coaches that tie high-level success to an early, multi-sport background, however, is very high. This does not mean top players did not play a lot of hockey, or soccer, or basketball, just that they did other things as well, and started putting in their dedicated training hours in their middle teenage years.

There are a lot of studies tying early specialization to higher injury rates (see this article and Dr. James Andrews book Any Given Monday), higher burnout and drop out rates, as well as psychological and identity issues. High-level sport performance experts such as Tony Strudwick from Manchester United FC, football coaches such as Urban Meyer, and others stress the importance of multi-sport backgrounds to develop overall athleticism, decrease injury rates, and increase internal motivation.

Talent development programs in professional and college sports are no longer looking at simply what level an athlete plays at, but what got him or her there. They don’t want a finished product, and oftentimes early specialists are at their peak of development, while multi-sport athletes have a bigger upside. Given the choice, they want upside over current performance.

In other words, instead of Tiger Woods, raise a Steve Nash or a Jordan Spieth.

Myth #2 “The 9 Year Old National Champion Myth:” We need to win as soon as possible, as often as possible, travel as far as we need to get games, and only pick and play the kids who help us do that.

Winning is not bad; it’s not some evil thing to be avoided at all costs. Quite the contrary. Kids like winning. They understand they need to try and score, and prevent the other team from scoring. They understand they need to try their best.

What they do not understand is how winning could be more important than simply being out there playing. What they don’t understand how winning could be more important than following the rules.

And what they will never understand, especially prior to high school age, is that the result of this game is more important than getting the opportunity to play.

In my travels, every time I bring this up the naysayers jump on me and say, “he is the non-competition guy.” Wrong! I love competitive sports, and I hate participation trophies. I have coached competitive athletes my whole life, many of whom went on the become college and pro players. This myth does not produce better, more competitive athletes. It turns youth sports to an outcome focused enterprise, and puts way too much pressure to not make mistakes and try new things on young athletes trying to learn a sport. It produces bitter athletes who quit, and excludes far too many potentially top performers because of birth month and developmental age.

The downward creep of select teams is pervasive, and again, quite convincing at first glance. It’s not hard to find communities that make cuts, pick A and B teams, and start travelling long distances to find “competition” at ages as young as 6 and 7 years old. If I get the best players, exclude others, coach them and only play them in outcome focused events against other top players they will develop faster, right? How could this be bad?

Its wrong because if you are all about winning and cuts prior to puberty, you are selecting the kids who are very likely born within 3-4 months of your calendar cutoff for your age group, and are physically advanced compared to their peers. You are potentially cutting the top player at age 18 because he is young, and has not yet physically matured. You are selecting early maturing kids, not identifying talent. You are focusing on outcomes, not the process of getting better.

The things that often allow kids to win at young ages (height, speed, strength) won’t serve them in later years unless they also develop technique, tactics, and the ability to think for themselves, three things that often go out the window in win at all costs youth sports.

Prior to age 12 is a time for kid to sample many sports, not be forced into choosing one. It is a time to develop as many players as possible, not a select few. It’s a time to make mistakes in a learning environment, not only focus on winning in an outcome environment. Kids must learn to love with the game, play for fun, own the experience, and develop the intrinsic motivation to improve. That is the path to long term success.

When winning is the priority prior to high school, then you are choosing short term success over long term development. This is not to say that you cannot properly develop players and win at the same time, but if given the choice, if you are truly concerned about your athlete’s long term sporting future, then choose development.


Myth #3, “Youth Sports is an Investment in a Scholarship:” If my kid specializes, gets on the winning team as early as possible, and I invest in long distance travel, private lessons, and the best gear, I will recoup this investment when college rolls around.

Youth sports is an investment in many things, such as character development, athletic improvement, and becoming a healthy, well rounded human being. It is not, however, an investment in a future scholarship.

This myth has been perpetuated by sporting goods companies, beverage makers, and some professional coaches looking to make a few extra bucks. A look at the numbers demonstrates that scholarships and pro contracts are reserved for an elite few athletes whose time, effort, and dedication, combined with their talent and a good dose of luck, led them to the higher ground. Less than 3% of all high school athletes play their sport in college. Only 1 in 10,000 high school athletes gets a partial athletic scholarship. The average award is $11,000 per year. Yet a huge number of parents THINK their kid is going to get a sports scholarship.

For the majority of athletes, there is not a scholarship to be had, at least on the playing field. Academic scholarship dollars far outweigh sports aid. Sports is not a financial investment. I am not saying that your child should not aspire to get one, or to play at the next level, but having a goal of excellence in sport is far better than having a goal of “get a scholarship.” And finally, if your child is only playing for a scholarship, and not love of the sport, it will be very hard for them to make it through the grind of college athletics!

These three myths are very convincing at first glance, very persuasive to many parents who want only the best for their kids, and very unrealistic. Sadly, in far too many communities they have become the status quo. It is very difficult to convince people that this path is less likely to help your child become a better athlete, and far less likely to help him or her develop as a human being. These three myths are killing youth sports, damaging our kids, and making athletics a toxic environment for far too many children.

The best way to help your child succeed is not only to recognize the common mythology surrounding youth sports, but to overcome it by sharing this message with others who think like you do. This article is filled with links to other articles and research pieces, so even the skeptics can go straight to the source.

Find the parents who love their kids and want to help them get ahead, and share this article via email, Facebook, Twitter, you name it. Find other parents struggling to fight through these myths, those who are made to think “Am I a good enough parent if I don’t have my kid specialize, or hire a private coach, or pay for travel sports when my kid is in 2nd grade?” Share this with them!

Let’s overcome these myths!

Let’s put the play back in playing youth sports.

Let’s change the game, and make it a far better one. That is within our reach. You can do your part simply by sharing this right now!

Alberta Soccer Association: Women in Soccer Conference

Source: CMSA

The soccer community needs more strong, skilled women in leadership roles – this unique conference was created with that in mind!

The Women in Soccer Conference will be in Red Deer on May 5-7, and participants can either register for the full weekend or attend only one day if that suits their schedule better.

[CLICK HERE] for additional information and to register for the conference.

If you’re interested in unique networking opportunities, gaining new certification as a coach or referee, or honing your skills as an already active coach, referee or leader in the soccer community, this weekend will have so much to offer you.
The Alberta Soccer Association has lined up a passionate and inspiring group of facilitators to lead the weekend’s sessions, including:

  • Keynote: Lorraine Lafreniere, Chief Executive Officer, Coaching Association of Canada
  • Bev Preistman, the Womens’ EXCEL Director for Canada Soccer 14-U17, Head Coach U17 team
  • Carmelina Moscato, who has played with the Canadian Women’s National soccer team since 2002 and won the bronze medal with the team at the London 2012 Olympic games. She is also currently an assistant coach with the Canada Soccer Women’s EXCEL U15 and U17 teams.
  • Michelle Pye, one of only seven international soccer referees in Canada. She reached FIFA status in 2007 and was named to the List of Officials at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada.
  • Dr. Cari Din, a dynamic leadership expert and Olympic medalist