Welcome to Leominster Youth Soccer ( LYS ). We are glad you have decided to enroll your child in our soccer program. Keep the following thoughts in mind as you participate in or observe LYS games.
LYS plays in the Nashoba Valey Youth Soccer League (NVYSL). The bylaws for the league (age group descriptions, age group rules, roster size informaiton, etc.) are listed here, and the calendar for the league is here. You can find the most up to date schedule for LYS teams and other information at www.nvysl.org).
Remember that it is a game! The primary purpose of enrolling our children in soccer and other youth sports programs is so that they have an opportunity to play. There are other benefits: exercise, development of motor and social skills, learning to strive, learning to lose and not quit.
Whether you win or lose, trying your hardest and working to improve your skills and tactics produce pride and satisfaction, for most children the purpose of the game is pure play. Parents' and coaches' emphasis should be the same. Let the kids have fun at every practice and game. Instruction should only come from the coaches. When parents yell in directions from the sidelines it can confuse the players and may be counter to the strategy the coach planned for the game.
We do welcome enthusiasm, but there is a difference between yelling and cheering. So, be general in what you shout. Say, "Go!" instead of "Shoot!" or "Pass!" Let the player think for himself, it is an important part of the game. At the end of a play, you may then be more specific by saying "Great pass!" or "Great effort!" or "Great save!"
To ensure that your child is prepared to play soccer, LYS will provide the following:
- Soccer balls
- Properly equipped Soccer field for practice and games
- Referees for games
- Insurance via Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association
Parents are asked to provide the following:
- Soccer shoes
- Shin guards
- Jersey, shorts and socks (purchased from the league for uniformity)
- Water bottle for practices and games
- Transportation to and from practices and games
The philosophy of LYS is to allow each player to grow and develop to the best of their ability while having fun. At the beginning of the season the coach will tell you where and when your practice location(s) will be. For practice sessions, we ask that your child arrive on time and be ready to play, and that you be there at the end of practice to pick up your child. It is our goal to make the most of our practices and teach your child the skills they need to play in games.
For games, plan to arrive 30 minutes before the start time to allow for warm-up drills and any instructions the coach may have. There will be a referee officiating at the game. Parents must refrain from addressing the referee at any time during the game. In addition, parents must sit on the opposite side of the field from the teams, and we encourage you to cheer for both teams, remembering that these are young children playing to have fun. Our emphasis is on playing, learning and having fun, not on winning.
Each coach is a volunteer and must complete a CORI form (criminal background check) before they can work with children. In addition, many coaches have experience playing and coaching soccer and all are encouraged to attend coaching workshops and licensing clinics. In the event that you have a concern regarding your child’s coach or team, please address the issue directly with the coach and allow adequate time for resolution. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, please notify our in-town or travel directors.
At the end of matches, we hope to hear more players, coaches and parents thank the referees for a good game. No adult should ever berate a young referee. If you criticize the referees you are in the wrong, it is that simple.
Please instruct your children to stay off the goals, nets, and corner flags. Every year there are injuries in this country, sometimes fatal, due to kids climbing on soccer goals that topple over onto them. Please help us keep the players and others from climbing on the goals or nets at all times.