Chappaqua AYSO Newsletter and Photos

It is time for you and your kids to get creative in writing and photography!
We are working on a Chappaqua AYSO Newsletter and a corresponding Photo Album which will be available for all of us at the end of the season.
Send your best soccer photos of the season to
And if your literary vein is sinking in, we would love you to write an article on a soccer related issue, some ideas below:
- Ask your kids to write a positive experience they had playing AYSO.

- Send us great quotes that you have heard on the fields.

- Did your kids' coaches ever said something that really made you think or laugh? Let us know.

- Tell us a story about something you have learned by following professional soccer.

- Tell us about something that impressed you recently in any top-flight league in the world.

- Can you share with us a learning experience for your kids while by playing AYSO this past year?

- We want to hear that great story about some unexpected success achieved by your kids' teams.

- Any other interesting soccer experience.

Please email all photos and articles to NO LATER THAN JUNE 13.
We will edit all the material after this date to prepare the Newsletter & Photo Album.
Volunteer your talent for Chappaqua AYSO!

Memorial Day Parade

Come march behind our banner in the Memorial Day Parade! 

Wear your uniforms and meet on Ridgewood Terrace (off 117) & Elm at 10:30am Monday morning. 

We’ll be marching just behind the Chappaqua Elementary Schools Marching Band.

Tell your teammates!

Missing your Whistle?

Did you lose this?
Did you lose this?

Found at Greeley November 15th. If it’s yours, let us know.

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Winter Soccer Skills Clinic

Chappaqua Winter Soccer Skills Clinic 

Time: 5-6pm (ages 5-10)
Location: Boys & Girls club of Northern Westchester
351 Main St, Mt Kisco, NY 10549
January 16, 23, 30
February 6, 27
March 5, 12, 19
Players will train at the Boys & Girls Club on Saturday evenings from 5:00 – 6:00 pm in the gym. There will be eight sessions starting on January 16th and continuing through March 19th. The fee will be $225 for all 8 sessions.
Please bring indoor soccer shoes or sneakers, shin guards, a soccer ball and water to the training sessions.
To sign up please email Shawn Podell at
with your child’s name, age and date of birth.
Send a check for $225 to Shawn Podell
Mailing address: Shawn Podell
                            546c Heritage Hills
                            Somers NY 10589
See you at the Boys and Girls Club!
Shawn Podell

Saturday 9/12 at 9am: Soccer Jamboree and goal moving at the High School

This year we have an extra week before the season starts so we’re trying something new:

AYSO Jamboree
This Saturday (9/12) for kids in the U6, U7, U8 and U10 divisions we’ll have the Super Soccer Stars and U10+ trainers at the High School at 9am for a fun (& free!) Jamboree session.

No teams, just kids playing soccer in groups run by professional trainers. Uniforms not required, though all players MUST wear shinguards & socks and NO jewelry. Bring a ball if you have one. We’ll meet on Field B (the one directly ahead as you drive in). Come and play some soccer!

Goal Moving:
Many of our coaches will be in Armonk taking age-specific coach training this Saturday. As they spend their weekend getting ready to coach our kids, we can help by getting the fields ready for play.

Please help us move the goals and sandbags onto the High School fields from their storage position. We will meet on field B at 9am and begin once the Jamboree kids get going. Many hands make light work!

See you Saturday!

Want to be a Referee?

Another season of soccer will be upon us soon! If you wish to be added to the referee list for the 2015 Fall season and receive notifications about training and refereeing opportunities, please fill out the contact form below.

There will be an opportunity to earn Basic Referee certification at the Fall SuperCamp on September 12 in Armonk. The BASIC REFEREE ONLINE COMPANION course will be offered, which is a three-hour live session that complements the self-paced BASIC REFEREE ONLINE course. The online portion must be completed prior to the live session, and proof of completion will be required.

Please read the following FAQ to learn how this works and follow these instructions to sign up for the online BASIC course. Then sign up at for Roster number 201504502, the live ONLINE COMPANION course. You must be registered as a volunteer for AYSO first and provide your AYSO ID to sign up for the courses.

More information about the course will be delivered on the AYSO 3T training page as it becomes available.

Looking forward to seeing you all on the fields this fall.

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Tom Pile | Chappaqua AYSO Referee Administrator

Summer Soccer Clinic

Chappaqua Summer Soccer Skills Clinic

Time 6-7pm (ages 5-10)
7-8pm (ages 11-15)

Location: Seven Bridges Middle School

July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
August 5, 12, 19

All players who are registered for the 2014-2015 Chappaqua AYSO season may participate. Players will train at Seven Bridges School on Wednesday evenings at 6:00-7:00 pm and 7:00-8:00 pm. There will be eight sessions, starting on July 1st and continuing through August 19th. The fee will be $200 for all 8 sessions.

Players at camp or on vacation during parts of this period may drop in to individual sessions. The fee per session will be $30. Please bring cleats, shin guards and a soccer ball to the training session.

To sign up please email Shawn Podell at with the age and dates your son or daughter can attend.

See you on the soccer field!

Coach Shawn Podell

Silent Saturdays Make Better Players

Why Sideline Screaming Can Stifle Your Child’s Game

Imagine you’re undertaking a fairly difficult task: assembling a piece of furniture with hieroglyphic instructions, filling out IRS Form 4562 on April 14, or standing on the highest rungs of a ladder painting the crown molding in your living room with 14-foot ceilings. Think it would help if someone yelled at you during the process? Of course not.

Yet when a child tries to control a bouncing ball in a crowd of other kids, adults often believe it’s perfectly acceptable to scream “advice.” The shouting at America’s soccer fields is so epidemic one wonders if adults ever reflect on their behavior. Adults, who would never shout at children while they’re enjoying the playground, drawing in a coloring book, or rearranging their dollhouse, loudly instruct from the sidelines without hesitation.

When adults scream from the sidelines they’re not just invading the children’s playtime, they’re preventing children from learning the game of soccer in a natural manner. The shouting is detrimental to children’s development as soccer players and at worst can turn them off to the sport entirely.

If parents want to help their children become better soccer players, they can offer to kick the ball around with them in the backyard. But sideline instructions deny children a chance to make their own decisions, it stifles their creative instincts, and all too often the instructions are misguided.

When a player has the ball there are generally three options: dribble, pass or shoot. In the long-term, the great players are the ones who choose wisely most of the time. But if, when they’re first learning the sport, that decision is being made for them with a scream from the sideline, how can we expect them to develop the soccer instincts they’ll need to make the split-second decisions that are so much a part of the game?

“We don’t want to turn the children into parrots waiting for someone to tell them what to do,” says John Ouellette, AYSO National Coach. “Soccer is a free-flowing game for children to enjoy and learn from playing. As an organization, we discourage sideline instruction not just from parents but also from coaches.”

When adults scream from the sidelines they’re not just invading the children’s playtime, they’re preventing children from learning the game of soccer in a natural manner.

During the first stage of soccer development it is essential that the children are allowed to discover the game on their own terms. High-level coaches constantly complain that players come through the ranks dependent on instructions because they’ve been bossed around in the early stages — being told where to run and when to pass. They also cite a dearth of truly creative players — the ones with the ability to make the unpredictable moves-blaming the lack of freedom children are afforded during their early years.

Much of the sideline screaming comes from ignorance about the stages of development. While most parents would know that addition and subtraction must be mastered before algebra is introduced, at the soccer field they often expect children to perform maneuvers they are simply not capable of. AYSO Hall of Famer Sigi Schmid is a former youth coach who coached UCLA to an NCAA title before entering the MLS ranks and winning a crown with the Los Angeles Galaxy. He stresses that coaches and parents must appreciate how young players learn the game.

Schmid says, “The first thing is, ‘It’s me and the ball.’ The second is, ‘It’s me and the ball and where’s the opponent?’ Then it’s, ‘It’s me and the ball, and where’s the opponent, where’s my teammate?’ He’s taking on more information. That’s how he develops.”

The screams from the sideline interfere with this process — besides often being misguided and counterproductive. To take a few examples:

“PASS IT! PASS IT!” Discouraging dribbling in the early years is like telling toddlers to shut up when they’re learning to speak. Young players should be encouraged to dribble-because dribbling is the first step to mastering all ball skills-and there are far better ways to introduce a passing game when children are ready to comprehend teamwork. The passing game enters soccer at the later stages and one will notice that the children themselves will ask each other for the ball.

SPREAD OUT! Just because the first years of youth soccer look chaotic doesn’t mean the children aren’t learning In fact, it’s perfectly fine that they all chase the ball in a swarm. Sooner or later they’ll figure out how to take advantage of time and space. They’ll comprehend positioning by exploring the field, not by being treated like chess pieces.

SHOOT! SHOOT! SHOOT! This usually comes from an ear-piercing parent-coach chorus as a child dribbles toward the goal and I have little doubt that were it eliminated from the soccer fields of America we’d see more goals in the youth game.

Even the youngest, most novice player knows they are supposed to shoot the ball to score. And can it possibly help a child perform the difficult task of striking the ball while running as fast as they can by being screamed at during the process?

Moreover, the “shoot” scream encourages players to pull the trigger earlier than they should. How do great players score on breakaways? They usually wait until they get close to the goalkeeper. It’s much harder for the keeper to save a shot from four yards away than from 15. There’s also the option of rounding the keeper, especially when a patient attacker forces the keeper to commit.

Shooting advice I often hear from high-level players is not to rush the shot — that players often have a little more time than they realize. As young players learn to cope with the high-pressure of a scoring chance, they don’t need to be screamed at.

“YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!” For sure, it should be made clear to young players which goal their team is aiming at. But what I’m talking about is the outrage that often greets a smart young player who retreats with the ball to move out of the bunch. Watch a game played by sophisticated players and you’ll find that they’re constantly moving the ball in all directions to find space and time.

Young players taking the ball away from the crowd are the clever ones. Will they sometimes put their team at risk? Maybe. But so what? Giving up a goal in a U-8 game isn’t nearly as important as allowing young players how to figure out how to keep possession.

“ATTACK THE BALL!” or “GO GET HIM!” is apparently meant to encourage a defending player to charge an opponent who has the ball at their feet. But in soccer, the defender wants to jockey into a good position to keep the attacker at bay. He wants to avoid over-committing and instead needs to figure out the right time to get a chance at the ball. It’s a matter of positioning and timing that players master by facing the situation over and over again — not by taking cues from the sideline.

Perhaps the inclination to scream instructions comes from a well-intentioned desire to help children “learn.” But when does screaming at children help educate them? When a child wanders toward a busy street, moves too close to a hot oven, or starts beating on little brother-OK, that might warrant a roar.

But does screaming at a child while you’re assisting him with math homework help? Very doubtful. And certainly children should be allowed to play soccer without getting yelled at. Then they’ll be able to pay attention to the best teacher of all: the game itself.

By Mike Woitalla
Playsoccer Fall 2008

Area 3T – Region 139