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Frequently Asked Questions by AVYSL parents and players about Positive Coaching

 Why is AVYSL choosing to roll out this program of positive coaching? 

40 million children participate in youth sports in the USA, but unfortunately 70% drop out by age 13.   According to the National Alliance for Youth Sports, 15% of youth sports games played involve a confrontation between parents or coaches with officials”. (This was 6% in 1999)  -,

 The National Association of Sports Officials have stated that 76% of high school athletic associations said that officials are quitting because of  “spectator interference.”  Sports science experts blame a “Win at all cost” mentality. AVYSL has examined and recognized the data, and has decided to be proactive and provide Positive Coaching education to it’s members in order to prevent potential future incidents from spoiling the youth sports experience for our members.

Has my league or my team been identified as a source of coaching problems and in need of retraining with the new positive coaching skills?

AVYSL has not identified any specific teams, coaches or leagues that need to educate themselves regarding Positive Coaching skills.  The AVYSL has decided to become proactive with positive coaching ideals in order to prevent possible bad experiences for our youth soccer athletes. The AVYSL board has acknowledged the benefits of positive coaching that have been experienced by other youth soccer leagues, and has decided to use Positive coaching methods to make sure our athletes get the most out of their youth sport experience. 

What is a “Culture Keeper”? What do they do? Do they get paid?  And how are they selected?

AVYSL culture keepers are player’s parents who have volunteered to assist in spreading the word and sharing the skills of positive coaching to other parents, players and coaches alike. There is no selection process, Culture Keepers need only be enthusiastic about the principles of positive coaching and attend the training provided by AVYSL. There is a more complete job description on the AVYSL website, however basically A Culture Keeper at  AVYSL helps shape the culture of a youth sports team and/or organization. Culture is simply "the way we do things here." A positive youth sports culture is based on

  1. Honoring the Game
  2. Redefining what it means to be a "Winner," and
  3. Filling Emotional Tanks

The league does not pay AVYSL Culture Keepers. They are volunteers. In return for their efforts they get a free Culture Keeper Hat, they are excused the 2 hour work duty requirement from each player’s parent. Also, they receive the thanks, respect and admiration of the players, coaches and other parents.

How much does it cost for my child/player to experience the benefits of Positive Coaching? And where does the money come from?

The Positive Coaching Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1998. Over time the PCA hopes to cover an increasing percentage of their costs through providing services to youth sports organizations, coaches, and parents. However, the PCA is highly reliant upon donations from individuals and foundations that share a passion for the PCA mission to transform youth sports so sports can transform youth. Therefore costs are low and are expected to be less than $5 per player. Player registration fees will cover the costs of providing PCA training for coaches and parents.

Do I need to register in advance to attend an AVYSL PCA workshop?

We strongly recommend you register for workshops in advance on the www.almadensoccer.org site. It helps us plan for materials and seating. If you don’t register in advance, the workshop that may suit your family or work schedule may fill up, (spaces are limited) and if you cannot make an alternative workshop, your team may not have enough trained coaches or parents to be eligible to participate in the league program.

What if I am a Parent/Coach of a Select or Comp player and I can’t attend one of the Spring workshops?

AVYSL is asking all Comp and Select team coaches to attend the spring PCA workshops. The workshop is a component of the mandatory all coaches pre season meeting. Teams whose coaches have not attended the mandatory coaches meeting combined with the PCA training before the start of the playing season may not be eligible for play.  If you are a parent and can’t make one of the workshops this Spring, more workshops will be offered in early Fall. These Spring PCA workshops are a chance to attend a PCA workshop before the busy Fall season starts.  Please bear in mind that the Recreational coaches and players will be attending the fall workshops, and spaces may be very limited.  Therefore, you should make every effort to attend the spring workshop. Check back on this web site for additional information about upcoming PCA workshops. 

I’m a parent/and I attended a PCA Parents workshop at another soccer league or youth sports organization. Do I need to attend a PCA workshop every year?

No, once you attend a PCA workshop you are “PCA Certified”.  However, because of the highly participatory nature of the workshops, no two PCA workshops are alike. You will learn something new every time you go.   Also, you will have the opportunity to attend more advanced PCA workshops offered by AVYSL in future seasons.

I’m a new parent and I did not attend a PCA workshop last year. Do I need to attend a PCA workshop?

The League encourages all parents to participate in a PCA workshop, however there is a minimum requirement of two parents per team. The League recommends that the Clubs establish expectations that will continue to expand the number of parents understanding, practicing and supporting positive coaching. Check with your Club for more information about participation requirements; each Club has their own policy towards participation by parents in PCA workshops.

Once I have participated in the basic workshop as a coach or parent or culture keeper, is there any further training or information available to me?

If you would like to learn more, there are numerous books written on the subject. Some of them are available on the Positive Coaching Alliance website.  If you would like to attend another more advanced workshop, AVYSL is considering inviting returning coaches and parents to a second, advanced PCA workshop “Coaching the Mental Game”. This workshop is ideal for coaches who have attended a PCA workshop already and want to learn about powerful motivational tools to use with youth athletes.

I am a returning coach and I did not attend a PCA workshop last year. Do I need to attend a PCA workshop? 

All returning coaches who have not yet attended a PCA workshop are expected to attend in Spring or Fall. In order to participate in the end of season JLYSL tournament or receive League sponsorship for other tournaments, at least one coach from each team must have attended a PCA workshop. Keep in mind that as an experienced coach, your participation in a PCA workshop is especially beneficial. Veteran coaches from older division teams are needed at the PCA workshops because of the wisdom and enthusiasm they can lend to the workshop experience for newer coaches.

I am a new coach and I will be coaching a U6, or U8 team in the Recreational league. Do I need to attend a PCA workshop?

Reaching the coaches and parents of the younger age groups holds the best promise of building a League-wide culture of positive coaching. AVYSL is committed to building a foundation of positive coaching expectations with the younger teams that can be built on as the player gets older and progresses into increasingly competitive team sports The League expects that all new coaches participate in a PCA workshop before the end of their first coaching season. If you are coaching soccer for the first time, you should attend a PCA workshop prior to or during your first season of coaching. Each of the Clubs is called upon to ensure that all coaches of U8 and younger teams participate in a PCA coaches workshop before the end of the Fall Season.

I’m an experienced soccer coach, but new to AVYSL, and haven’t attended a PCA workshop. I’m going to coach a team in one of the older age divisions (U10, U12, U14, U16). Do I need to attend a PCA workshop?

With over three hundred and fifty coaches and assistant coaches in the League, we are proud to have talented and experienced soccer coaches. For the good of the game, all new coaches are expected to participate in a PCA workshop before the end of the Fall season. This includes those in the older age divisions (U10+).

Is the PCA program just for this year? Will there be more PCA workshops next year?

The League has adopted the Positive Coaching model because of its benefits for the youth sports experience. The League’s Positive Coaching Alliance program isn’t just a “one year thing”; this year is the beginning of implementation of the Positive Coaching model.  AVYSL expects, (like other soccer leagues to have implemented this program), to reap tremendous benefits from the program for our players, coaches and players. Based on the success we all expect to achieve, we fully intend to continue the program in future seasons.

How is the Positive Coaching Program being rolled out at AVYSL, and what do I need to do to get involved in this exciting initiative?

·         Visit the page on this website explaining how the positive coaching methodology is being introduced and what the requirement are for coaches and parents.

·         Attend one of the PCA workshops offered by AVYSL. Check this website for details on workshops and dates.

·         Volunteer to be a “Culture Keeper” on your child’s team, and help spread the word amongst families that could not attend a workshop

·         Visit the PCA website at www.positivecoach.org

·         Purchase books on the subject from the PCA website, use AVYSL partnership discount on books, videos and other materials

·         Provide positive encouragement and feedback to the soccer player(s) in your family. Coaches, culture keepers and referees too !

What’s the point in doing this? My child’s team wins every game and we have never had a red card situation.

 We can get more out of the game than our opponents, even if they score more goals!  Playing competitive sports is not just about winning, or even about avoiding red cards, it’s about testing our abilities against a willing and challenging opponent and then learning from our mistakes and improving our game as a result of that learning experience. Most of us have experienced a “hollow victory”, and many of us may have truly mastered a game or art where we derive most of the pleasure from just being good at something as opposed to being the best.  The gift of “mastery” is derived from providing effort, learning and studying the game, and then making mistakes and learning from them. None of these things have anything to do with winning, but may easily be missed by a player, coach or parent not versed in the fundamentals of Positive Coaching.

 Positive coaching will make my child a better team member and teach them about sportsmanship, but will this be at the expense of their competitiveness on the field?

 Positive coaching will reinforce your child athlete’s confidence in their abilities and will give them the strength and will to try harder and achieve more on the field of play. Positive coaching will encourage strong relationships between teammates and coaches alike, and will enhance the team’s ability to function as a unit and score goals. Positive coaching has proven to be effective in enhancing team performance.