The ice has officially been broken on organized sports in my family.
I have heard all the stories about soccer moms, hockey dads, and basketball wives (wait, scratch that last one) and now have joined the ranks of crazy parents who yell at referees and talk trash to other people’s kids.
Typecasts and over generalizations aside, I couldn’t be happier.
To fast forward all the way to the end, I actually had tears in my eyes as I watched my son get a medal on the last day of soccer upon completing the season and equally enjoyed watching all of the other parents have this joy as they watched their children do the same. If I might digress for a second, I fully support an end of the year reward such as this medal, but if I’m still writing in the years to come when they start giving out trophies to both winners and losers, you better believe you’re going to see a nice, long article on my feelings about this topic. (I’ll give you the cliff notes – no win, no trophy.)
But, there is a time and place for everything, and right now it’s all about the Chelmsford Youth Soccer Association. Follow that link right there and take a quick cruise around their website. Are you kidding me? It’s better than most corporate websites I have visited. This should tell you most of what you need to know about this organization in that they put forth the effort and care about their product.
All activities were well-organized, all of the coaches and volunteers were prepared, communications via email and/or website were first rate, and overall I just felt like my son was in good hands and was learning skills that he could apply. We tried indoor soccer with him the previous winter and I just felt like many of the exercises were busy work to get through the hour. Not the case with CYSA.
My favorite, favorite part of the whole experience was Coach Ben. Coach Ben is from “far, far away across the ocean” as it was explained to the kids and was absolutely great with them. (I will gain nothing by trying to guess exactly where he lives based on his accent, so let’s just say Europe and I promise to ask him when he returns for the spring session.)
Coach Ben is exactly what I’m talking about when saying CYSA cares about their product. Most of the time the kids were all split into groups with anywhere from 8 to 10 kids per group, but to start the day and a few times thereafter, Coach Ben would call everyone together and teach games to play when split back into groups that would help the kids learn basic soccer skills. As a large group, he would demonstrate the games with the coaches while the kids watched on, then when split back into smaller groups, the coaches would re-demonstrate for the kids and then play. Brilliant.
Water breaks were given about 5 times over the course of the hour, and aside from Day 1 jitters and shyness, my boy was enthusiastic about every activity and had a smile from ear to ear. He learned basic soccer skills like dribbling, passing, shooting, evading, chasing, and defending while myself and my fellow parents documented every single second with our smartphones.
Big shout out to Coach Pete who was our coach when split into groups. The man has patience, is great with kids, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that our request for him as a coach in the spring is made a reality.
Thank you to all of the coaches, referees, equipment managers, volunteers, administration, and simply anyone involved in making CYSA what it is today. Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to see everyone again in the Spring.
If you are interested in joining in the fun, visit their registration page and get ready for some action.
This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 12/10/11.