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BC Soccer wishes you and yours a Happy New Year

As we embark on an exciting new decade, BC Soccer offers some resolution suggestions for 2020 and beyond. 

Jan 2, 2020 - Vancouver BC

It feels extra special this year, as we are also sliding (studs down) into a brand-new decade, that includes a World Cup on home soil in 2026! Now visible on the horizon, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will help put Canada onto the same stage as global soccer superpowers.

With world events such as this, we must also remind ourselves of the importance of fun, inclusion and participation. Participation and long-term development can not only co-exist but are co-dependent for future on-field success.

If you are reading this, it’s because you already care about the game, and do your part to make it happen in whatever capacity; being a coach, board member, referee, administrator, parent and/or all of the above! Unfortunately, some involved in our game need reminders on what respectful behavior looks like when it comes to soccer, and specifically youth soccer.   

With that in mind, BC Soccer would like to offer 10 resolutions for the coming year and beyond, that if we all take a moment to incorporate into our soccer activity, could greatly improve the soccer experience for everyone involved.

#10: Relax on the weekend 

The car ride home should be spent talking about anything BUT soccer. If you think dissecting your 8-year-old child’s soccer performance is helpful and will improve their prospects…have a word with yourself. 

#9: Accept that your child is NOT the next Messi

99.97% of youth players will not go on to be professional soccer players. Fun environments that support all abilities allows players to make mistakes and learn without pressure. That way, coaches and parents can relax a bit, enjoy the games and dial down outrageous adult intensity that plagues so many youth sports on gamedays. Fun is what keeps players in the game.

READ: BC Soccer 2018 Player Retention Survey FULL REPORT

#8: Organize a team function

Getting teams and players together in a non-soccer setting/activity can have a great impact on the bonds between them, and their parents as well. A team is just a small community, where ideally, everyone enjoys each other’s company. Research has proven players benefit greatly from the social aspect of sport participation, which helps their confidence and self-esteem later in life.

READ: UBC Study on the benefits of participating in youth sports

#7: Support Pro Soccer

BC is home to MLS’s Whitecaps FC, the Canadian Premier League’s Pacific FC, hopefully a new Regional Tier 3 adult semi-professional league and maybe one day, even more professional clubs. More clubs equal more opportunities for everyone associated with the game, including supporters. Get out and support soccer in your community! 

#6: (and again) Relax on the weekend

As a soccer parent, there is absolutely no reason for cheering the 14th goal in a blowout game as if it was a World Cup winner. Posting lopsided scores and “the 9 goals my kid scored” on Facebook is also not demonstrating good sporting behaviour that we should be modeling for our children. Remember, scores and standings aren’t even kept for players below the age of 13 and this is for good reason.    

#5: Go watch a game in your community

You probably have a local team that competes in an adult amateur soccer league close to home. Maybe there’s a college or university nearby. Soccer is about community, and there are some very good players and teams that would love your support.    

#4: Join a team 

Yes, you are already busy. You coach, maybe you referee, you’re a parent, and you probably have a career. However, the social and health benefits of kicking a ball around even once a week in casual drop-in like settings are numerous. 

#3: Take a coaching or referee course

It’s not just about learning the sport and the methodology behind coaching it; it’s also about meeting other coaches inside and outside your club and building a support network and fraternity.

Refereeing is the same way and we are also looking for soccer enthusiasts to help increase the quality of our referee talent pools.

The game experience is completely different when you know and respect the individual on the opposite touchline and in the middle!  

WATCH: Learn to Train Coaching Course hosted by BC Soccer and Langley United Soccer Association

WATCH: Inside a C-Licence Coaching Course September 2019

#2: Make safety a top priorty in everything you do 

Whether you're a referee inspecting a field, a team official creating an emergency action plan, a manager who makes sure there's first aid included in your equipment...we should always have a player's safety top of mind.  Do you know the signs of concussion? Does your team have a dismissal policy for younger age groups?  What about the rule of 2?  Make safety a top priority this coming year.

READ: Canada Soccer Safety guide

#1: Don’t be THAT adult that yells at a referee

There is absolutely no excuse for anyone to be yelling at a referee, especially if that person is a grown adult and the referee is a 12-year-old or teenager.  That official, could be YOUR kid.  Would you scream at your own child if they get a math problem wrong? If a player you coached made a mistake, would you lose your marbles and yell at them in front of everyone?  We'd hope not! Players model their behaviour from the coaches and parents surrounding the team...be mindful of your actions. 

The ugly truth is that referee retention is a major issue we are collectively faced with and when surveyed, most referees that quit do so as a result of the way they are intimidated and/or berated by grown adults.

WATCH:    Referee Role Reversal Video

We can all do better in 2020!

About BC Soccer

BC Soccer is the provincial sport governing body with the mission to govern, promote and develop the game of soccer in British Columbia in a professional and progressive manner. Established in 1907, BC Soccer is the largest provincial sports organization (PSO) in BC and the third largest soccer-specific PSO in Canada with over 150,000 participants.  As a professional not-for-profit society and a member of Canada Soccer, BC Soccer is committed to providing the widest opportunities for existing and potential participants, as well as provide support in the most effective and appropriate way for current players, parents, volunteers, member clubs, leagues, and districts.

BC Soccer is comprised of more than 120,000 registered players, over 2,200 registered referees, and thousands of volunteer coaches, administrators, and soccer leaders. Working with its 40 member Youth Districts and 11 Adult Leagues as well as their affiliate member clubs, BC Soccer operates under the guiding principles of Professional Leadership, Passionate Service and Progressive Collaboration. In managing its relationships throughout the larger soccer community, BC Soccer’s vision is to ensure every British Columbian has the opportunity to be involved in soccer as part of a lifelong commitment to an active, healthy and involved lifestyle.