Letter from a Volunteer Coach:
Today I heard a comment made about me behind my back. I started to turn around and look, but then decided better of it and kept my eyes on the field. My wife hears things like this more often than I do, because many of you don’t know who she is. She tells me what you say. I have received angry emails, full of “suggestions,” about who should be playing where and how I... lost that day’s game for the kids. I thought I’d write an open letter to all of you parents, even though I might never send it. I’ll start it this way: “I am a volunteer.”
I’m the one who answered the call when the league said they didn’t have enough coaches. I understand that you were too busy. I have some news for you. I’m not retired. I’m busy too. I have other children and a job, just like you do. Not only do I not get paid to do this – it costs me money. I see you walk up to the game 15 minutes after it started, still dressed for work. Do you know I’ve already been here over an hour? Imagine if you had to leave work early nearly every day. I’ve never seen you at a practice. I’m sure you’re plugging away at the office. But I’m out here, on the field, trying my best to teach these children how to play a sport they love, while my bank account suffers.
I know. I make mistakes. In fact, maybe I’m not even that great of a coach. But I treat the kids fairly and with respect. I am pretty sure they like coming to my practices and games, and without me or someone like me, there’d be no team for them to play on. I’m part of this community too and it’s no picnic being out here on this stage like this. It’s a lot easier back there with the other parents where no one is second-guessing you.
And I also know you think I give my son or daughter unfair advantages. I try not to. In fact, have you ever considered that maybe I’m harder on him than on the others? I’m sure he hears plenty of criticism at school from classmates, who hear it from you at home, about what a lame coach I am. And if, even unconsciously, my kids are getting a slight advantage because I know them better and trust their abilities, is that the worst thing in the world, considering the sacrifice I’m making? Trust me, I want to win too. And if your son or daughter could guarantee we’d do that, I’d give them the chance.
After this game is over, I’ll be the last one to leave. I have to break down the field, put away all the equipment and make sure everyone has had a parent arrive to pick them up. There have been evenings when my son and I waited with a player until after dark before someone came to get them. Many nights I’m sure you’ve already had dinner and are relaxing on the couch by the time I finally kick the mud off my shoes and climb into my car, which hasn’t been washed or vacuumed for weeks. Why bother cleaning it during the season? Do you know how nice it would be if, just once, after a game one of you offered to carry the heavy gear bag to my car or help straighten up the field?
If I sound angry, I’m not. I do this because I love it and I love being around the kids. There are plenty of rewards and I remind myself that while you’re at the office working, your kid is saying something that makes us all laugh or brings a tear to my eye. The positives outweigh the negatives. I just wish sometime those who don’t choose to volunteer their time would leave the coaching to the few of us who do.
POBSC Hosts Nassau & Suffolk County Developement Program
This past weekend, member clubs of the Nassau Development Program and Suffolk Development Program met for the first time in a series of U9 match conditions, or friendlies. Hosted by Plainview-Old Bethpage the event helped reinforce the ideals of these two player development program platforms.
Both the NDP and SDP programs are cooperative partnerships of the member clubs that use controlled games or friendlies within a group of geographically convenient soccer clubs to create a common focus on the development of U8 and U9 players. The Nassau program, led by Oceanside’s Steve Padaetz, began in the fall of 2010 as a platform for Under 9 (U9) intramural players and expanded in the fall of 2011 to include Under 8 (U8) intramural players. The SDP program, headed by West Islip’s Gary Kofsky, began play in the Fall of 2012.
Our very own Tom Beattie, was very instrumental in helping to organize this first time event and has carried the flag for POBSC and the ever-growing NDP/SDP to help create a true outlet for ALL children to compete against one another without standings and trophies but based upon soccer developement.
With assistance from several POBSC Board Members including Matt Sack, Russell Willlens and POBSC referees it was truly a special day.
The aim of the programs is to provide an intermediate phase of play between intramural and travel soccer, introducing eight and nine-year olds to the concepts they will be introduced to in U10 travel soccer. But while the program provides a more competitive environment for young players, the focus is clearly on skill development and in-game decision making for players, rather than results. There are no scores or standings kept for these games, and following matches this weekend, teams exchanged patches and received an individual T-shirt and other materials included within the player-family Welcome Packet supplied by LIJSL.
“To me, it really puts the fun back into soccer,” said Plainview-Old Bethpage vice president Joel Sklar during his club’s event on Saturday afternoon. “Kids get to play with their friends and be kids, but still get to develop their skills and play the game competitively without being concerned about the result or a lot of yelling and screaming from either sideline. It’s really almost a “pick up” soccer sort of environment, which creates a positive feeling around the game for these kids.”
The programs are flexible and cost effective, with some clubs using the development program in lieu of intramural play, and some using it as a supplement . U9 teams play a six-match season, and U8’s play four games, and both feature recommended small sided games of 6v6 (U8) and 8v8 (U9), though even that is flexible depending of roster sizes and field sizes.
But the program isn’t just about the development of the players. Youth refs are asked to officiate the matches, and appropriate behavior by players, coaches, and spectators is another area of focus. In fact, one of the first things we noticed at the two locations we visited this weekend was how quiet the field area was despite several games going on at once!
“We consider this a breeding ground for players, coaches, officials and parents,” Sklar said. “The people who are part of this program, from the administrators, to the coaches, to the youth officials are here because they love the game and enjoy the game, and they are all learning to focus on the fundamentals of the game and not the results.”
The formula seems to be working. Sklar says that his POB club has seen a marked increase in participation in travel programs.
“We brought out eight travels teams last fall,” he explained. “That’s a lot of kids playing competitive soccer, and that’s good for the game.”
WHO DOES NOT LIKE A GOOD VIDEO..............................
We have started a NEW "Video Link" page on our website. While we would eventually love to show our kids and club events on this page, our first attempt will be focused on US as parents. If you have ever turned on the tv and watched a show called "when good animals have gone bad"; the theme of these videos is something we would like to call, "when good parents have gone bad".
Hopefully we can all learn from these and videos and only have to watch the last few.
It Must Be More Than Just Soccer - Or We Are Doing Something Wrong
For those of you who are not familiar with Dave Allen, he is one of the most respected members of our organization who truly "gets it". Dave has served our club in many capacities (elected board member, coach, clean-up guy and more) and has only one intention with each role he has played and continues to play...............that is to bring the love of the sport, friendships and true sportsmanship to everyone he comes in contact with. Currently Dave is the Assistant Coach on the Boys U14 Revolution and the Head Coach for the Girls U17 Cyclones.
Dave's consistent feeling that it must be more than just soccer has helped the Cyclones continue to stick together and continue to enjoy not just the game but each other’s company both on and off the field. This past weekend was no exception as the Cyclones traveled to the Berkshires to play in the inaugural Fieldhouse FC Nor'Easter in Canaan, NY. Traveling to tournaments is nothing new for the Cyclones. One of their favorite events they participate in is the Whitewater Cup in the Pocono's where they would play soccer one day and go rafting the other day. In true Cyclone fashion after the first year they decided to skip the soccer and just go rafting. This May will be their 4th trip.
They have always looked for a similar event in the winter, in which they could play soccer and go skiing or tubing on the same trip. With the newly constructed Fieldhouse at Canaan (under 3 hours from Plainview) just built they found the ideal spot. 12 of their 20 players made the trip for the weekend. The Cyclones stayed in Pittsfield Massachusetts just 8 miles from the Fieldhouse. The tournament schedule was designed so that a team traveling from Long Island would not begin play until 12:00 PM. They played 3 very challenging games in the brand new facility and were finished by 4:00 PM.
After a night of pizza and bonding in the hotel the Cyclones spent Sunday afternoon tubing at Bousquet Mountain also in Pittsfield. As usual they all had a great time and agreed that although Bousquet was fun there are many more challenging slopes in the area that we can go to next time.
If anyone would like to know more about Dave, we would impress upon you to go to the Message Board Forum section on the website and read Dave's posting which is titled: What kind of parent am I?
Soccer may not be as popular in America as it is in the rest of the world, but it is alive and well on Long Island. Want proof? The most hotly contested categories on the program year after year in the annual "Best of Long Island" issue for the Long Island Press is none other than which town has the best soccer club.
Each year from October 1st through December 15th voting is open for Best of Long Island. During this 75 day window, everyone can vote for whatever local store, restaurant, business or person they feel should hold the top spot in that category.
We are very proud to announce that the Plainview Old Bethpage Soccer Club has finished for the third year in a row in the top three of soccer organizations on Long Island. For 2013 POBSC finished #3 soccer club on Long Island.
The decision to focus on the development of ALL children, no matter what their skill level, shows that the direction of POBSC is right on. The success of our Club is based on providing support for all our teams, who compete at various levels of soccer throughout Long Island and with the Northeast region. Our Club’s focus is on being inclusive, increasing participation at all levels and ensuring that players develop a passion and love for the game so that they walk off the field with similes on their face.
This cannot have been accomplished without all of the children who participate (over 1,400 strong), the parents who help support the club, the coaches who volunteer their time, our sponsors, support from the POB school district and the board members who work 12 months out of the year to keep it all running as smoothly and successfully as it does.
Again this is something that WE all should be very proud of and not take for granted. This just proves that not only is soccer alive and well on Long Island, BUT alive and doing VERY well here in Plainview Old Bethpage.
Congratulations to us all
TopSoccer Program - POBSC & LIJSL
Come On Out And Support This Heart-Warming Program.....................................
This program was initiated to accommodate those children and young adults who are not able to participate in a regular or mainstream soccer activities. The program provides an opportunity for children and young adults with special needs to enjoy participating in soccer games and related activities. In addition to weekly games and practices, our teams participate in various indoor & outdoor tournaments and attend an annual awards dinner. LIJSL also hosts a tournament with a BBQ in June of each year.
Our program is very flexible as we try to accommodate everyone's needs. There are no minimum ability and/or attendance requirements, each child and young adult is free to participate as much and as often or as little as they like. Our practices and games take place Saturday mornings at 9 am at the Long Island Soccer Park, 1425 Old Country Road Plainview, NY.
POBSC is very proud to be a part of The TopSoccer Program since it's inception over 32 years ago and will continue to support this wonderful program for many years to come.
For further information regarding this program, including dates and times to help volunteer your time, please go to the TopSoccer Section in our Main Menu.
No matter how cute they are, please NO pets are allowed on the POBSC Travel Fields or parking area. Thank you for all your support in this matter.
On Sunday October 21st the POBJFK Boys Varsity Soccer Team ran a clinic for the boys & girls of POBSC. It was a
huge success as the kids had a fantastic time. We want to thank the Hawks and their coaches for their hard work
and taking the time to spend with our children. We also want to wish them best of as they enter the 2012 High
We have placed pictures from the clinic on the website in the Photo Album section in the main menu. As per Coach
Ho, "we would love to do this each and every year, as all the players, coaches and Hawks had a geat time".
During the morning clinic, the children worked on striking the ball, positioning, passing, defense and more. Assistant
Hawks Coach "Cal" took his goalies and our POBSC "keepers" aside and ran through several drills to sharpen their
skills as well.
On Friday & Saturday evenings the POBJFK Boys & Girls Varsity Soccer teams played home games. Thanks to the requests by each varsity coach, the children of POBSC had the opportunity to participate as honorary ball boys/girls for each game. As was expected the children had a great time before capacity crowds at Hawks Stadium.
We look forward to many more events throughout the year which will combine these highly skills athletes and the children of POBSC. Currently the Plainview Old Bethpage Soccer Club has clinics set up where Coach Ho (of the Boys varsity squad) and her players wil be holding free clinics for all the boys and girls of POBSC from our Pre-K divisions through our travel divisions. For a quick update on the games, both the boys and girls teams won and gave the crowds plenty to cheer about.
For a complete calendar listing, click here!