By John Murphy – Former Chairman, CA Youth Soccer Assoc. (CYSA)
To help us prepare for a New Year of Soccer we may want to read and consider this highly successful former State Association Presidents beliefs what the objectives of, ‘A Youth Soccer Association’ and its basic principles should be…
I believe that the true and greater purpose of youth soccer is to enable children to build positive character traits by acquiring social skills, learning to work together as a team, forming lasting friendships, obtaining skills necessary to succeed in school, and to avoid exposure to and participation in negative influences and behaviors such as gangs, drugs, teen pregnancies, and academic failure.
I believe it is the duty of all to recognize that our primary obligation and objective is to serve our children by providing experiences that will enable each of them to grow, learn, mature, and succeed as adults by becoming productive members of society and that “winning” an athletic contest is at best a secondary goal of youth sports.
I believe that volunteers are the foundation of youth sports because their objective is to serve youth to obtain the true and greater purpose of youth soccer and not for personal benefit or advantage.
I believe that youth sports are a supplement to, and not a substitute for, achievement in school and that educational opportunity and educational advancement is more important than youth sports.
I believe that every person must recognize and respect that the benefits of mutual association are at all levels accompanied by mutual responsibilities to each other and that each administrator, coach, player, and other participant has a duty to recognize that they are not themselves the object of youth sports, that they have obligations to others, and to understand that soccer is a team sport in which the interest of the team and others is more important than the pursuit of personal self-interest.
I believe we must continue to establish, maintain, and promote comprehensive leagues and associations whose objective is to provide a complete range of youth soccer opportunities for all children of all ages and abilities, including challenged players, beginning players, recreational players, and advanced players regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, ability, or economic status.
I believe that the primary obligation, objective, and purpose of youth soccer does not include providing a small pool of players, establishing programs, or providing money for professional leagues, national teams, for-profit organizations, or employment opportunities for individuals or entities.
I believe that seeking financial benefit and profit from youth soccer inherently and unavoidably conflicts with serving the best interest of youth and the true and greater purpose of youth soccer.
I believe that each individual involved in youth sports has a personal obligation to be honest and forthright with all players, parents, guardians, and others involved in providing soccer opportunities to youth by not encouraging false hopes, making false promises, or making statements that are misleading either in their own context or by omitting to state material information.
I believe that the concept of elitism is destructive of the welfare and well being of children, the sport of youth soccer, and contrary to fundamental American beliefs.
I know that these beliefs are a direct threat to some and for that reason are being subjected to unrelenting attacks by the adherents of Social Darwinism – the view that a few are superior to others and therefore “entitled” to take benefits from others without responsibility, by those who consider “winning” an athletic or series of athletic contests as the be all and end all of youth sports, and by those who view youth soccer as a means of acquiring personal financial gain. Because these beliefs serve greater goals and objectives than the objectives of those challenging them, however, they will endure as they have for many years the test of time.
By John Murphy
CA Youth Soccer Assoc. (CYSA)