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Tustin AYSO Region 96

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Oct, 2021

Silent Saturday

Silent Saturday is a game day where parents and coaches don't talk to, yell instructions to, or even vocally cheer for the players during the game.  The purpose is to let the players learn and enjoy the game for themselves and with their teammates.  Kids need to make their own decisions in soccer, right or wrong, to develop as successful players. This helps them think on their feet during a game and not rely on the instructions their parents or coaches are yelling from the sidelines (which they usually can’t hear, much less process, during the game anyway). 

Here are a few of the reasons we have a Silent Saturday:

  1. To give players a chance to trust their skills and instincts without sideline input, and without concern that their mistakes will be corrected from the sidelines in a game environment.

  2. To foster leadership skills among the individual players as they have the unique opportunity of giving instruction on the field.

  3. To foster a sense of true teamwork as the players must learn to rely upon one another and communicate with each other accordingly.

  4. To remind coaches, parents, and players that PRACTICE is the time for instruction. Games are the showcases for learning and fun.

As stated by John Oulette, AYSO National Coach and previous National Coaching Advisory Commissioner:

“We don't want to turn the children into parrots waiting for someone to tell them what to do.  Soccer is a free-flowing game for children to enjoy and learn from playing. As an organization, we discourage sideline instruction not just from parents but also from coaches.”

One thing that definitely needs to be understood is that we are not asking you NOT to cheer for your players. We are simply asking you to do so in a silent manner. Clapping, not yelling or cheering, is encouraged!  Or maybe your team can decide to use the gesture of hands up in the air and waving to celebrate a goal. Use your imagination to think of silent ways to encourage your player and show your support for your team!

So what do we ask?

First off, Silent Saturday does not apply to the U5 division where our coaches and trainers may help direct the kids.  Parents may cheer and clap, but should not give soccer instructions.

U6 coaches may provide some limited directional instruction, but should refrain from coaching players "on the ball," e.g., don't yell "pass" or "shoot" to a player who has the ball.  Parents should observe our request for silent support.

Coaches and parents in all other divisions should observe our Silent Saturday request for the day as best they can.  Coaches should try not coach or instruct the players during the flow of play.  Coaches may talk to the players regarding substitutions or positioning, and may speak quietly to their players on the sidelines.

Referees will help remind coaches and parents about our Silent Saturday guidelines.

For older-aged teams, if you are playing outside Tustin or against a team from another region, you should still follow our Silent Saturday guidelines but consider letting the other team know what and why we are doing this before the game starts.  Maybe they'll decide to follow along.  But even if they don't, at least they'll appreciate and understand why our sideline is being so quiet.

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Tustin AYSO Region 96

13681 Newport Ave. Suite 8, Box 195
Tustin, California 92780

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