Keeping AYSO In The Kids Zone
By: Sahar Milani
The role of parents and fans in AYSO is to be cheerleaders
not critics. Kids Zone®
is a unique AYSO program that reminds
everyone how important that cheerleading role is.
includes a parent pledge that moms and dads
sign to commit to positive, encouraging behavior when they’re
watching their children play soccer. It also includes field signs,
buttons and other game-day reminders.
is all about providing AYSO players with a safe,
friendly and fun environment to learn soccer. In all sports,
players learn by trying new things. Sometimes they’ll succeed,
sometimes they won’t. Those sideline critics who scream
instructions at players or criticize the coaches or referees make
it harder to learn, and equally important, make the experience
less fun for everyone. And your player won’t want to try a new
technique or skill the next time.
An important aspect of Kids Zone®
is the Parent’s Pledge.
It covers six very important items for creating a fun and safe
atmosphere for AYSO players to develop their skills.
For more information on activating Kids Zone® in your
Region, contact the AYSO National Office at (800) USAAYSO.
Or visit AYSO.org/KidsZone
- Parents agree to be on time or early when
dropping off and picking up a child for a practice
or game. Remember, it’s embarrassing for
children to have to wait for mom and dad to pick
them up. And by dropping off your child late
for practice, you put him at physical risk by not
providing enough time for a proper warm-up.
- Parents are reminded that the three reasons
that kids play sports are to have fun, make
new friends and learn new skills. Parents must
understand that the game is for the kids, and it’s
their job to encourage their child to have fun.
Athletes do their best when they are emotionally
- Parents will redefine the word “winner.”
A winner is someone who makes maximum
effort, continues to learn and improve, and does
not let mistakes stop them.
- Parents will honor the game by setting an
example of sportsmanship. Parents should
show respect to everyone involved in the game
from players to coaches to referees. Everyone
makes mistakes—including coaches and referees.
That’s how everybody learns!
- Parents agree to cheer, leaving the coaching to the
coaches. During games, kids are over-stimulated.
The coach is giving instructions, teammates and
opponents are talking, the crowd is cheering,
and the referee is blowing the whistle. A parent’s
instructions yelled from the sideline just adds to the
- Parents will promise not to make any negative
comments about the game, coaches, referees
or teammates in their child’s presence.
Working with your team and Region and following
these six important steps will help create an atmosphere
that makes AYSO a fun learning environment. More
importantly, your children will look forward to their next
AYSO game! Let your Region know you support Kids