Milton High School Boy’s Soccer
Parent Meeting Packet
Dear Soccer Parents/Guardians,
The soccer season is quickly approaching and the coaching staff is looking forward to having the opportunity to work with your son. As with the start of every season there are a number of dates, times and events families are asked to remember and participate in.
Our job is to help our student athletes become winners. Success is not reflected on the scoreboard at the end of the match, nor in win-lost column. Success is reflected in the hard work, the honesty and the desire the athletes put forth in making themselves better. Even though we cannot always win, we can always be winners. We strive to create a season of significance for each team.
Paperwork and user fees
All paperwork and fees must be handed in before you can practice. Any exceptions MUST be cleared by the AD first. User fee, medical authorization completed. Physicals or alternate year cards.
Time/punctuality: we will practice M-F from 3:30-5:30pm (length and times are subject to change) during the regular season. All the players must be on the practice field (Schilberg Park) on time, ready to start warm up at 3:30. Players must change clothes before they get to the practice field. Time lost is time wasted! Players who miss practice the day before a game can lose playing time. On game days you must be at school every hour or you cannot play. If you are unable to make practice you MUST notify a coach either by e-mail or phone prior to practice.
Working with teachers
Players who stay after school to finish tests or schoolwork with a teacher must bring a written note signed from that teacher to practice. No verbal excuses will be accepted. School always comes before soccer. If you are academically ineligible, you must get your grades up before you can play with the team.
At all times (school, practice and games) players are expected to show self-control, discipline and good sportsmanship. Players in this program are Milton Red Hawks and everything they do during the season (and off season) will be reflected on their community, their school, their teammates, their coaches and their soccer program. Players must work hard to be sure they bring honor, respect, and pride to themselves and everyone involved in the program.
We encourage players to participate in all their family’s activities and we encourage parents to plan these activities around their children’s school activities. Players who miss practices or games for this reason, also miss valuable time at school and with the team. Too many absences will open playing opportunities for those who are present at practices.
All players on the team will be required to travel together on the bus. A player who needs to return home with their parents MUST have written permission from the athletic director before we leave Milton. Emergencies do come up and the coach can authorize an athlete to leave with their parents.
Food For Hungry Players
Rather than stop after a game or eat junk food at the concession stand, we will organize to have subs for each road game. We will need a parent to organize this with Cowley's Piggly Wiggly and also need volunteers to pick up the subs and have them to the bus before it leaves. Players will cover the costs of the subs.
Playing Time / Team Selection
Varsity—We will carry around 18 to 22 players on varsity. Under classmen will have the chance to play JV as well to get some more playing time as long as the numbers permit us to do this (if we have full rosters this may not always work). Once we select our team, these players start to compete for our First Eleven as starters. The team is then classified into a First and Second Eleven (if we keep 22 players), with the First Eleven consisting of the starters and the Second Eleven consisting of the backups. The Second Eleven players will be constantly fighting for a spot on the First Eleven. Players move back and forth between each group during the season based on practice and game performance, injuries, match-ups and other circumstances. Whether a player is on the First Eleven or the Second Eleven we are all part of the same team and striving for the same goals. Everyone has a role on the team, even if a player doesn’t see much playing time they still have a necessary role during the training process and they are ready if the situation happens. The biggest drawback to a 22 player roster is the amount of playing time the players can receive. The players near the bottom of the roster do not get much of an opportunity unless we are in command of the game or losing by a large margin. Typically, we will use a three goal margin with 20 minutes to play, as a benchmark for giving the Second Eleven some quality minutes on the field. The Second Eleven will get more opportunities if we are ahead or behind by three goals in the final 20 minutes. That is not to say that they do not get opportunities within the game. We substitute quite freely if the players are close in ability with the player in front of them. In the past with the numbers we’ve had, we haven’t gone to a 22 player roster until late in the year and since JV wasn’t full some underclassmen (and even some seniors) could get more playing time during JV games. After tryouts happen, we may take some upperclassmen aside and talk to them about their role on the team. If we don’t foresee them as being in the top 13 or 14 players, we want to explain to them up front that they may not see much playing time and we want to talk about that role before we let them decide if they want to be a part of the team or not. Some of these players may have done everything the program has asked of them, but their skill level is not at the caliber needed to compete at the varsity level. Some players will accept the role and are excited for the opportunity to be a part of the team. If the upperclassman cannot handle that role on the team, that spot would be better served by training an underclassman on the Second Eleven, giving the underclassman a better chance to be a First Eleven player the following season. If a player has a concern over playing time the coaches will always discuss with them what they need to do to improve, eventually leading to more playing time, but not the topic of time itself. Playing time is based on the needs of the team not the player. Some players may not get much playing time during a competitive season.
JV—This is a building level of our soccer program, everyone on the JV team will receive playing time in all games as long as they are in good standings with the team rules and Coach Calhoun. Must be at practice, show effort, have a positive attitude and have passing grades.
Freshman— Same as JV, this is a building level of our soccer program and everyone will receive playing time in all games as long as they are in good standings with the team rules. Must be at practice, show effort, have a positive attitude and have passing grades.
With the cutting of athletic budgets the soccer program has less money to work with to buy essentials, while prices go up. If you would like to help raise money for the soccer program your help would be appreciated. We are always looking for new ideas. Our biggest money maker since I have been here is our own Milton Invite. We generally generate about $2000-4000 profit to be used towards new equipment, travel expenses, etc. It is a big tournament so everyone’s help is needed.
Parent’s night will be held at the end of the JV game and before the varsity game. It is scheduled to happen on Tuesday (9-15-15) against Stoughton. During that time the parents will be acknowledged for their support and commitment. Please bring your spirit and support.
Senior night is a special night for seniors. This will mark their last home game of their high school career. Come and show your gratitude for the time and effort they have put into the program over the years. They will be missed and deserve our recognition. This will happen on 10-2-15 while we host Madison Edgewood.
More details to come…but it will be held on 9-22-15 against Fort Atkinson.
To receive an award a player is evaluated in five categories by their coach. Them being: cooperation, courage, honesty, industry and leadership. Varsity players can also be nominated for all-conference and all-state honors which are voted on by other coaches.
Coaches may choose to do extra awards as well for the banquet. Examples are defensive MVP, offensive MVP, most improved player, golden boot winner, pass master award, etc.
*Players who receive an athletic code violation will be ineligible for all-conference awards and will not be considered for captaincy. Any code violation during the season will prohibit the players from receiving a varsity letter or any of the awards handed out by the team. Any equipment not returned at the end of the year will result in failure to receive post-season awards.
Equipment / Fine List
We provide the student athletes with top of the line equipment to use throughout every season. We expect them to treat everything with care. After the season is over the equipment must be turned in on the scheduled collection date. Please make sure your son attends this day as it makes life much easier for the coaches and the athletic office. Otherwise we are hunting players down to turn things in and then Brian has to deal with it in the athletic office and get it back to us. If equipment is not turned in that day it will be added to the fine list (which must be paid off before graduation). Also, any equipment not returned at the end of the season will result in failure to receive post-season awards at the banquet.
The Milton Soccer team website can be found at www.miltonredhawkssoccer.com. Check this site often as I will continue to update it. I also have a Facebook page for Milton Soccer. “Milton Red Hawks Boys Soccer” is the name that it is under, like the page if you want to keep up to date with things. I thought this page could be used to post pictures from games, keep alumni informed, etc.
Again we really need the help of parents this year. Our tournament is a big money maker for the program so your help is greatly appreciated. The high school now runs the home game concessions, so we don’t have to worry about that. You guys can just focus on cheering on the team.
For the Milton Tournament on Sept 5 and 6, we’ll definitely need a lot of help. We need parents at both Schilberg and the stadium field for concessions and ticket sales. There will be a lot of spots to fill so please be available that weekend, that includes everyone. All three teams will be representing Milton that weekend. JV and varsity will be playing and freshman (if we have a team) will be volunteers (ball boys). We’ll also need some poster board for team standings, etc at each concession stand. Since I came on board in 2007, we have had a very successful tournament each year (except in 2008 when we got rained out), and have increased our earnings every year.
Communication (Chain of Command)
Simply put, if players have an issue which they feel the need to discuss, it is their responsibility to talk to their coach. It is not the job of the parent to speak on their child’s behalf; it is all on the player’s shoulders. For example, if there is a conflict on the freshman team, that player is expected to talk with his coach. If the issue is not resolved, that player can request that the head coach of the program meet with him and the freshman coach. If the issue is still not resolved, then the parents may ask for a meeting with the freshman coach, the player and the head coach. The next step would then be the athletic director and eventually the principal, but this step should only be reached in extreme scenarios. To recap the steps:
- Player meets with coach
- Player meets with coach and head coach (varsity=head coach and assistant)
- Player meets with coaches and parent
- Player meets with coaches and athletic director
- Player meets with coaches, athletic director and principal
**If a situation arises and a parent goes directly to the AD or principal they will first ask if the chain of command has been followed and if the athlete talked with his coach. If not, the parent will be instructed to follow the chain of command. If it is not resolved, it will eventually come back to the administration so the parents will then get their chance to talk with them. By following the chain of command, the parents learn that this is a way to empower their child in their activities.
Milton Boys Soccer Program Expectations
- All players will be at practice each day you are in school, 100% attendance is required. Absences are very rarely excused. For each unexcused absence, there may be a game time penalty. Work is not excused. School related functions are excused, family vacations are not. If you are gone for an extended period of time others may move ahead of you. This is not a punishment; it is the nature of athletics.
- Should you be absent from school, you must e-mail or call a coach to inform them of your absence that day
- Be on time for practice dressed and ready to go by 3:30 (cleats, shin guards, running shoes)
- If you need to see the trainer, do it immediately after school and bring a note to the coach if you will be late.
- Make every effort to schedule appointments to not conflict with practice time.
- Do not put others down or make fun of them, respect your teammates.
- Making mistakes is part of the game and learning so who cares, its all part of the learning process.
- If you don’t like a practice session try your best and don’t complain to others that you don’t like it—that kind of attitude brings the team down. We are doing the activity for a reason, so even though you might be great at it, others might need that extra practice.
- When a coach is talking, listen up. If another player is speaking, listen up.
- Give 100% at all times and never give up.
- No swearing!!
2. Game Day
- On game days dress up as a team for school.
- Act as an adult on the bus to and from games. No loud music and you are responsible for all trash left on the bus. Any player in violation of a substance issue during a contest or traveling to and from a contest will be removed from the team.
- You will ride the bus to games and come home on the bus. Do not ask to go home with your parents.
- Be on time for bus departures. We will leave on time by the coach’s watch. If there is an early release, leave class at the ASSIGNED TIME.
- If there is an emergency at home you may get permission from the coach or a note from Mr. Hammil the day before the game.
- Varsity team must watch the JV team play and the JV team must watch the varsity team play.
- Behavior at school, in the community and at opposing schools is expected to be excellent since you are representing your parents, team, school and community. Be proud to be a member of our soccer program. Remember you are role models for younger players and they emulate your behavior and attitude. No wandering off at opposing schools during the JV game. Always conduct yourself with class.
- Maintain a high work rate during the game and never give up. Treat opponents, teammates and referees with respect.
- No selfish play.
- You must be at school for every hour of the day or you cannot play.
3. Communication with the Coaching Staff - Expectations of Parents.
- If parents have a concern to discuss with a coach: Please do not attempt to confront a coach before or after a practice or game. These can be emotional times for both the parent and the coach and meeting then often does not lead to a satisfactory resolution. There is a chain of command. At all times the player needs to address his coach with any concerns. A meeting with a parent will not be a possibility unless the player has met with the coach first. Communication is the key here and we will follow those lines of communication.
- Appropriate concerns for parents to discuss with coaches:
- Treatment of your child, mentally and physically.
- Concerns about your child’s behavior.
- Issues not appropriate for parents to discuss with coaches:
- Playing time.
- Team strategy.
- Other team members.
- One last thing, before the season starts ask your son what they want to get out of this season. You might be surprised at what they say. Everyone is in this sport for different reasons. Some want to play college soccer and go to the next level, whereas others are out there maybe just for exercise or to hang out with their friends. Some might be fine playing at the JV level their high school career and others might strive to captain the varsity team. I just want to make sure you and your son are on the same page.
Parental Support - The Key to Peak Performance
The role that parents play in the life of a soccer player has a tremendous impact on their
experience. With this in mind, we have taken some time to write down some helpful reminders for all of us as we approach the upcoming season. If you should have any questions about these thoughts, please feel free to discuss it with us, the coaches.
1. Let the coaches’ coach: Leave the coaching to the coaches. This includes motivating, psyching your child for games, after game critiquing, setting goals, requiring additional training, etc. You have entrusted the care of your player to these coaches and they need to be free to do their job. If a player has too many coaches, it is confusing for him and his performance usually declines.
2. Support the program: Get involved. Volunteer. Help out with fundraisers;
anything to support the program.
3. Be your child's best fan: Support your child unconditionally. Do not withdraw love when your child performs poorly. Your child should never have to perform to win your love. Make sure that win or lose you love them, as the person in their life that they can always look to for support. Try not to live your life through your kids. You’ve lost as well as won. You’ve been frightened and backed off at times. Sure they are an extension of you but they may not feel the same way as you did, want the same things, or have the same attitude.
4. Support and root for all players on the team: Foster teamwork. Your child's
teammates are not the enemy. When they are playing better than your child, your child
now has a wonderful opportunity to learn.
5. Do not bribe or offer incentives: Your job is not to motivate. Leave this to the coaching staff. Bribes will distract your child from properly concentrating in practice and game situations.
6. Encourage your child to talk with the coaches: If your child is having difficulties in
practice or games, seeking more playing time, etc., encourage them to speak directly to the coaches. This "responsibility taking" is a big part of becoming a big-time player. By
handling the off-field tasks, your child is claiming ownership of all aspects of the game -
preparation for as well as playing the game.
7. Understand and display appropriate game behavior: Remember, your child's self esteem and game performance is at stake. Be supportive, cheer appropriate. To
perform to the best of his abilities, a player needs to focus on the parts of the game
that they can control (his fitness, positioning, decision making, skill, aggressiveness, what the game is presenting them). If he starts focusing on what he cannot control (the
condition of the field, the referee, the weather, the opponent, even the outcome of the
game at times), he will not play up to his ability. If he hears a lot of people telling him
what to do, or yelling at the referee, it diverts his attention away from the task at hand. Remember that the officials are necessary. Don’t overreact to their calls (the coaches will do their best at this as well J). They have rules and guidelines to follow representing authority on the field. Teach your kids to respect authority and to play by the rules.
8. Monitor your child's stress level at home: Keep an eye on the player to make sure that they are handling stress effectively from the various activities in his life.
9. Monitor eating and sleeping habits: Be sure your child is eating the proper foods and getting adequate rest.
10. Help your child keep his priorities straight: Help your child maintain a focus on
school work, relationships and the other things in life beside soccer. Also, if your child has made a commitment to soccer, help him fulfill his obligation to the team.
11. Reality test: If your child has come off the field when his team has lost, but he has
played his best, help him to see this as a "win". His fun and satisfaction should be derived from "striving to win". Conversely, he should be as satisfied from success that occurs despite inadequate preparation and performance. Teach your kids to enjoy the thrill of competition, to be out there trying, to be constantly working to improve their skills, to take physical bumps and come back for more. Don’t tell them that winning doesn’t count because it does, and they know it. Instead help them develop a healthy competitive attitude, a “feel” for competing, for trying hard, for having a good time.
12. Keep soccer in its proper perspective: Soccer should not be larger than life for you. If your child's performance produces strong emotions in you, suppress them. Remember your relationship will continue with your children long after their competitive soccer days are over. Keep your goals and needs separate from your child's experience. Try to be completely honest with yourself about your kid’s athletic capability, their competitive attitude, their sportsmanship and their level of skills. Don’t lie to them about their capabilities as a player. If you are overly protective you will perpetuate the problem.
13. Courage: Teach your kid’s the meaning of courage. Some of us can climb mountains, but are frightened about getting into a fight. Some of us can fight without fear, but turn to jelly at the sight of snake. Everyone is frightened about something. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is learning to perform in spite of fear. It’s overcoming it.
14. Have fun: That is what we will be trying to do! We will try to challenge your child to
reach past their "comfort level" and improve themselves as a player, and thus, a person. We will attempt to do this in environments that are fun, yet challenging. We look forward to this process. We hope you do to! If the kids aren’t having, we’re missing the whole point of youth sports.
**This is posted on the back of our goals list for the season. Each player on varsity gets a goals list that they can keep in their bag to remind them what they are trying to achieve.
A team is as strong as the relationships within it. The driving force of a team is its member's ability to create and maintain excellent relationships with the team that can add an extra dimension and robustness to the team dynamic. This attitude can be used by our team to focus on the gratitude and the vitally important benefits that the team brings to our own lives. It can be used to strengthen and deepen the relationships within it and maximize the opportunities that await a strong and united team.
Our team becomes stronger by:
-Displaying a positive attitude on and off the pitch
-Everyone making the right decisions for the team
-Have an unshakeable belief that we can achieve our target
-Believe in the strength of the team
-Always want more and always give more
-Focus on our communication
-Be demanding with yourself
-Be fresh and well prepared to win
-Focus on being mentally stronger and always keep going to the end
-When we play away from home, believe in our identity and play the soccer we love to play at home
-Stay grounded and humble as a player and as a person
-Show the desire to win in all that you do
-Enjoy and contribute to all that is special about being in a team - don't take it for granted.
Milton Soccer Homework
Rules for player’s homework:
-Each player is required to write at least half a page about their performance for every game. Homework is required for every game and is due at the beginning of the next practice. NO EXCEPTIONS!!! Even if you don’t play you still must turn in your homework.
-I want every player to examine his performance and discuss what was done well, what was done poorly and what to work on individually and as a team. No whining about playing time or teammates.
-Also mention how much sleep you had and what you ate to prepare for the match.
-On the bottom of the page, each player must rate themselves and the team from 0 to 10 (10 being the best).
-Sign your name
I know some of you might be thinking isn’t it the coaches job to let you know how you played. And this is what I used to do. I used to write game reports for each player after games, highlighting what they did right and what they may need to work on. Players liked this, but I never got any valuable insight into the players and how they viewed the game. When we discussed each game, I maybe got a couple points from a few players, so I thought maybe players would be more comfortable expressing their thoughts in writing as opposed to speaking among the other players.
What I’m hoping to get out of this is to see how much you guys are aware of changes that occurred during the game. You might discuss what the other team did during the match, maybe include snippets of coach’s points like first-touch, shape, playing out of the back, etc. Might insert a sentence or two suggesting that we work on certain aspects of the game more in daily training. I will always respect those suggestions because I want you guys to “take ownership” of this team. Hopefully by the end of the season the homework will become clearer and we can identify problems that may have plagued us since the start of the season.
Sometimes you may see the game entirely different from what the coach’s see and this will give us info to be able to speak privately and try to clear up any misconceptions.
Having you guys do game reports should increase the communication within the team. Having you evaluate yourselves forces you to examine how you played and gives coaches another window into your thoughts.
I know you already have enough homework from school, but I think by the end of the season you will conclude that at the end of the day the homework you did made you guys and the coaches better.
Milton High School Soccer Philosophy
As a team we have had success and failures along the way if you just want to look at our win/loss column, however I have always maintained that I want Milton to pursue possession based soccer. With the wide variety of skill we see coming into the high school program, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but we are still trying to achieve that goal. And while it may be frustrating at times if we aren’t seeing the results (wins), we can know that we are doing the right thing in pursuing playing the “right” type of soccer. This style of soccer is the one that most develops technical and tactical players developing the soccer brain.
All 3 teams will play a 4-3-3 with a single pivot (defensive mid), but more importantly, all teams must play a possession-orientated attacking style of play. Our mission is to create teams that operate as a collective, not as individuals. This philosophy centers around two main components: possession and pressure. In possession, ball circulation and player movements are choreographed and purposeful with the intention to break down, expose and then exploit our opponent’s weaknesses. Out of possession, high pressure and organization become the key components. Regaining possession as fast as possible is the main objective, but the pressure is synchronized and executed as a collective, not as individuals. Again, the pressure is choreographed and rehearsed so that movements become second nature.
Lastly, as a team we play together, we fight together, we defend together, we attack together, we score together, we get scored on together and we win and lose together.
Milton Soccer key concepts:
-Receiving across your body
-Playing out of the back
-Playing through the lines
-Switching the point of attack
-Numerical advantage in attack
-Attacking outside backs
-Losing your mark
-High pressure defense