Without going too deeply into the philosophy of the youth programs, I would like to share some thoughts and offer suggestions to you.

An incident that occurred during a game over the Memorial Day Weekend tournaments prompted this article.

Standing near the sidelines, I overheard a spectator father shout angrily at the coach: "If you take my son out, you'll certainly hear from me." It was a 12-year-old game -- a final!

The coach was visibly upset.

In certain countries, the clubs have a rule at youth games, that only the coaches are allowed to give instruction to the players.The parents are encouraged to encourage!

For boys and girls up to age 9 years I would not have "standings." I would allow a coach onto the field during the play to guide the children.

Seven-a-side games across the field should be organized using smaller goals and a size 4 ball.

The skills will improve much more quickly and the players will become more involved in the game.

Taking aways some of the pressure also will allow the referee to make good "judgment" calls. No red or yellow cards should be given out.

Remember, the earlier years should be fun while learning.

Don't let winning be everything; everyone wins by playing. EQUIPMENT

The shoe -- Your soccer shoe should be "snug" on the foot. Shoes that are too big will have some effect on your play. If your feet are still growing, buy a cheaper shoe.

Lace up the shoe firmly and tie the knot on the outside part of the foot. (No knots on the inside or instep to affect the kick.)

On a wet surface or on a good grass field, use hard studs. On a hard field with little or no grass, wear rubber studs. Shin guards protect, so wear them.

Tie the stocking on the outside, just below the knee. Do not tie around the calf muscle and restrict circulation.

You do not need any knee pads or elbow pads, a goalkeeper being the possible exception.

If eyeglasses are worn, secure them and have shatterproof lenses. LOOK THE PART

Firt aid -- Every team should be equipped with a first-aid kit. The coach/assistant or a parent should have some basic knowledge in this area.

Ice at games is a necessity. Ziploc bags are very useful for holding ice.

For pulled muscles and twists, ice should be applied immediately to stop internal bleeding and restrict swelling. Remember: I-ice C-compression E-elevation

Prevention is always better than the cure. Stretch out and warm up before the game. You should be ready to go full out the moment the game begins. During the game, especially in hot weather, take in plenty of fluids but drink slowly.