A Memo to the Binghamton District by Bob Sokolinsky
Last month the new Binghamton District Commissioner in his opening statement spoke
on an issue he hoped would be received with some reservation and controversy. "New
York State West is not a competitively strong state in Region One." In fact, to those
on the coaching side of the house within Region One, NYSW is considered one of the weaker
states in both the Snickers competition and in the ODP circles.
Is this new guy on the block wrong in his assessment, is he blowing smoke, or
does the statement he made have some validity? YOU MUST BE THE JUDGE.
For sure, New York State West Youth Soccer is in very good hands. The officers and board
are eminently qualified and operate in a very professional manner. Their interest lies in
the betterment of youth soccer in the state and programs sponsored by the state are
operating in top form. The purpose of NYSW is to promote, develop and govern youth soccer
activities within its boundaries.
Yet at the highest competitive level, our players are slower and require more touches on
the ball to accomplish a task than do players from a number of states. Because of this
lack in speed of play, NYS West players are not selected to Region One player pools in
great numbers, and affiliated teams generally do poorly against club teams from other
states. Occasionally a team or player emerges from the fold to experience success yet the
success stories are too infrequent.
The problems are very clear and the solutions are within the grasp of everyone involved in
youth soccer. You can have an impact. You can have a hand in activating the solutions. It
is only through your efforts that the level of play can be upgraded.
1. Youngsters are not being properly trained because many coaches are ill-prepared, to
tackle the important task of developing players
making them better players today than
they were yesterday.
2. Most recreational programs have parent/coaches with little or no training and/or
background in the rules of the game, the pillars of the game (techniques, tactics, fitness
and the psychological dimensions of soccer), or an understanding of the children in terms
of psychomotor, cognitive, and social capacities and needs.
3. Many club or travel coaches lack basic coaching tools necessary to be of any great
value to their players. Many, coach to win matches vice coach to train and develop soccer
players. Few coaches actively expose their players to stronger teams the number of
teams that elect to participate in the Presidents Cup vice the Snickers State
Cup competition is one example.
1. New York State West is doing its part to upgrade the level of play in the state. The
Director of Coaching is onboard and very each district to work with him to provide as many
coaching courses as possible.
2. Leagues and clubs must actively seek to train their coaching staffs and sponsor
coaching courses within their community.
3. Courses are available for recreational coaches through the new training modules for U6,
U8 and U10/U12 coaches.
4. State and national sponsored coaching courses are held throughout the year.
5. Seminars and workshops are conducted from time to time. Leagues and clubs must get
their membership out for these events.
6. Travel teams must travel to the meccas of youth soccer and participate against the
best. Tournament organizers must draw top quality teams from other areas to our state.
7. Participation in the Snickers Cup is a very important challenge, and the prize is
monumental the right to participate at the regional level against the best from
8. Club organizers must direct players towards the ODP program, where they can become
exposed to better players, and experience an environment where they are required read and
respond to the game as opposed to simply responding to how a coach wants them to play.
EACH ADULT MUST ACCEPT OWNERSHIP FOR THE PROBLEMS AND ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE
STEP NUMBER ONE
START BY WORKING WITH AND ACCEPTING THE GUIDANCE OF THE NEW YORK STATE WEST,
Region 1 Reaches 1 Million Players
A Report from the Region 1 Administration Meeting by Bob
During the weekend of October 16-18 1998, I attended the Region One workshop in
Farmington, CT. Others in attendance from the Binghamton district area were Gary Acker
(Sub-Region I B Assistant Director), Tim Mellander (NYS West State Registrar), and George
Herrick (interim NYS West State Coach). The entire NYS West contingent was very busy in
meetings acquiring as much new information as possible. Gary was helping to oversee Region
I B affairs. Tim attended the region registrar's meetings; George was busy in separate
meetings with Ian Redpath, the new NYS West ODP Administrator. George and Ian were banging
out organizational issues for the upcoming NYS West ODP year. The plan should be announced
very soon. The workshop was very important for me. I renewed some
Region One contacts from the past and developed some new ones (valuable sources of
information). I spent much time with other NYS West board members developing a solid
I attended the Region One 'breakout' meeting for the ODP Super League. Last year was the
inaugural year, and only half of the matches were played. The region is very serious about
making this program work in 1999. Larry Monaco (former candidate for President, US Soccer)
has agreed to co-chair the league along with Adele Dolansky (Region IA Director). Larry
and Adele are two people in Region One who have a long history of getting things done.
What is the ODP Super League? The league was established to allow state ODP teams to
compete in league competition with like teams from other states in the region. Last year,
NYS West place only their two youngest boys and girls teams into the league. It has not
been decided yet which NYS West state ODP teams will participate in 1999.
The workshop was also a celebration. To all Binghamton District administrators,
organizations, coaches and managers, congratulations on doing your part in helping Region
One reach it's milestone: 1,000,000 players!! We must however continue to work towards
increasing membership even more.