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Spring 2019 President’s Note

By Josh Ohotto, STMA President, 05/03/19, 10:45AM CDT

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Spring has sprung! Welcome to the 2019 soccer season to you and your family from your STMA soccer Board! In 2019, the club’s Director of Operations, Director of Coaching and the Board have been working together to move the club forward in our mission to promote the game of soccer for all youth in St. Michael, Albertville and the surrounding areas. With the new dome facility down and the grass coming up we move to the outdoor fields.

As a reminder, with the re-branding of our club to a new logo, we have many offerings on our website, www.stmasoccer.org, of apparel, pins, hats and customized water bottles. Wear and use the merchandise with our logo proudly as we leverage its unique qualities to represent the area and our club and to show we are United! Do you have your logo wear for the season?

While sporting your new digs with our logo on the crest, do you have friends or neighbors that inquire about the club? Do you have a family down the street playing soccer in their back yard looking for a team? Our club’s recreational program is made for those who would like to play and learn the game in a structured low-cost environment. The recreational program is our feeder program for our competitive programs, and without those players registering to try the game, play the game and learning to love the game, we don’t grow the game or create competitive programs for the player looking for a more competitive environment to learn the game. With the start of the summer recreational program on June 11th, I ask that you point those you know who may be interested in soccer to our website www.stmasoccer.org.

With opening of the fields, comes a fresh start to the season. The anticipation and expectations are high, the players are excited and the opportunities for success are at hand! With all of that emotion built into the game and our players, now is the time to reflect on how we will react when a call or play doesn’t go our way. The Board and our code of conduct policies discourage parents, coaches and players from talking poorly about other players, parents, referees and coaches. Negativity is toxic and spreads quickly. In recent years some clubs have had difficulty finding referees to hire for their games. Without referees, there are no games, or if the supply for referees is low, costs to play rise. In our annual coaches meeting, the coaches have been instructed to not challenge a referee call during the game. However, before games they should speak with the referees to ensure clarity of rules and expectations and during the break at the half or post game they may have a discussion with the referee as to why or how they saw a call. Personally, as a coach and parent observer I have not seen success in reversing a call when berating a referee mid-game or yelling at them across the field. If there is a concern for player safety during a game, coaches will request a stoppage of play and have a discussion with the other coach and referee. If play cannot continue safely then the coach will end the game and forfeit. Our club has not had to take it this far before. This is a simple reminder that this is a great game, not of disrespect and spite, but meant to be fun and exciting.  Let’s choose to respond that way with cheers, not jeers!

The Board thanks you for your commitment and pride as a team manager, coach, parent, family member or player for a great 2019! As always feel free to contact your Board or our club employees with questions, compliments or concerns as we move through the 2019 soccer season.

Sincerely,

Joshua Ohotto