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Code of Conduct


PSV players and coaches thrive on winning but not at any cost. Long term player development is our primary focus and the development of each individual is equally important to team development. PSV Union FC coaches are not judged by their win-loss record and nor are the players. The score of a game, albeit very important, is not more valued than the quality of play, the amount of improvement we see or evidence of the players giving their best effort. This is not to take away from the importance of the result of the match. Results come as a bi-product of playing well and in the end its excellence that counts, not success, because excellence breeds success and not necessarily vice verca. 

The most successful professional clubs in the world rarely focus on team results until players graduate into the senior/adult level.  While our US model is different in that we dont have an adult first team to aim for, we do have college and national teams which is the objective for youth clubs and families in the USA. Colleges & national team coaches dont recruit teams-they recruit individual people and players & are more likely to recruit players from a similar ethic and values system. 

Our experienced coaches were/are players themselves, so they understand the balance between short and long term results and player development. At PSV Union FC we always try to consider the individual player development and the development of each team but we dont compromise the integrity of the game and how it should be played. Technique, speed (of thought/recognition, technical speed, change of speed - acceleration and deceleration), tempo & rhythm and tactical understanding and appreciation are all important facets of the game.

We all recognize that competition comes with emotion -for players, coaches, parents and fans- and can bring out some of the best and worst qualities in people. We all want our players and teams to play with everything they have, to play well, and have fun so we are all on the same side. We want players to be well coached, play on a team that is competitive and benefit in a host of ways from being involved in competitive soccer. Yet parents and coaches can sometimes undercut how much fun our kids have, and how much they will actually benefit. This happens by and through our behavior as coaches and spectators.  

We ask that the following code of conduct suggestions be followed so that players can benefit from our teaching, and our coaches can coach the game and help every player enjoy the game experience and so you can enjoy and be proud of watching your daughters make independent decisions as soccer players as they develop their own identities and confidence. 

Thank you for your cooperation. 

Gary Ireland- PSV Union FC President & Academy Director


John is one of the most respected and experienced youth coaches in the world. He was 19 years working with Liverpool Football Club Youth Academy in the English Premier League, and several years as manager for the England U16 national team. John is one of 6 auditors for the English Premier League (EPL) Football Academies for 'Foot PASS England', evaluating & ranking EPL and F.A Academies into 4 categories representing a significant challenge in positively impacting the development of English home grown talent. FootPASS is also the Technical Auditor for Belgian, German and French Professional Leagues, all of which have been hugely successful in recent years. More recently John has been evaluation US Soccers Development Academies for MLS franchises and grades and ranks the Academies. 

John has extensively coached the following players: Michael Owen (European Footballer of the Year; Liverpool, Real Madrid, Man United & England); Steven Gerrard (Liverpool & England captain. European Champions League winner); Jamie Carragher (Liverpool & England. European Champions League winner); Wes Brown (Man United. European Champions League winner); Joe Cole (West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool & England); Steve MacManaman (Liverpool, Real Madrid & England. European Champions League winner-scored in Final); Leon Osman (Everton); Steven Warnock (Liverpool, Aston Villa); Robbie Fowler (Liverpool & England); Scott Parker (Newcastle, West Ham, Fulham & England) 


Only PSV coaches are permitted to coach games and practices

We want your energy from the sidelines, just not specific action instructions. We ask you give players encouragement, not advice and let the coaches coach. If you are telling your daughter - or any other players - to do something different from what their coach is telling them or perhaps what they feel is in their best interest, you may create distraction and confusion-even if you feel that its the right instruction. Chances are you may be right but let the players decide. 

Allow kids to be creative and take risks

It can be unnerving for young players to try and perform difficult tasks on the field at the spur of the moment when instructions are being yelling at them from the sidelines. This is especially so when they are attacking. At PSV we do require some constants when defending, however, we encourage creativity and personality when attacking. If players have been well coached, they generally should know what to do on the field although sometimes they may forget. If they make a mistake, chances are they will learn from it and the coach will see it and address it during the game, at half time or in training. Trust the players and coaches will try and correct errors. 

Avoid discussing mistakes of players in front of other parents. 

Even though people are all entitled to their own opinions, and sometimes we want to express them, remember that these are just kids, and some opinions are best kept to oneself. Comments such as, "I don't know how that girl made this team" or "She's just not fast enough" or "this or that player should be playing in this or that position" are damaging, detrimental to the player, team, parent and coaches environment and have no place on our sideline. 

Respond to negativity with positive comments. 

If you hear negative comments being made, we suggest that you discourage such toxic behavior by addressing these comments in a positive way. Speak to the positive qualities of a player, family or coach and encourage others to keep things in perspective and remain supportive of the learning process.

Do your best not to complain about your daughter's coach

Talking in a negative way can create as stressful and confusing environment for the players. If you have what you feel is a legitimate concern,  arrange an appointment to meet privately with our staff.  

Be encouraging not only demanding. 

Young athletes do not need to be reminded constantly about their perceived errors or mistakes unless this is done in a constructive way with solutions presented to the player. There will be games where coaches are instructing constantly, and others where the coaches will purposely let the kids play without instruction as a learning tool. Your words mean a lot as a parent. You can often see a young player make that extra effort when they hear encouraging words from the sideline about their effort and their creative play, a tackle or perhaps a great run to create space, for example.

Avoid making any negative comments about players on the other team

Even though you want your child to do well, and it’s easy to get caught up in the heat of competition, this should never be at the expense of another young player. These kinds of comments can be hurtful to the young person involved and to their family as well.

Try to keep interaction with parents on the other team as healthy and positive as possible. 

You want your child's team to win. So do they. But that should not make us take leave of our senses, especially our common sense. Be courteous until it hurts and avoid the 'tit for tat' syndrome.

Treat referees with respect

There are times when calls are 'missed' and the coaches and players will often feel the same as you do. And these missed calls can, unfortunately, directly affect the outcome of a contest. That said, by and large those who officiate at youth soccer games are hardly over-compensated, are refereeing for the good of the game and are honestly giving their best effort. At worst, they at least try to be fair and objective. Outbursts from parents on the sideline made toward the referees only signal to our on children on the field that they can blame the refs for anything that goes wrong. Blaming others is not a formula for success in sports. Yelling out sarcastic comments such as "Good call, ref" or "Thanks ref" may only serve to alienate an official which may sway future calls against our own team (subconsciously that is!) aside from being simply not acceptable. In most cases, if there is a problem, the coaches will address the referee directly, so please allow them to work it out.

Post Game Discussion With Your Daughter: 

Talk with your daughter immediately after the game but we suggest waiting until the player has 'downloaded' and had time to process their own game. The ride home is sometimes as important as the game itself. Make that time a good memory for your daughter by discussing as many positives as you can about her, her coach, her teammates, etc. Chances are that have already gone over every mistake they made on the field and everything they could have done better in their head, and with their coaches, so going over it again immediately after the game may not be the best time to discuss. For some players it may be fine but as players become older they are developing their own personality and need some space. Remember, its their performance. 

Avoid ‘heat of the moment’ comments. 

We all feel things and may be tempted to say things in the 'heat of the moment.’ But we don't excuse athletes for doing inappropriate things in the 'heat of the moment' so we should apply similar standards to our own sideline behavior. Quickly check yourself and ask: Will I be proud of what I am about to say or do when I reflect on it tomorrow? The field or car park is not the time to 'fan the flames.' Whether it is a coach's decision, a referee's call, a comment that was made, let it go.