On October 5th and 6th, Washington Youth Soccer is partnering with the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) and Seattle Sounders FC for the first ever Honor the Game Weekend. There are two massive parts of this event, both equally important to the growth of soccer in our state.
On Saturday, clubs around the state are challenged to show how they’re honoring the game of soccer during their matches. Keep reading and watch our social media channels for ideas on how our athletes can participate and enter to win a signed Sounders FC jersey!
Sunday’s events are equally important: Seattle Sounders FC will be demonstrating their own ways of honoring the game as they take on Minnesota United FC in the last regular season home match of the year. Use our exclusive ticket link to not only get a discount, but also to support Washington Youth Soccer and our efforts to build the sport in our state.
What does it mean to Honor the Game?
Positive Coaching Alliance promotes a handful of topics that are centered on their core principle, The Power of Positive. Chief among those is Honoring the Game:
The idea of ROOTS comes from one of PCA’s guiding manuals, Jim Thompson’s Elevating Your Game. It’s basically an outline for how respect and honoring the game overlap in specific ways. It’s also very similar to what we’ve conveyed in the Respect campaign here at Washington Youth Soccer.
The rules of a sport have been developed and modified for a reason. Rules keep the game fair, and they also keep athletes safe. Don’t try to work against the rules or bend them; respect the role they play in your sport.
As you want respect, give respect to your opponents. As Jim Thompson suggests in his book, “fierce and friendly” opponents are what we should strive to be and have in competition.
Officials are doing the best they can to enforce the rules and maintain a safe environment for play. They are people too, doing the best they can, and there is never an excuse for disrespecting officials.
Make your teammates proud by doing the best you can (on and off the field) and by supporting them in all their efforts.
Finally, and most importantly, you have to respect yourself in order to uphold an honorable approach to sports. Set high standards and live up to them.
How can I Honor the Game this weekend?
Washington Youth Soccer wants to encourage everyone involved in our clubs and leagues to find their own ways of honoring the game this weekend and beyond, but here are a few suggestions for those looking for ideas:
- Self-control for everyone involved encourages cool heads to prevail, from players to coaches to parents to referees.
- Parents: stay silent on the sidelines, except for positive cheering for your athlete and their club.
- Think twice about bending the rules as a player; many seasoned players have likely experienced this in a match at some point, but it shows true respect for the game to follow the rules even when you think you can get away with bending them.
- Recognize how much your opponents can help you get better. Instead of thinking of them as your enemies, think about how facing them has improved your game—and thank them for it afterwards.
- Respecting match officials, no matter what. Despite what you might see on TV, true professionals respect and honor the referees at all times. Don’t surround the referee after a perceived bad call; respect his decision and move on with the match. Thank him (or her) for a job well done at the end of the match, no matter how much you disagree with their decisions. This goes for parents, too.
- Recognize that we’re all in this together, and that honoring the game means picking up and encouraging everyone involved with every match you play. Parents and coaches need to not only respect each other during and after matches, but they should also respect the athletes on both teams.
- Foster a culture of respect and honor at all times. When you see a teammate, parent, or coach breaching that culture, remind them of how important it is to Honor the Game.
How will you Honor the Game?
Send us your photos, videos, and stories about how you honored the game in your matches this weekend for a chance to win a signed Sounders FC jersey, just in time for the playoffs! Any athlete currently on the roster of a Washington Youth Soccer club is eligible to participate. Submit your entries via email, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and a winner will be selected next week.