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Massachusetts Strong All Content

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Click on the dropdown's below to see resources, activities and challenges for this week, or click on the tiles at the bottom of the page to view content sorted by topic.  

 

Activities and Content for Week 1

Mental Strength Monday - Goal Setting

goal-setting_(1)Goal-setting helps boost youth athlete’s motivation and commitment. It draws direct attention on what you want to accomplish and helps to determine strengths and weaknesses in addition to tracking performance. 

Challenge: Create a list of 3 to 5 goals that you want to achieve as an athlete. Instead of saying, "I want to get better at soccer," a better goal might be, "I will work with the ball 30 minutes after school four times a week." Keep in mind your goals should be (SMART) Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time specific.

 

Creating these goals are a great way to start off the new year and the month of January.


For more information on Goal Setting: Click Here

Technical Tuesday - Indoor Crazy Golf

Try your hand at Indoor Crazy Golf. Click here to download PDF

U8__Crazy_Golf

Number of Players:  1 - 4 – kids, parents, grandparents (whomever is available)

Equipment:  Any indoor space and a tennis ball each (or tennis ball size.)

Organization:  Each player starts with a ball. For U12 & older players – if more than 1 player is involved, 1 player picks the target, the next player determines the path to the target & any other players select the par. Targets can be par 3, 4 or 5. The higher the par the harder or further the target. An example of a target in the picture above, hit the table with the light on it but you must go to the right of the coffee table before playing to the target table and the par is 4.

Object of the Game:  All players begin from a similar area.  Pass the ball in the direction of the target or obstacle.  Once your ball has stopped rolling, you can hit your 2nd shot. Your goal is to make it to the target in par or less. Keep playing until you hit the target; maximum score on any target is 10.  As in golf, each player keeps track of their own score.  

Wellness Wednesday - Hydration

Screen_Shot_2020-12-16_at_1.14.35_PMHydration is an important part of daily health and it can enhance or hinder your performance on the soccer field.  A general ballpark is individuals should drink half of their body weight in ounces.  Daily factors to consider are exercise intensity and duration, weather, and many more.  

 

A great way to make sure you are staying properly hydrated is tracking your water intake though apps on a cell phone.  Examples: My Water & Drink Reminder, Drink Water Reminder N Tracker, Water Reminder- Daily Tracker. 

 

Challenge: Download one of the apps mentioned & track your water intake on a rest day & day of activity!

 

Thankful Thursday - Sportsmanship

RootsThe key to a strong sportsmanship culture lay in its  ‘ROOTS’.  It is important for a player to remember that the responsibility in displaying good sportsmanship involves respect of  the Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates and of course, one’s Self. 

 

Enjoy this article from the USYS on Sportsmanship ‘ROOTS’: Teach Youth Athletes Good Sportsmanship 

 

Fitness Friday - 1 hour of Physical Activity

2018-policy-doc-cover-smallThe Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition  issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services, recommend that children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 years do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. 

Regular physical activity in children and adolescents promotes health and fitness. Compared to those who are inactive, physically active youth have higher levels of fitness, lower body fat, and stronger bones and muscles.

Physical activity also has brain health benefits for school-aged children, including improved cognition (e.g., academic performance, memory) and reduced symptoms of depression.

Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence can also be important for promoting lifelong health and well-being and preventing risk factors for various health conditions like heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Challenge: Keep a diary of your physical activity during the months of January, February and March 2021. Share your creative workouts with Mass Youth Soccer on Social Media by tagging @mayouthsoccer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Activities and Content for Week 2

Mental Strength Monday - Meditation

med

Have you ever been distracted by parents shouting in the stands or by the other team while on the field playing?

Meditation is a highly effective outlet that can help keep you focused on the field. Being able to ignore all distractions and negative thoughts can improve your performance and help you succeed.

Meditation is also great for calming nerves, decreasing stress levels and improving sleep patterns. There are multiple apps that can guide you through meditation, here are some examples: Headspace, Calm, and Meditation for Kids. 

Task: Practice 20 minutes of meditation twice a week. 

Technical Tuesday - Soccer Bowling

Try your hand at soccer bowling.  All you need is some indoor or outdoor space,  a soccer balls & 10  pins (tall cones, empty 2 liter plastic bottles, toys) . If you do not have 10, use as many as you have.

Click on the link below or the graphic for full instructions on how to play! 

How to play Soccer Bowling

Wellness Wednesday - Enhance Your Hydration

Screen_Shot_2020-12-16_at_1.14.35_PM

While proper hydration will improve every system in the body, function better and minimize risk of injury and muscle cramping, it can get boring and flavorless. 

 

Change it up by adding in cut up fruit into your water or small packets of dehydrated citrus fruit like lemon, lime, or grapefruit. 

 

Another option is flavor-infused ice cubes by adding in a few drops of fresh juice or fruit in each tray. 

 

Most importantly, stray away from products that are ‘flavored’ as more often than not, it is due to fake sugars and artificial ingredients.

 

Challenge: Try a new flavor combination in your water for 3 days this week to find your favorite kind!

 

Thankful Thursday - Practicing Gratitude

Gratitude has a language all its own and by practicing it, you can help the world connect in ways you never thought possible. Whether it is a hand written letter, a heartfelt spoken word, a nod, or a smile, the power of a Thank You can give a person a positive indelible memory they can keep forever. 

 

Most often, in order to give gratitude, we must experience it ourselves. How can you make gratitude a part of your daily routine?

 

Take our Gratitude Challenge in the month of January and each day, keep a journal of 3 things you are grateful for everyday as part of your daily routine. These things can be people or places as well. At the end of the month, you will have the most special reminder of what brings you joy and what you are most grateful for.

 

Enjoy this short story as a reminder of how our attitude can affect gratitude.


Gratitude Story –Help Others Value Humanity and Time Click Here

 

Fitness Friday - Walk, Run or Jog

A great way to get yourself moving is to do aerobic activities such as going for a walk, run, or bike ride. These type of activities will make you breathe fast and get your heart going. This is a great way to stay in shape for the soccer season. Even though the weather is cold, getting outside has great health benefits including improving brain function, concentration and reducing stress. Health-related apps can make physical activity more engaging and fun for your Fitness Friday. Map My Run and Strava are two apps where you can track your runs, post photos and interact with friends.

Challenge: Go on a run or walk twice a week and track your progress using one of the apps above.

Activities and Content for Week 3

Mental Strength Monday - Self Esteem

Self_Esteem

Building your self-esteem as an athlete 
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
  • self–es·teem: a feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities;
  • a confidence and satisfaction in oneself: self-respect
Below are mental game tips to help sports kids perform their best in competition:
 
1. Let go of fear- Most athletes fear making a mistake in the game, of letting their team down, or of not making “the” play that causes the team to lose an important game. All athletes will make mistakes but once the mistake is done the best way to go about it is to learn from it and move on. 
 2. Play freely instead of holding back- Knowing and believing that the athlete has done everything possible to prepare for the event not only gives the athlete a mental edge over the competition, but also increases the athlete’s belief in his or her skills and abilities. The athlete’s knowledge and belief in his or her skills allows for freely applying these abilities needed during the competition.
3. Make no comparisons- Each athlete must be looked at individually, as a valuable asset to the team, and each athlete should understand the value that he or she brings to the team. 
 4. Don’t try to be perfect- Athletes must believe in their training, abilities, and skills, and they must understand that mistakes are learning opportunities.
5. Be confident- The athlete must have confidence in the hours spent mentally and physically preparing for the event - the repetitions, the workouts, and the coaching.

Technical Tuesday - Hallway Passing

Hallway_PassingNumber of Players: 2 – kids, parents, grandparents (whomever is available)

Equipment: 1 tennis ball and the longest hallway in your house.

Organization: Each player chooses an end to play from. Players must start at opposite ends of the hallway and as far apart from each other as possible.

Object of the Game: Pass the tennis ball to your opponent without hitting and walls. Your opponent has 1 touch to play the ball back without hitting any walls. If a player hits a side wall with the ball, they lose 1 point. Whomever has the ball closest to them restarts the game once both players are ready. Once either player loses all their points, the game is over. Begin a new game with all players starting with 10 points.

Scoring: Each player starts with 10 points.
-1 point for hitting a side wall.

Who is the first player to lose all their points?

Variations (select as many variations as necessary):

  • Allow more touches as needed.
  • Limit the touches the winner of the previous round gets.
  • Return to a closer distance and try to play 1 touch back and forth. Open the distance again each round.
  • (kicking the ball in the air could cost points, player’s choice)
  • 1 player or both players must use their weaker foot.

Wellness Wednesday - Pre-Workout Fueling

Pre-Workout_Fueling

Having energy throughout a training session or game, especially on days where players have school or even other sports activities, is a challenge for many youth athletes.  Fueling the body properly is essential for optimal performance on the playing field. Take a look at this article to learn more about WHEN to eat and WHAT to eat prior to training.  Always keep in mind that every athlete is different and it is important to experiment to see what works for YOU! https://truesport.org/nutrition/pre-workout-fueling/

 

Challenge: Experiment with how long prior to a session you need to fuel your body so you can have energy the entire time!

 

Thankful Thursday - Volunteering

VolunteeringVolunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction, while doing good for others and the community. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. Click the links below on how you can better serve others.

 

Youth Sport Trust Click Here

Youth Volunteer Case Study Click Here

Oprah on Volunteering Click Here

 

 

Fitness Friday - Just4Kicks - Online Injury Prevention Database

Just_For_Kicks_LogoJust4Kicks, led by Dr Julie Hubbard’s comprehensive exercise database was designed for youth soccer players, in an effort to promote injury prevention and performance enhancement amid the COVID-19 related "stay at home" orders.

View the full library of videos by clicking on the link below: 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFYrwdcO2Xy4YZU1D6tTOKw

With much uncertainty surrounding the coming winter months, Just4Kicks has created a user-friendly, virtual bank of exercises that players can implement for the comfort of their own home! These exercises are user-friendly and involve minimal to no fitness equipment, allowing athletes a sense of 'autonomy' and 'competence' when completing their workouts. The database is a collection of 10 YouTube playlists with 300+ exercise videos. Each playlist starts with a "How To" video, describing exactly how to capitalize on each individual playlist. 

Please direct any specific exercise technique/prescription questions to contact@just4kicksboston.com.

Activities and Content  for Week 4

Mental Strength Monday - Focusing on what YOU can control

By choosing a team sport, you lose control of many things – your uniform, your position, your playing time and much more. The key things you CAN still control include: 
  1. Attitude
  2. Effort
  3. Communication
  4. Conditioning
  5. Learning
  6. Concentration/Focus
  7. Confidence
Too often, we as athletes, coaches, and parents, waste time worrying and complaining about things beyond our control. 
Putting our energy and focus on things we cannot control makes us feel anxious, uncertain, and fearful. On the other hand, putting all of your focus and energy on things you can impact — what sports psychologists call “controlling the controllables” — makes you feel empowered.
Read this article on how you can control the mental side of your soccer game. https://www.soccertoday.com/in-soccer-control-the-controllables/    

Technical Tuesday - Revs Remote Training Team

Revs_Remote_TrainingMass Youth Soccer is excited to collaborate with the New England Revolution to provide Technical Training videos for the #MassYouthSoccerStrong Program.

 

Please click HERE to view the videos.

 

The Revolution has put together a new catalog full of engaging, educational, and exciting videos for everyone to utilize for free! We hope this tool is helpful for everyone while at home or on the fields!

 

This week’s Revolution Remote Training video is focused on Ball Mastery.

The Revs Academy will take you through 3 fundamental activities for improving Ball control.

  1. Toe Touches
  2. Foundations/Side to Sides
  3. Pull, Push, Behinds

All you need for this week is a 4x4ft space, a soccer ball and a phone/computer to follow along..

Make sure to listen to the coaching points while watching the video for maximum development.

 

Please note, Players (Parents/Guardians) will need to sign up for the Revs Remote Training Team to gain access. 

 

Wellness Wednesday - Post Workout Recovery

Post_Workout_Recovery

Part of being an athlete is knowing how to re-energize your body after a training session.  While you might be starving and want to eat whatever is easily accessible, properly fueling your body with foods that are optimal for recovery are important.  Athletes should be able to assess if the session was high, medium, or low intensity as this will help them gauge the timing and needs of refueling. 

 

Take a look at this article to see some of the best ways to start your recovery through food: https://truesport.org/wp-content/uploads/TrueFood_Recovery-Snacks.pdf

 

Challenge: Try one new recover snack this week after a training session!

Thankful Thursday - Practicing Gratitude

Gratitude_2Playing and living for something beyond the scoreboard is said to enhance performance in athletes. 

 

Gratitude inspires student-athletes to take better care of themselves. Grateful athletes tend to take better care of their bodies and sleep 10% more and feel more alert and focused which leads to better performance in competition and the classroom. Enjoy these articles and a short clip on how gratitude impacts athletic performance.

 

The Impact on Gratitude in Sports Performance   Click Here

 

How Gratitude Can Make You a Better Athlete   Click Here

 

3 Ways Teammates Can Express Gratitude And Improve Overall Team Chemistry   Click Here

Fitness Friday - FIFA 11+ Kids

11_kids_posterIn children below the age of 14 years, there is a very little research relating to both epidemiology and the prevention of football injuries. F-MARC recently conducted a prospective study over two seasons in the Czech Republic and Switzerland. The overall injury incidence was lower compared with that in youth players. Interestingly, children suffered from a relatively high percentage of fractures, bone stress and other injuries of the upper limbs. This data inspired the development of a targeted injury-prevention program for children, the FIFA 11+ Kids.

Click here to view the FIFA 11+ Kids Activities

As with the FIFA 11+ program, the kids’ version was designed by a panel of international experts. There is a focus on:

  • spatial orientation, anticipation, and attention particularly while dual-tasking (to avoid unintended contact with other players or objects);
  • body stability and movement coordination (more general than specific);
  • learning appropriate fall techniques (to minimize the consequences of unavoidable falls)

Activities and Content for Week 5

Mental Strength Monday - COVID and Mental Health

During this unprecedented time of the Coronavirus Pandemic, our lives have been disrupted. This crisis can cause negative impacts on our mental and emotional wellbeing. It is important to be aware of the impact this can have on our health so we can help ourselves. Self-care and knowledge of resources that are available are helpful in times of crisis. 

The cancellations of competitions, training sessions and disruption to your normal schedule can be difficult to deal with. Understand that you are not alone. The World’s sporting community is with you. There are resources available for you to help cope with this sense of loss, the lack of normalcy and the uncertainty of what lies ahead. 

The most important thing to focus on in this COVID-19 landscape is the health and safety of yourself and your loved ones.

Mental Health Resources for Athletes: http://www.recognizetorecover.org/mental-health#mental-health-resources

US Soccer’s Comprehensive Player Health and Safety Program: http://www.recognizetorecover.org/#us-soccers-comprehensive-player-health-and-safety-program    

View this Recognize to Recover article with resources for Athletes, Coaches, Staff, and Parents: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57125d942eeb814000fb1ca5/t/5e9f96decd51d52408a53259/1587517150726/R2R+Covid19+and+Mental+Health.pdf

 
 

Technical Tuesday - Revs Remote Training Team

Juggling

This week’s Revolution Remote Training video is focused on Juggling Basics.
 

For those of you who already signed up for #NERevsRemote go directly to the link HERE and use your unique password.

If you have not yet registered for the free skills videos – Click Here

The Revs Academy will take you through 4 activities for improving your juggling.
1.Juggle Once and Catch (100 reps) Don’t worry if you drop the ball, just continue from your last juggle count!
2.Juggle Bounce, Juggle (100 reps) Don’t worry if you drop the ball, just continue from your last juggle count!
3.Juggle Both feet, Bounce (200 reps) Don’t worry if you drop the ball, just continue from your last juggle count!
4.Juggle Both rotating both feet (300 reps) Don’t worry if you drop the ball, just continue from your last juggle count!
 
All you need for this week is a 4x4ft space, a soccer ball and a phone/computer to follow along..
 
Make sure to listen to the coaching points while watching the video for maximum development.
 
Lastly don’t forget to record your attempts and show your skills using the #RevsRemote 
 

Wellness Wednesday - The Important of Sleep

Sleep

The importance of sleep in both youth and adults is often overlooked when in actuality, it is a contributing factor to overall mental and physical health well-being.  For youth athletes who may be involved in multiple sports, on numerous soccer teams, and have school work to complete, proper sleep will aid them in many ways.  It will help athletes repair and recover muscles, maintain mental focus, manage stress, have enough energy, enhance coordination, obtain muscle growth, decrease likelihood of injuries, and contribute to performance on and off the field.

 

Based on most recent research, adolescents should be obtaining at least 9 hours a night.  Unfortunately, most are only obtaining 7.5 to 8.5 hours.

 

The Gatorade Sports Science Institute dives deeper into this topic of sleep in athletes in a study published in 2017.  Take a look at their article to learn more.

 

Challenge: Track your sleep this week using a sleep app such as SleepWatch and see how well you do!

 

Thankful Thursday - The Benefits of Appreciation

AppreciationGratitude and well being: The benefits of appreciation.

 

Experiencing gratitudethankfulness, and appreciation tends to foster positive feelings, which in turn, contribute to one's overall sense of well being. Gratitude can change your life because it makes you appreciate what you have rather than what you don't have. 

Gratitude-Does It Benefit Your Health and Well Being   Click Here

The Gratitude Habit   Click Here

Gratitude Exercises For Kids  www.blissfulkids.com 

 

Fitness Friday - Powered by @Just4KicksBoston and @MoveStrongPhysicalTherapy

Julie_videoThis week's Fitness Friday Workout is brought to you by Julie Hubbard of @Just4kicksBoston and @MoveStrongPhysicalTherapy is an at-home work at that works out all the major muscle groups. Click on the graphic to view the workout on YouTube

Activities and Content for Week 6

Mental Strength Monday - Mental Health with Dr Sarah Fournier

Maureen LaRoche is joined by psychologist Dr Sarah Fournier who shares some tips on how Coaches can help players during this difficult time including framing the pandemic in positive ways and emphasizing the temporary nature of the pandemic.

Click here to view Mental Health Resources available for Children and Families

Click the link or graphic below to view the part 1 of our 3 part video series. 

https://youtu.be/qzlXD_43gGo

We hope that you find this information helpful. Please know that neither the 3-part video series nor resource list are intended to be a substitute for professional mental health services or medical advice.

 

Maureen_Dr_Fournier

 

Technical Tuesday - Revs Remote Training - Receiving

RRT_ReceivingThis week’s Revolution Remote Training video is focused on Receiving.
 
Already signed up for #NERevsRemote?.. Then go directly to the link HERE and use your unique password to view.
 
If you have not yet registered for the training teams free skills videos – CLICK HERE
 
The Revs Academy will take you through 4 activities for improving your receiving.
 
1.Inside of foot control across & Play (90 secs/3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, just continue count from your last successful touch!
2.Outside of foot control across & Play (90 secs/3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, just continue count from your last successful touch!
3.Open Hips touch and Play (90 secs/3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, just continue count from your last successful touch!
4.Outside flick around touch and play (90 secs/3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, just continue count from your last successful touch!
 
This week you will need;
  • A partner(Mom/Dad/Brother/Sister)
  • A 6x4ft space and a single small cone
  • A soccer Ball and a phone/computer to follow along..
Make sure to listen to the coaching points while watching the video for maximum development.
 
Lastly don’t forget to record your attempts and show your skills using the #RevsRemote  
 

Wellness Wednesday - Reducing Screen Time before Sleep

Soccer_Sleep

After last week’s information on Sleep, we now know just how important it is. There are natural things youth players and adults can do to aid in experiencing a better night’s sleep.  This can include making sure you are in a comfortable sleep environment (black-out curtains, eye mask, quality sheets), taking a warm bath or shower to increase sleepiness before bed, no screen time 30 minutes before sleeping, and many more.  

 

US Soccer takes a deeper look into factors that can aid athletes in getting the optimal night’s rest as well as factors that may be hindering their sleep patterns.  Take a look at US Soccer’s information on their website.

 

Challenge: So many of us are on our cell phones or laptops right before trying to fall asleep at night.  Try taking a technology break at least 30 minutes before bed several times this week.  Notice how it affects the overall quality of your sleep!

 
 

Thankful Thursday - Gratitude Testimony from a Player

Thursday

When we take the time to express gratitude to those who have provided opportunities for us, we create a life- long connection. 

 

“Beyond Soccer has not only helped me learn how to play soccer, but they also gave me a wide variety of opportunities. They have helped me become a leader and be a part of a team. With their immense help, Beyond Soccer has allowed me to do multiple soccer programs that have helped me strengthen my skills and grow personally. – Ileana 

 

Why Grateful Adolescent Athletes are More Satisfied   Click Here


Enhancing Coach Parent Relationships in Youth Sports     Click Here
 

Fitness Friday - Exercising using nothing but a Soccer Ball

soccer-ball-workout-1441039291Soccer Ball for Fitness? Your soccer ball can be used for so much more than just practices and the game.  Visit the link below in Women’s Health Magazine to find several dynamic exercises you can implement into your daily or weekly fitness routine.  These exercises can be performed either indoor or outdoor and are a fun way to use your soccer ball to stay fit. Remember a healthy body and a healthy mind help to fight off illness.


How to Tone Up Using Nothing but a Soccer Ball (womenshealthmag.com) 

 

 

 

Activities and Content for Week 7

Mental Strength Monday - Dr Sarah Fournier - Part 2

Maureen_Dr_Fournier

In part 2 of our video series, psychologist Dr Sarah Fournier discusses self-care and hygiene factors and the link to self confidence in teens and the importance that youth sports can play in providing stability and balance during these unprecedented times. Dr Sarah and Maureen LaRoche also discuss the importance of unconditional acceptance, anchor points, mastery experiences and goal setting.

We hope that you find this information helpful. Please know that neither the 3-part video series nor resource list linked below are intended to be a substitute for professional mental health services or medical advice.

Click the link below to view the part 2 of our 3 part video series with Dr Sarah.

https://youtu.be/8GD3tAmYB9g

Mass Youth Soccer has developed a list of Mental Health Resources available for Children and Families, please click here to view links and resources.

Technical Tuesday - Revs Remote Training - Dribble Slalom

Ball_SlalomThis week’s Revolution Remote Training video is focused on Ball Mastery using a dribble slalom.
 
Already signed up for #NERevsRemote?.. Then go directly to the link HERE and use your unique password to view.
 
If you have not yet registered for the training teams free skills videos – CLICK HERE to view the video!
The Revs Academy will take you through 4 activities for improving your dribbling and control.
  1. Inside/Outside with one foot (60 seconds, 3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, just continue from your last cone!
  2. Inside/Outside with both feet (60 seconds, 3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, just continue from your last cone!
  3. Side roll across and up (60 seconds, 3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, just continue from your last cone!
  4. Side roll across and back (60 seconds, 3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, just continue from your last cone!
All you need for this week is a 2x8ft space, 5 cones or objects, a soccer ball and a phone/computer to follow along.
 
Lastly don’t forget to record your attempts and show your skills using the #RevsRemote 

Wellness Wednesday - Advice for Outdoor Winter Training 

Winter_Training_Advice

This special Revolution Remote Training brought to you by NE Revs Athletic Trainer Darrell St Jean is focused on “Advice for Winter Training”.
 
Already signed up for #NERevsRemote?.. Then go directly to the link HERE and use your unique password to view.
 
If you have not yet registered for the training teams free skills videos – CLICK HERE
 
The Revs Academy Athletic Trainer Darryl will take you through multiple insights into this topic including;
 
1.How long should an average Warmup last?
2.What movements aid players with a proper warmup? And Why?
3.What are the differences with hot and cold temperatures as they pertain to warmups?
4.What are typical cold weather injuries that can occur?
5.How can players stay active this winter/spring? And more….
 

Thankful Thursday - UKSD February Facemask Food Drive

UKSD

Mass Youth Soccer member program UKSD (United Kidz Soccer Development) is hosting a Donation drive to help buy hygiene products, food and other essential items for those in need in Massachusetts! Donations of $25 or more will receive a special Facemask pack from UKSD. Click here for more info. 

UKSD provides totally free of charge soccer leagues and clinics to young people as a way to bring communities together, both locally and overseas. As UKSD has evolved over the years, one mission has always been at the core of the work we do.

The foundation of our program is developing community minded youth leaders, while enabling them to foster a desire to make an impact locally, as well as globally. We work with teens throughout from multiple backgrounds, teaching them to use soccer as a means of community connection, education, self-identity awareness, diversity appreciation, and as a means by which they can develop both their soccer skills and their character. 

Our programs are designed by the young people we work with and have impacted thousands worldwide. If you would like us to help your organization build a project to better your local community, please contact us at info@uksd.org or check us out at www.uksd.org

#uksd #educate #leadership #create

Fitness Friday - At home Workout presented by Soccer Parenting Association

Simon_-_Friday_FitnessThis week's Fitness Friday is presented by the Soccer Parenting Association. ALL parents of players registered with Mass Youth Soccer through town or club organizations can get free access to the Soccer Parent Resource Center. Click here for further info! 

Simon McEvoy from King of Kings coaching leads us through a series of bodyweight activities and exercises that youth athletes and families can perform in their own home. 

If you do not have gym equipment at home, use available substitutes in your own environment e.g. use a Chair for Bench, Broom handle for a Dowel. 

Click here to view this week's Fitness Friday Workout

Activities and Content for Week 8

2020_REVS_TFC_header_final

To celebrate Black History Month, Mass Youth Soccer is supporting the New England Revolution's Touches for C.H.A.N.G.E Initiative. For full program information, please visit: revolutionsoccer.net/change/touchesforchange

What is Touches for C.H.A.N.G.E.?

In conjunction with Black History Month, the New England Revolution have launched an initiative to help support Boston Centers for Youth & Families by donating soccer equipment to children at future clinics. Through the Revolution’s social justice platform, C.H.A.N.G.E., this fundraiser will also provide educational facts about local Black New England history. For each day of the fundraiser, participants will learn about a new Black historical fact and have a corresponding number of touches to do with a soccer ball. Fundraising participants can also share why they are committed to Touches for C.H.A.N.G.E.

The week-long fundraising will run from February 22 through February 27. Track your daily touches, learn about New England Black history, raise awareness surrounding social injustice, and help support future C.H.A.N.G.E. clinics!

Monday - 315 Touches

3/15/1810: The birthdate of David Ruggles. He was born in Lyme, CT and raised in Norwich, CT. Ruggles operated the first black press in the country and used it to advocate for antislavery. The first periodical to be published by an African American, Mirror of Liberty, was published by Ruggles. He was also a journalist for the Freedom Reporter, which is also the country’s first black newspaper.

Tuesday - 73 Touches

73 Newbury Street, Portland, ME: The address of the Abyssinian Meeting House which was built in 1828. It is the third oldest standing African American meeting house in the United States. The Abyssinian became the center of social and political life for Portland’s African-American Community in the 1800’s. The building served many purposes including as a church, segregated public school, and a hall for entertainment.

Wednesday - 616 Touches

6/16/1896: The birthdate of Massachusetts native, Melnea Cass. When the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, which provided women the right to vote, Cass urged black women to register to vote while encouraging them to express their views. As a social activist, she rallied for racial justice while working for various groups including the NAACP to keep Roxbury safe. Cass eventually became the “First Lady of Roxbury” and served as the president of NAACP Boston and worked to desegregate Boston schools.

 

Thursday - 315 Touches

3/15/1825: The birthdate of Milford, New Hampshire native, Harriet E. Wilson. She was the first African American to publish a novel in North America. Her novel titled, “Sketches from the Life of a Free Black,” was published anonymously in 1859 in Boston. 

 

Friday - 214 Touches

2/14/1778: Creation of America’s first African American U.S. military regiment known as the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, or the “Black Regiment.” Over four months after creation, a total of 88 slaves enlisted.

Saturday - 923 Touches

9/23/1795: The birthdate of Alexander Lucius Twilight, a native of Burlington, Vermont. Twilight was the first black American to graduate college when he was awarded his bachelor’s from Middlebury in 1823. He would then become a well-known educator in Browington, VT. In 1836 he was the first African American to be elected to state legislature when he became a part of the Vermont General Assembly.

Activities and Content for Week 9

Mental Strength Monday - Dr Sarah Fournier - Part 3

In the final section of her interview, psychologist Dr Sarah Fournier describes some of the signs and symptoms that that coaches, friends and families can recognize in youths to identify if additional support regarding Mental Health is required. 

Click the link or graphic below to view the part 3 of our 3 part video series.

youtube.com/watch?v=ZBtyEeqeAxE

Maureen_Dr_Fournier

We hope that you find this information helpful. Please know that neither the 3-part video series nor resource list are intended to be a substitute for professional mental health services or medical advice.

Click here to view Mental Health Resources available for Children and Families

 

Technical Tuesday - Revs Remote Training - Freestyle Flick Ups

revs_remoter_march_1This week’s Revolution Remote Training video is focused on Freestyle Flick Ups.
 
Already signed up for #NERevsRemote? Then go directly to the link HERE and use your unique password to view.
 
If you have not yet registered for the training teams free skills videos – CLICK HERE
 
The Revs Academy will take you through 4 freestyle moves for variety on how you flick the ball up...
1.The Drag and flick(Beginner) Don’t worry if you mess up, just continue to keep patience and practice.
2.The Roll up stamp(Intermediate) Don’t worry if you mess up, just continue to keep patience and practice.
3.The roll over stand(Advanced) Don’t worry if you mess up, just continue to keep patience and practice.
4.The roll, drag and flick(Expert) Don’t worry if you mess up, just continue to keep patience and practice.
 
Make sure to listen to the coaching points while watching the video for maximum development.
 
Lastly don’t forget to record your attempts and show your skills using the #RevsRemote

Wellness Wednesday - Dr Warren Bodine

Mass Youth Soccer is connecting with local professionals to gain knowledge and provide tips for parents, players and coaches of what is currently being seen due to the pandemic.  We are thankful to have Dr. Warren Bodine, who practices in Lawrence and is a Director of Sports Medicine, provide some insight as to what he has seen on the front lines. 

 

Click here or on the graphic to view the video on YouTube.

Dr_WArren

 

 

 

Thankful Thursday - Gratitude, Happiness and Athletes

 

happinessListen to Dr. Andrea Hussong  and Teri McKeever from the Greater Good Gratitude Summit of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where they explores the role that parents can play in fostering the development of a child’s gratitude and the relationship it plays for athletes.

Grateful Athletes   Click Here


How Parents Can Foster Gratitude in Kids    Click Here

 

Fitness Friday - TOPSoccer 5k

Virtual5K_RegisterToday_2021Bring your team together and compete against friends and family during the Mass Youth Soccer/New England Revolution Winter Virtual 5K to benefit Mass Youth Soccer’s TOPSoccer Program! 

 

Registration includes a Virtual 5K bib (print out), $10 donation to Mass Youth Soccer’s TOPSoccer program, 1 ticket for a New England Revolution match in 2021. 

 

Plus the 1st 25 registrations get a Mass Youth Soccer TOPSoccer cap and a New England Revolution water bottle!

 

Click here to register for the TOPSoccer Virtual 5K

 

Activities and Content for Week 10

Mental Strength Monday - Mental Health Awareness

R2R_chart

Creating a safe and inclusive environment involves being able to recognize and refer individuals who may be struggling with mental health issues. U.S. Soccer has created a Mental Health Awareness Guide.

The guide will be part of an education course, geared towards helping coaches, referees, administrators, and parents understand the importance of awareness of mental health issues amongst their athletes, the importance of creating a safe and inclusive environment, and resources to refer individuals to access the help they may need.

Mental Health Awareness Guide

U.S. Soccer Recognize to Recover: Mental Health resources for athletes website link: http://www.recognizetorecover.org/mental-health#mental-health-resources

 

 

Technical Tuesday - Revs Remote Training - Agility

AgilityThis week’s Revolution Remote Training video is focused on Single Cone Agility Exercises.
 
Already signed up for #NERevsRemote? Then go directly to the link HERE and use your unique password to view.
If you have not yet registered for the training teams free skills videos – CLICK HERE
 
The Revs Academy will take you through 4 agility moves using a single flat cone.
1.Quick feet over cone and play back(90 seconds, 3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, focus on the next ball.
2.Double hop and shuffle behind cone(90 seconds, 3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, focus on the next ball.
3.Hop on one leg with volley(90 seconds, 3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, focus on the next ball.
4.Hop on one leg with big jump then volley(90 seconds, 3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, focus on the next ball.
 
This week you will need;
  • A 2x4ft space and a Soccer Ball..
  • A single flat cone or object
  • A family member/friend to feed the ball
  • A phone/computer to follow along..
Make sure to listen to the coaching points while watching the video for maximum development.
 
Lastly don’t forget to record your attempts and show your skills using the #RevsRemote  

Wellness Wednesday - Julie Hubbard - Just4Kicks Boston

Julie

This week's Wellness Wednesday is brought to you by Julie Hubbard of @Just4kicksBoston and @MoveStrongPhysicalTherapy. 

 

Julie discusses injury prevention and what players can be doing to prepare for the spring soccer season! Click on the link below or graphic to view the tips on YouTube.

 
 

Thankful Thursday - TOPSoccer Virtual 5k

Virtual5K_RegisterToday_2021

The TOPSoccer Virtual 5K powered by Mass Youth Soccer and New England Revolution is quickly approaching! Be sure to enter into one of the 11 divisions now!  Winners of each division will win two Putnam Club tickets to a Revolution match in 2021 and a $50 soccer.com gift card provided by Mass Youth Soccer!  

 

US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers. The program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl, who has a mental or physical disability. Our goal is to enable the thousands of young athletes with disabilities to become valued and successful members of the US Youth Soccer family.

 
 

Fitness Friday - Hiking Trails in Massachusetts

pasted_image_0Now that the weather is getting better, why not avoid the chaos of the soccer field and enjoy some of what Massachusetts has to offer?  Get out with your family or take your dog for a nice trek on one of the many hiking trails throughout the state.

Click here to find some trails near you and revel in the peace and serenity of nature.

For some breathtaking scenery and a great aerobic workout consider a hike through the mountains.  

Remember to wear your masks, practice social distancing & share your hiking pictures with us at MA Youth Soccer.

 

Activities and Content for Week 11

Mental Strength Monday - Yoga

Yoga

The practice of yoga enhances both physical and mental performance in all sports. The practice of yoga helps young athletes focus the mind. They will be able to filter out distractions and concentrate on the essentials of their chosen activity.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Learn valuable skills for alleviating pre-game/performance jitters
  • Enhance body awareness
  • Improves strength, flexibility and range of motion to boost overall performance and reduce incidents of injury.
  • Cultivate a healthy body image
  • Review the value of proper nutrition, hydration and rest
  • Improve focus and concentration for enhanced performance

Why yoga is good for young athletes: https://www.omiesyogastudio.com/benefits-of-yoga/benefits-of-yoga-in-young-athletes/    

Challenge: Download one of these apps and try out some yoga: Yoga for Beginners or Daily Yoga

 

 

Technical Tuesday - Rev's Remote Training Team - Four Cone Ball Mastery

Four_Cone_Ball_Mastery
Already signed up for #NERevsRemote?.. Then go directly to the link HERE and use your unique password to view.
 
If you have not yet registered for the training teams free skills videos – CLICK HERE to view the video!
 
The Revs Academy will take you through 4 activities for improving your dribbling and control.
  1. Figure of eight dribble (90 seconds, 3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, just bring the ball back and continue from your last cone!
  2. Side roll push and pull (90 seconds, 3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, just bring the ball back and continue from your last cone!
  3. Figure of eight side to sides (90 seconds, 3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, just bring the ball back and continue from your last cone!
  4. Toe Touches, sole role (90 seconds, 3 sets) Don’t worry if you mess up, just bring the ball back and continue from your last cone!
 
All you need for this week is a 2x2ft space, 4 cones or objects, a soccer ball and a phone/computer to follow along..
 
Make sure to listen to the coaching points while watching the video for maximum development.
 
Lastly don’t forget to record your attempts and show your skills using the #RevsRemote 

 

Wellness Wednesday - TOPSoccer Virtual 5k

Virtual5K_RegisterToday_2021

WALK or RUN...but Register now! Less than 1 week to go to register for the TOPSoccer Virtual 5K powered by Mass Youth Soccer and the New England Revolution!  Each participant receives a ticket to a REVS game plus you are contributing $10 to the TOPSoccer program. 

 

Please learn more about it on Mass Youth Soccer’s website under programs, TOPSoccer.

 

You don’t want to miss out on the chance to win 5K divisional prizes so get in on the action now!

 

https://revolution.spinzo.com/new-england-revolution-5k-PNRSF?group=virtual-5k-wseu

 
 

Thankful Thursday - Sportsmanship

joy_in_children

A 2019 study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that gratitude is linked to joy and happiness in children. This means that instilling gratitude in your kids at a young age could help them grow up to be happier people.

Discover how joy and appreciation can be cultivated within children at an early age which can guide them to live a more authentic and grateful life.

How Experiencing Joy Can Help Children and Promote Optimal Development  Click Here

How To Awaken Joy in Kids  Click Here

Fostering A Sense Of Wonder & Joy In Children  Click Here

 
 

Fitness Friday - Yoga for Overall Wellbeing

Yoga_wellbeingThroughout the pandemic, where overall wellness may have been  neglected, the value of proper stretching to provide for overall  wellbeing is clearer. Yoga is one such way to help keep a sound  body. Visit this link to find out more about the benefits a yoga  program can provide for you.

Mental Strength Monday - Why do we need a TOPSoccer Program

TOPS_1TOPSoccer was formed to perpetuate the US Youth Soccer mission statement which is, in part, "to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America's youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition." There are thousands of children with disabilities who need, and can be provided with, the opportunity to play soccer through the TOPSoccer program.

 

Technical Tuesday - How can I start a TOPSoccer Program?

TOPS_3The first step is to identify the need in your area.  For what type of disabilities do you need to plan for? Are you able to fulfill these needs? Are there facilities that are equipped to handle athletes with physical disabilities?

 

As you are setting up your program, know there are established programs that you can utilize as resources of information.  These include US Youth Soccer, Special Olympics, United Cerebral Palsy, and Shriners.

 

Throughout the process, you will need people who are able to assist you! Don't forget to include Caryn Goulet from Massachusetts Youth Soccer! TOPSoccer@mayouthsoccer.org

 

Wellness Wednesday - What does a TOPSoccer Program Look Like

TOPS_4The unique thing about TOPSoccer is that each program is different and is created around the needs of the participants. Additionally, TOPSoccer athletes are placed on teams according to ability, not age.  You can determine the length of program, playing rules (utilize the US Youth Soccer guidelines on their website), size of the game, but most importantly, keep it simple & keep it fun!

 
 

Thankful Thursday - Getting involved with TOPSoccer as a Buddy or Coach

TOPS_6There are many TOPSoccer Programs in Massachusetts!

 

Please take a look on our website mayouthsoccer.org/programs/topsoccer-communities/ for different opportunities to volunteer your time.  If you can not find a program near you, please contact Mass Youth Soccer’s coordinator, Caryn Goulet at TOPSoccer@mayouthsoccer.org for more information.

 
 

Fitness Friday - Last Call to Register for the TOPSoccer Virtual 5k

TOPS_5Register now for the TOPSoccer Virtual 5K powered by Mass Youth Soccer and the New England Revolution!  You have the chance to win some incredible divisional prizes.  Plus each participant receives a ticket to a REVS game and you are contributing $10 to the TOPSoccer program!  Please learn more about it on Mass Youth Soccer’s website under programs, TOPSoccer.

 

https://revolution.spinzo.com/new-england-revolution-5k-PNRSF?group=virtual-5k-wseu

 
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