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‘Silent Sunday’ is a hit with SoccerTimes readers.

(Wednesday, September 23, 1999) -- E-mail from SoccerTimes readers was 100 percent in favor of the "Silent Sunday" concept for youth soccer, as detailed in Jerry Langdon’s column "Time for parents and coaches to keep quiet while the children play."

Quiet and peaceful soccer, please

Just received and read a copy of your September 14 article, titled "Time for Parents and Coaches to keep quiet while the children play" and the idea of "Silent Sunday" in Northern Ohio! I could not agree with you more!

The time has come for America to save its lungs, sit back and just enjoy the game and more importantly watch their children be happy and have FUN!

I have played soccer all my life and now, for the fourth year, am coaching my son's team in the under-8 division of the La Jolla Youth Soccer League (near San Diego ). Every season, before the games begin, I talk to the parents about this subject. I try to teach them how to concentrate on cheering and encouraging their children instead of coaching them during the game. I try to bring to their attention the importance of sportsmanship, friendship, respect for the referee and the opposite team as these are what soccer is all about.

If the Ohio's Silent Sunday turns into a national movement, I will do all I can to promote it in California!

Wish all the soccer players in Northern Ohio a quite, happy and fun "Silent Sunday" on October 3 and thank you Jerry Langdon for such a wonderful article. Let us know how it turns out!!

Quiet and peaceful soccer games for children of America. What a terrific concept!

Al Anvari [aei-usa@pacbell.net]


To live through it

Thanks for a fantastic article. As a coach of a U-13 girls travel team, I've lived through most of what you described. Well done, indeed.

Michael D. Nilsson [MNilsson@harriswiltshire.com]


A thankless crusade

Thanks for printing Jerry Langdon’s story on Silent Sunday. However I would like to point out that this is not the first time that youth leagues have recognized the importance of silence as Colorado State Youth Soccer Association has many clubs who have enforced at least 10 minutes of silence after the start of the second half for at least three years.

The effect, to me a least, was profound, but not profound enough to affect those who needed it the most -- the parents who couldn't disconnect themselves from their children's play.

However, I would like to comment on an underlying theme of the article -- and that is the impact of adults on the youth game. Having been involved with youth soccer as a licensed United States Youth Soccer Association coach and referee in both Northern California and Colorado for 11 years due to, at least initially, fear that my children would be affected by overly competitive or otherwise mentally unhealthy adults. I have, along with both of my children, completely dropped out of the whole business. Why? Because like the little Dutch Boy, I don't think there are enough fingers in the world to plug the holes in that dike.

I applaud those with the commitment to stay with it and fight, however I feel that what is really called for is the complete (or as near as possible) removal of adults from this activity. But, of course, the United States Soccer Federation probably realizes this would seriously threaten its dreams of U.S. entry into the world as a viable soccer power because they understand, as anyone who has observed the situation closely can see, that without the energy of adults living vicariously through their children, this game is not the game of choice of children who congregate in U.S. neighborhoods. It is a game for adults played by children.

Bill Jellick [jellick@juno.com]


Thanks

I just want to say, I enjoy reading your "Jerry's World" at SoccerTimes on-line. Keep up the good work. It can be tough finding, interesting, insightful soccer journalism sometimes, and you do a really good job of it.

Thanks.

Garrett Swearingen [gswearin@camail2.harvard.edu]

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