March 2012



A message from the RAGE President, Jim Nicholas

A few weeks ago, one of the RAGE board members commented that as a Club we do a large number of things well and likewise have a few things to work on.  While this statement is general and can be applied to most organizations, I believe the critical element of it is this – let’s not lose sight of the things that we do well as we work on those other things.  The Pleasanton RAGE Soccer Club is a sophisticated program.  As you read the articles in this edition of the newsletter, you will see pieces on the competitive program and the successes of College Signing Night.  You will also see dates and information on our recreational program along with a story about one RAGE team’s community involvement.  There is information about Club financials and an introduction to our U-8 program.  There are also informative pieces from the RAGE staff on sports parenting and on players dealing with feelings of rejection in the tryout process.  The RAGE is a comprehensive Club that offers both recreational and competitive levels of play.  It is a community based Club that works to give back to the Pleasanton community.  It is also a Club where the development of the player is prized above all else.  This makes Pleasanton a great place to play soccer, and we are attracting more and more players from the Tri-Valley area to our program.  This is a good thing, and we should be proud of the achievements that the Club has reached.  We certainly have challenges ahead of us as issues of fields, facilities, and rising operating costs will need to be addressed.  Thankfully, we have a talented group of individuals in the RAGE Board of Directors, the RAGE Staff, and in the RAGE community to help with these challenges.  All of us have the same goal – to see your daughter have the best soccer experience possible!  See you out on the soccer fields!

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RAGE Parent Chronicles

By Erika Carlson, M.A., CC-AASP
Mental Skills Coach & RAGE Board Member

My name is Erika Carlson, I have been working with RAGE since 2004 helping players, parents and coaches improve performance by developing their mental game in a number of ways including working with teams, individuals, injured athletes, leadership development and even staff performance.  Now as a board member I’ve taken the lead on parent communication and I wanted to personally welcome you to our new series “RAGE Parent Chronicles.”  This series will be a collaboration between myself and the RAGE staff to provide you with the latest and greatest research, information and stories about great soccer parents.  Our goal is to help you be the best sport parent for your child.

In my 13 years as a Mental Skills coach I’ve had MANY discussions with parents about emphasizing performance (mastering skills) vs. competition (winning).  The question is WHY is it so important for athletes to focus on skill development and performance vs. trying to win?  The answer:  Controllability.  Focusing on what you can control (you, your effort, your passes, your moves, your communication) sets players up to build confidence and execute consistently well, while also minimizing nervousness and stress.  Truly great performance, regardless of whether it results in win or not, can create that feeling that we are all chasing in sport….”I DID IT!”  “WE DID IT!”  Playing only to win often means playing to the standards of the other team, which creates erratic play and worry about who you’re up against.   The goal is to learn how to perform consistently strong, which will ultimately lead to more wins. 

Do you have a “Best RAGE Parent” story you would like to share?  Contact Erika at Erika@ErikaCarlsonSports.com

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Aligning Team Naming with Leagues and Player Development Principles

John Groizer, Competitive VP

Youth soccer has changed substantially in the last 3 years with respect to the objectives for competitive soccer.  Now, there is even greater emphasis on finding the right level of competitive play without artificial barriers that limit participation of teams and players.  The notion of Division 1 or Division 3 soccer (and clubs having to declare their teams as one or other) is completely gone from the leagues that RAGE participates.  There is only ‘competitive soccer’, and teams play in the level that is best suited to their overall development.  We also want to reflect our player development philosophy in the naming of our teams.

Here is a brief outline of our naming that will be instituted as soon as possible.

  • U9-U11 – Team names remain Orange, White, Grey, Black
    • Player development is managed in this age group as ‘pool of players’ with a consistent training approach, age group head trainer, and there is frequent movement between teams on an annual basis.  Teams are ranked and placed in leagues according to ability, league play is 8v8 or less, and generally is local within our district (or neighboring districts).
  • U12-U13 – Team names are Premier, Orange, White, Grey
    • At U12 we expand team rosters and exit the 'pool of players' concept. Players will still move between levels, but not with same fluidity in the younger ages. Our top team is now called 'Premier' and reflects the change in roster size, competitive level of play, resources, and expectations. Premier level teams typically play in competition that is more Northern California based. The Orange level team will often play a mix of regional and Northern California teams. White and Grey typically will play local teams within our district, but depending upon ability could play in higher level leagues.
  • U14-U19 – Team names are ECNL, Premier, Orange, White
    • U14-U18 introduces the highest level of play, the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL). This league is a national league with 66 member clubs and some regional play in Northern & Southern California and Washington. The commitment and expectations are high at this level, and only 4 clubs in Northern California participate at this level of play. Our second teams will be designated 'Premier' and based upon ability will play the top competition in Northern California. Our Orange and White teams will also play at a competitive level either at the district or Northern California level. o U19 – Team names are Orange and White. Our teams at this level includes players aged U17-U19 that typically play in a bronze level league will now simply be designated U19 Orange & U19 White.

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Lara Schreiber, Recreational VP

Welcome to RAGE Girls Soccer! We are looking forward to the 2012 season and making your daughter’s soccer experience one she will remember!
Registration opened on Friday, March 2, and will be online only at www.pleasantonrage.org. There is a “Registration” tab at the top that will guide you through the registration process. It only takes a few minutes!
Recreational teams will be formed by mid-July. Coaches will receive their team rosters at our Recreational Coaches’ meeting that is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, July 18. Practices will be allowed to begin no sooner than August 1st. The 2012 Season officially begins on Saturday, September 8th.
The morning of Opening Day, September 8, RAGE will again be participating in the Annual Soccer Parade down Main St. which will start at 7:15am at the corner of Main and St. Mary’s, and continue down main and around the block. The players dress in costumes according to their team name and RAGE will be recognizing teams with awards in a few categories.
To further enhance your daughter’s soccer experience, the Board of Directors has decided to create a Recreational Committee that will be comprised of approximately 12 members, lead by both Terra and myself.  The goal of this committee is to get feedback and participation from members to assist us in enhancing the Recreational Program. This committee will meet once a month from April through December.
I would like to Thank ALL of the Coaches that volunteered their time for our 2011 Season. The RAGE organization KNOWS we could not have such a successful soccer program in Pleasanton without all of our volunteers, especially the parents who take the time out of their busy lives to Coach our girls. THANK YOU!!
If you ever have any questions regarding your daughter, RAGE or our philosophies, you are always welcome to contact a Board member via e-mail.
See you on the Soccer Fields!

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U8 Introduction

Tim Gray, RAGE Technical Staff

Tim GrayHello to all the RAGE U8 players and parents. My name is Tim Gray. I am part of the RAGE Technical Staff and will be working with all U8 teams this coming fall. This service is provided for you at no additional cost. Your Board of Directors and Technical Staff believe that at this age many girls will be looking for more of a challenge to their soccer skills.  Yet, we realize that soccer must still remain a fun game played with and against school and neighborhood friends. We will rely on volunteer coaches to run most practice sessions, but I will have the opportunity to provide coaching education to help enhance coaching effectiveness.

This age group is the “Initial Stage” of development.  At this age children do not have the same capacity as adults to analyze the environment. They explore and have an egocentric conception of the world. Children are still gathering the experience necessary to interact with their surroundings and with others. Also, empathy and the capacity to consider the thoughts and feelings of others is very low. In order to help children build their own experience, many exercises will be individual (e.g. each player will have a ball). The tactical component of the game will be reduced to small-sided games with basic explanations about space distribution. Training sessions will be treated more as physical education than specifically as soccer training.

The curriculum is based on the RAGE Club philosophy, with guidelines from US Soccer and US Youth Soccer Association. For U8, high emphasis will be placed on passing and receiving, dribbling, shooting, ball control, and 1v1 attacking.

Along with coaching RAGE for the last twelve years, I have been teaching Physical Education in Livermore for the last five years. I have been specifically teaching 4th through 8th grade during that time. It has allowed me to work with many students at different levels of experience.

As this is our first time offering a very new program at Rec U8, we hope that parents will take an active role by encouraging your daughters to challenge themselves physically and mentally. We would still expect everyone involved, players, coaches and parents to have lots of fun. We value your input during the season, so give us some feedback. I look forward to working with everyone this year!

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RAGE Financials

Ross Stonesifer, RAGE Treasurer

moneyIt is a pleasure to report that the Recreational Program (about 1200 of our 1750 players) ended the year with a very modest funds surplus. The Competitive Program has a June 30 fiscal year, due to its games playing schedule. At this time, it appears that Comp will generate a surplus. For the coming year, your club faces several substantial additional costs, but we believe we will be able to offset those costs with some efficiencies and modest increases in training fees for our Comp players.

  1. As we all know, the Pleasanton Unified School District has suffered huge reductions in its operating budget for a number of years. The maintenance of its fields has suffered considerably. All the local sports clubs rely on those fields. In order to enhance their playability and even to substantially upgrade some of the fields, the Pleasanton sports leagues have agreed to commit $200,000 this year. Our share is expected to be at least $45,000, or $25 per player for the fall season. Although we have been expecting this outcome for well over a year, we will not now increase registration fees, but it may be essential to do so in the fall of 2013. At this time, we do not expect the City to charge for the use of City fields, but that may also have to change if the economy shows limited growth.
  2. Because of the dedication of our volunteer coaches and the quality of play of our youngest players, our Staff will provide an exciting program at U8. Tim Gray and Lisa Wilson, long time paid comp contractors will oversee every U8 team, providing a more in-depth learning experience not only for our players but also for our parent volunteer coaches, while having the emphasis being on having a fun time, making new friends and learning some important lessons about oneself. Tim and Lisa always get very good reviews from their players. In addition to working for RAGE, they are the Amador girls’ varsity soccer coaches. Since this is an experiment for your club, we hope U8 parents will become active in the teams and provide us with energy and ideas.
  3. If we can find the right coaches and field space, we will offer more drop-in clinics for keepers and field players this fall. As always, these sessions are free.

You will find monthly financial statements on our web site at http://pleasantonrage.org/pages/about-us.php  under “RAGE Financials” menu item.  Far more detailed information is available at GuideStar which can be found at http://www2.guidestar.org/organizations/94-2369292/pleasanton-girls-soccer-association.aspx. You will have to register to view GuideStar. Specific, non-personnel, questions may be raised at Board meetings by any interested party or you may e-mail me, your club treasurer, at stone6096@aol.com.

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Ross Stonesifer, RAGE Treasurer

Academics have always been the foremost concern of your club. Our daughters are students first and then soccer players. Every year we recognize those who have compiled often amazing academic records. We will award at least one college scholarship of $1500 to the player who has been with RAGE for at least two seasons and has the highest GPA in her combined junior and senior years.
Up to a dozen current players (sophomores, juniors and seniors) will receive a $250 scholarship if they received a 4.0 GPA in their school year. If there are more than a dozen, we will randomly select twelve recipients.
Final transcripts or report card copies must be sent by July 15th to
PO Box 885
Pleasanton, CA 94566

Finally, we are pleased to offer a $1250 scholarship for sportsmanship. The recipient should be nominated by letter from a coach, a referee or another player telling us how the nominee has shown exemplary sportsmanship on and off the soccer field. Letters should be sent to the above address, also by July 15th.

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Interested In College?

Ross Stonesifer, RAGE Treasurer

Over the past ten years, your club has assisted in over 150 players attending colleges at which they represented their school on varsity soccer programs. Almost all of these women played for our competitive teams, but a few did not. Recognizing that many of our Rec players might have an interest in playing for their college teams (most likely at D3 schools), we are expanding our information program. Our Staff coach, Paul Sapsford, will meet with families who would like some guidance, at sapsford5@yahoo.com.

In the spring, we host eight to ten college coaches (including Stanford, Santa Clara and Berkeley) who answer audience questions about what it takes to play mainly at top D1 schools. However, much of the information can be adapted to any level of college play, including club and intramural soccer. Any one may attend. Details will be posted on our web site. Our detailed College Information Handbook can be found at http://pleasantonrage.org/docs/_2012/college-handbook.pdf.
We hosted our first College Admissions Officer Information Meeting last fall and hope to do so again this fall. These officers can give far more comprehensive information than soccer coaches who are handcuffed by NCAA rules in many cases.

Finally, we host a College Letter of Intent Signing Night on the first Wednesday of February, the day on which those committed to playing on college teams sign their award agreements. Brooke Mayo, a long time RAGE girl, now in her sophomore year as a St Mary’s Gael soccer player, delivered the keynote speech, talking about her experiences which included starting many games, but missing many due to injury, and her dedication to successful rehabbing. We also recognized ALL graduating seniors. On February 1st, about fifty RAGE seniors from five RAGE teams were recognized, of whom eleven signed their Letters of Intent. This is a great opportunity for all of our seniors to participate in a very moving graduation party.

Again, all of these opportunities are available to all of our players.

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RAGE U14 and U11 Big Sisters/Little Sisters Team Up to Help Communities Worldwide

Martha Brown, Parliamentarian

Last Fall, the RAGE U14 Premier soccer team and their U11 little sister team raised over $1,600.00 to participate in packaging food for Kids Against Hunger.  They well exceeded their original goal of $1,000.00. KAH is a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce the number of underfed children around the corner and around the world.  With the leadership of Coach Walter Pratte, the players were motivated to earn the money they donated for the event---some by selling lemonade, others by recycling, or doing extra chores around the house.  On Monday, October 10, 2011, with the help of Sherri Leal, the Pleasanton Director of KAH, the big sisters stood alongside their little sisters and packed 1056 bags of food, an amount that will feed 6,446 needy kids worldwide!!

This February, the U14/U11 teams united again to gather many gently used soccer balls to donate to Peter Clark of Cornerstone Church in Livermore.  He has since then taken the balls and spent a few weeks in Dehli, India visiting kids of all ages and holding soccer camps in the slums. Peter says that the kids, some of whom are living in a leper colony, were thrilled to receive them. 


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