Our goal is to put a competitive, exciting product on the field that tailors to the continued development of each player within our program. Each player should leave our program after each 3 months a better, smarter, healthier person and soccer player than they were when we started. This means a centered focus on not just their soccer development, but on nutrition, recovery, and more importantly their academics. High School sports are not a “right” but rather a privilege. Players must realize that they are “students” first and players second. They are an extension of SM South, the Shawnee Mission School District, their parents, community and peers. As coaches, we are committed to developing these skills within our players by being firm, fair, and positive.
As a program, we expect players to advocate for themselves. This means that players, not parents, should approach their head coach, the program head coach, or the the Athletic Director if they have a question in regards to the program. If a parent has a question about the program, not related to booster club activities, they should encourage their player to obtain the information for them. Players should first attempt to ask their head coach, and if the issue is not resolved then the program head coach, and if the issue is still not resolved then the Athletic Director respectively.
All student-athletes are required to be in attendance all day to be eligible to participate in practices and games. Doctor’s appointments, dental appointments, orthodontic appointments, or any other appointments during the school day are an approved absence per the AD, John Johnson. Any other absence whites an unexcused absence could result in a change in that player’s role, suspension, or dismissal from the team. Exceptions and emergencies will be dealt with through the Athletic Director. Attendance in the classroom is necessary for a good and complete grasp of the knowledge presented in each class, therefore attendance is mandatory.
Academics come first. If a player needs to miss practice or a game in order to study, complete large project’s, or prepare for a test, they will be allowed to miss if they communicate effectively with the coach.
For eligibility based on previous year’s classes, please refer to the District’s eligibility policy regarding the passing of at least 5 classes. Each student-athlete is expected to achieve to their full potential in the classroom at all times. Our policy on grades during the season is simple; no grade of ‘D’ or ‘F’ are allowed. Any student with a ‘D’ will be ineligible for that week of games. Furthermore, until that grade is raised to an acceptable level (70% or above) that player will utilize time normally spent at training to study in order to gain an acceptable grade. The head coach reserves the right to
adjust the policy for students who do the necessary work to get better in each class in which they are struggling.
Our reasoning behind this policy is simple: Good college programs are not interested in players that ‘pass’ classes with a below average grade. Student-Athlete’s are exceptional players on the field and should be exceptional students in the classroom therefore we will expect their grades to be, at a minimum, average or better.
Note: Any player with the grade of ‘C’ in any class will be asked what he is doing to raise the grade and will be offered help to raise the grade. Having a ‘C’ does not make a player ineligible, but does place the student on the line where one bad grade can make them ineligible.
Attendance is mandatory in order to play in games! Absences that cannot be avoided should communicated well in advance to the coach as soon as the player is aware of the absence. If a player misses part or all of training due to an EXCUSED absence, his position, role, or playing time on the team may be affected. This is not a punishment for the excused absence, rather it may happen because of the topics covered during that training or because another player earned that playing time, position, or role. Unexcused absences (including normally excused absences that were not properly communicated) will guarantee a reduction in playing time at the coaches discretion.
Note: An injury does not preclude you from a practice. You are expected to be there to observe training, regardless of injury. Exceptions are only made at the discretion of the head coach or with a note from a physician or the trainer at the school.
When a bus is provided, all players are expected to ride the bus to the game. You may ride home with your parents after the game; just make sure your coach knows in advance so that we don’t leave you behind after the game.
Exception: Any bus travel that is over 30 minutes to the field will make a requirement for all players to travel home on the bus. As coaches, we use these longer bus rides as opportunities to build team chemistry away from the soccer field.
Student-Athlete’s are expected to conduct themselves in the classroom with the highest regard for the rules of the classroom and the intellectual desires of the teacher. Player’s within our program should be seen in the classroom as ‘Model Students’ who gain respect by giving respect. Teachers are expected to inform the head coach if a player in the program is acting outside of these standards. Any player not acting within the standards set forth in this guide will be subject to a reduction in playing time, role,
position, team change, or removal from the program at the discretion of the Head Coach and, if necessary, the Athletic Director.
The playing field is an extension of the classroom. All players should garner respect from the officials, other players, fans, and other coaches by first giving respect and acting in a respectful manner. The bench and sidelines are for team personnel only. Conversation on the bench should be about the game and should be positive in manner. No bench personal aside from the coaches shall address the referee’s or players on the field in any manner at any time. All red/yellow cards will be reviewed by the coaches for possible further disciplinary rulings. All concerns or problems should be handled off the field in a private and confidential manner with a coach.
Game Day attire will be at the decision of the coaching staff. All players are expected to adhere to all dress codes set by the coaching staff. Failure to comply will result in a one game suspension.
Player’s MUST have shin guards on at all times during practice sessions. If practice/warmup tops are provided, they should be worn at all sessions unless the coach deems otherwise. At no point, should any team practice without shirts. If it’s not allowed in the game, it’s not allowed at practice. This includes, but is not limited too, earnings, wristbands, necklaces, nose rings…etc.
You are responsible for the care and management of every item that is checked out to you. Uniforms should be cleaned immediately following every match, and the standards set out by the uniform manufactured should be followed to insure the life of the uniform. Bags should also be taken care of in a proper manner so as to extend their life and usability. You will be charged the full amount for any item returned to the program in a worse manner than it was given, as well as any item that was checked out to you and was not returned. ATHLETIC TRAINER
SMSD provides trainers for all schools and at all varsity matches.
Furthermore, all matches will have a trainer somewhere on site. On training days, a trainer is available at the school. If you are dealing with any kind of injury, you must first check in with your coach and then you check in with the trainer. If you experience any dizziness, headache, nausea, or faintness you must see the Trainer immediately. NO EXCEPTIONS. It is the expectation of the Coaches that if you are dealing with an injury (even a blister), that you will visit with the trainer each day until that injury is completely healed.
The use of alcohol, tobacco or other illegal controlled substances by SM South Soccer Players will NOT BE TOLERATED AT ANY TIME! A violation to this policy is also a violation of team policy and expectations. For violations of team policies and expectations, including first offense violations, the head coach reserves the right to implement and enforce additional consequences depending on the situation. All violations will be looked at on an individual basis. Factors such as academics, overall character, and attitude will be considered.
Additionally, all players will be subject to the SMSD policy. The Shawnee Mission School District’s policy states that players who violate the drug and alcohol contract:
1st Offense – MINIMUM of a 2 game suspension and Completes a substance abuse counseling program.
2nd Offense – MINIMUM of 50% of season suspension. If season is almost over, this will carry over into the next high school season/sport the student athlete participates in. The Student Athlete will also complete a substance abuse counseling program.
3rd Offense – MINIMUM of a one year suspension from ALL SM South Sports athletics AND complete a substance abuse counseling program.
Captains will be either appointed by the coaching staff, voted by the team, or a combination of both. They are the spokespeople for the team. They will act as liaisons between the team and the staff. Presenting the views of the team to the staff, being positive roles models, displaying leadership, and assisting players, parents, and coaches, are some of their responsibilities. Captains are important both on and off the field. Authority will be, and is, delegated to the team captains.
Abusive and /or Vulgar language is not allowed nor will it be tolerated at practices or games. All abusive and vulgar language will be handled by the individual coach. Use of language in a match that causes a player to be ejected from a game will carry with it an additional match suspension, not including the next match which a red card automatically disqualifies them from.
All players should be on site and with their team a minimum 1 hour before gametime. When warmup begins, all players should be properly equipped for game time, including but not limited too shorts, socks, cleats, and shinguards.
All players must complete the season in good standing with the coaching staff and the school administration to be eligible for a letter. The season is complete at the end of the last varsity game. Illness or injury is the
exception. To earn a varsity letter a player must have played in a minimum of 16 halves during the season, or start/play in a state game (quarterfinals on). A player must also take part in all other soccer related events such as team dinners, community services, awards ceremonies, and in-school functions. The head coach reserves the right to withhold any letter regardless of requirements met if he deems the student of not acting in accordance with team policy.
Every player is expected to come to tryouts prepared for the physical toll the season will take on their bodies. Not coming into tryouts prepared will result in a player not being eligible for Varsity and may cause a player to be cut from the program.
Playing time is at the discretion of the coach. At the JV and C team level, players will receive playing time in each game regardless of skill level. At the Varsity level, the Head Coach will put the best 11 players on the field needed to compete in that game. If a player has an issue with the amount of playing time he is receiving, he should approach his head coach first. If the issue is not resolved, then that player should approach the Program Head Coach, Matt Gordon next. If the issue is still not resolved, the student should then meet with the Athletic Director next. At no point is it appropriate for a parent to approach a head coach in regards to playing time.