Our Islands, Our Future

The world of American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), celebrated 53 years of soccer in 2017. Today, AYSO is a successful national and international organization, and is thriving in Hawaii. “The league is committed to the safe development and nurturing of all children,” said Francis Quitazol, Upcountry Maui AYSO soccer coach. “Our main goal is to develop and provide a positive experience for all keiki, promote fitness, teamwork, and the spirit of competition. As coach for AYSO girls, U6 (five and six years old), Quitazol found it very rewarding to watch the girls improve week after week of practice. “My coaching approach for these young girls was to keep it very simple and teach them the basic rules of the game,” he said. “One thing I enjoyed teaching them was the mental aspect of the game. I did this by asking each one of them before the game to show me their game face. At first, they thought a game face is supposed to be an angry expression, but I told them that it should be more of a reflection of their attitude as they prepare to compete. I explained to them that their game faces should convey both confidence and focus. My hope is that in the future they will take their game faces into a final exam or a big job interview and compete harder than they ever did on the soccer field.”

“We love being a soccer family!” said the Felicianos from Makawao. “AYSO’s mission works! They develop and deliver quality youth soccer programs. The season promoted a fun family environment based on AYSO philosophies of good sportsmanship, teamwork, positive coaching, and player development. We have seen the positive effect that soccer has had on our daughter, Moorea. She is learning the importance of exercise, plus all the benefits listed above. We encourage all parents to learn more about joining their local AYSO league, get the children playing, and the whole family out to the games.”

I didn’t even know how to pass or kick the ball when I first started. Now I play with my teammates and when we work together we can make a goal!

Moorea Winter Feliciano, Makawao School, Kindergarten