Ways to volunteer

Tops img 1001

We are always looking for enthusiastic individuals who can make a difference in the lives of our athletes. We need coaches, assistant coaches, and volunteer Buddies who can attend practices and games to help each player reach their fullest ability. We also need talented individuals to serve in administrative positions. We need people to order uniforms, set up fields, solicit donations, and other activities. Let us know if you can help by contributing your talents and time to TOPS. We also can use help on a limited basis, for example, a soccer team, coach, or company that would like to help at one of our practices. We welcome your involvement.

Tai Punsuchart and Jessie Birdwhistell

Tai Punsuchart and Jessie Birdwhistell

We are very proud that for the past seven years a volunteer from our organization has been chosen by KYSA as the Kentucky TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year. Of those selected, three volunteers have gone on to win the Region II TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year Award and have competed for the National Award.  USYSA has four regions. Region II has a 17 state membership. Those going on to national competition were Annie Dunbar, Alyssa King and Claire Bieber. Others winning the state award are: Jason Russo, Jason Goodwill, Tai Punsuchart and Chris Hutchison. TOPS Director Jessie Birdwhistell also was named the KYSA 2014 Volunteer of the Year. We recently received the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information Service Learning Award for our commitment to welcoming and engaging UK students.


Volunteers are critical to the success of our program. A special thank you to everyone who has helped us since we began in 2009. We could not have TOPS without you!!!!!


Be a TOPSoccer Buddy.   A TOPSoccer Buddy is an invaluable volunteer who participates directly with individual players or within a team with several players to enable participation in a soccer activity. The TOPSoccer Buddy is not a player and does not score goals. They help the TOPSoccer player succeed and keep them as safe as possible. TOPSoccer Buddies can be a caregiver, aide, family member, same-aged peer, a teenager or an adult. They can be a soccer player, someone who works with special needs children or someone who has no soccer experience, but a strong desire to enable our athletes to have fun. Some examples of the role of the buddy are:

The role of the buddy may include but not be limited to:
• Enables player to participate/play
• Assists/Creates/Directs/Guides/Teaches in a FUN but learning environment
• Continuously monitor and assess the player
• Role varies widely depending upon needs of the player
• Interact with players, coaches, parents

 Physical needs:
• Create safe playing situations by creating safety zones around the player
• Create opportunities for play
• Provide assistance as needed
• Assist player to get into position to play

Cognitive needs: 
• Create safe playing situations by creating safety zones around the player
• Provide instruction directly during play
• Model desired skill
• Help to define the space and “strategies”

Behavioral needs:
• Create safe playing situations by creating safety zones around the player
• Provide 1:1 assistance to model desired behaviors
• Assist player to focus on the activity
• Use a quiet “time out” as needed without being negative

Sensory needs:
• Create safe playing situations by creating safety zones around the player
• Provide stability in an often chaotic environment
• Guide and direct, often not touching player directly, but being near-by
• Create space around the player
• Allow for quiet time

Hearing needs:
• Create safe playing situations by creating safety zones around the player
• Show activity and environment
• Ensure player understands instructions
• Use touch/sign language/pictures to direct and guide
• Direct the ball to the player for touches and contact

Tops box 2 photo 2Interested in Volunteering? It’s easy to do! All volunteers must complete a volunteer form. Volunteers (whenever possible) are assigned to athletes, teams and committees at the beginning of each season. If you need additional information contact Janice Birdwhistell at jeb147@aol.com

Need a Volunteer Form? Want to be a Buddy?  A Coach?  Or Committee Member.  If so, complete the Volunteer form online.  On-line Volunteer Registration Form.