859-223-5632 office@lysa.org

Ways to Volunteer

TOPS is not holding a fall 2021 or spring 2022 season. We plan to restart TOPSoccer as a fall only program in 2022.

Thank you to all of the volunteers that have participated with TOPS for the last 12 years (24 seasons). We could not have the program without the dedication of our many volunteers.

Hope to see you fall 2022!


Ways to Volunteer for LYSA TOPSoccer

TOPS is always looking for enthusiastic individuals who can make a difference in the lives of our athletes. We need coaches, assistant coaches, and volunteers to serve as Buddies, who can attend practices and games to help each player reach their full ability. We also need talented individuals to serve in administrative positions. We can use help ordering uniforms, setting up fields, soliciting donations, and with other activities. Let us know if you can help by contributing your talents and time. 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.

During the past twelve years, a volunteer from our TOPS program has been chosen by KYSA as the Kentucky TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year. Of those selected, four 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 Chris George, Annie Dunbar, Alyssa King and Claire Bieber.

The recipients in 2020 are Elizabeth, James,  Andrew and Delia Good.

In 2019, Mayte Hernandez Murillo (pictured first photo above), was the recipient. 

Others winning the state award are: Jason Russo, Jason Goodwill, Tai Punsuchart, Chris Hutchison and Jack Schaller.

In 2018, Sarah Balkcom received the first Kentucky TOPSoccer Coach of the Year Award.

In 2019, Reba Stragand (pictured second photo above) received this prestigious award.

Again in 2020, another of our wonderful coaches, Lynda Ison was named TOPS Coach of the Year. 

TOPS Director Jessie Birdwhistell also was named the KYSA 2014 Volunteer of the Year. TOPS also received the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information Service Learning Award for our commitment to welcoming and engaging UK students enrolled in the CIS 112 program as volunteers.

Volunteers are critical to 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 adults or someone who has no soccer experience, but a strong desire to enable our athletes to have fun. 

The role of the buddy may include but not be limited to: 

   • Enables player to participate/play 

   • Assists/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 nearby 

   • 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

Interested in Volunteering?

It’s easy to do! All volunteers need to do is 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

Coaches must complete a volunteer form and a background check.




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