Youth sports. A time to learn the fundamentals, some life skills like discipline, following directions and teamwork, and to perhaps build self-confidence and stamina.
More importantly, it should a time to have FUN.
It seems more and more that parents become more adamant about the team, the game and their child’s position and involvement with it. For some, it gets to the point that winning is everything. Learning and having fun gets lost in the shuffle.
Through all of this, parents might not like how coaches coach. Nepotism might reign (and face it, it has. It happens) and this can cause tension and resentment within an organization or team. Or maybe a child’s lack of inclusion in regular play causes parent frustration. That’s understandable. Every child who suits up and faithfully attends practices and games should have a chance on the field or court.
While comments have indicated that there’s more to the story, published reports said a father and son watching a youth football practice ended up in a tussle with a coach. The men were not happy changes on the football field during the practice in Mifflinburg. In the end, both men face charges. Both are forbidden from stepping foot on the property for events or practices.
More to the story or not, is this any way to be involved in a youth sports league? Is this a good example for youngsters learning the game? No.
First off, it’s a practice — a time to work on skills, plays and positions before the actual game.
Second, what happened to the days when parents dropped their children off at practice and returned to pick them up when they finished? Times certainly have changed. With that change, however, parents need let the coaches do their jobs. Most of these jobs are voluntary and, in some instances, thankless. Coaches take time away from their families and other daily doings to help children play the game and cheer the cheers for several weeks out of the year.
If a problem arises with a coach’s method of coaching, wait until the practice ends to approach the subject. Take the matter off the field. Ask to speak with the coach another time, or send an email or pick up the phone and call. That doesn’t work? Try the organization’s board. Just don’t let it play out in front of the youngsters. Realize it or not, they are watching and listening, and these adult examples make an impression on them, for better or worse.