The Stigma…Part II

Hopefully you clicked on that Youtube clip of “Friday Night Tykes” in my previous post.  If you did what was your reaction?  Were you surprised?  Would you want your young children to be a part of that program?

One thing to remember is that they are putting those types of actions prominently on the television to sell the show and increase ratings.  On the other hand, some of the things that go on in that show have no business being apart of any program, on any level.

The only thing that these type of programs do, is add to the stigma that sometimes comes along with the game of football.  These youth football coaches do nothing but add a black eye to the game of football and youth sports in general.  The coaches on the program argue that they are instilling discipline, toughness and character into these young children, which are all important traits to learn, but the approach these coaches take are often out of control and anything but disciplined or tough.  Somewhere down the line, these men have learned that you have to yell and scream and intimidate to be tough, I would beg to differ.

So what is my point?  While this show is displaying some of the worst behaviors of coaching possible, it is important to know that there are a lot of coaches out there doing the right thing and really trying hard to teach and coach young athletes in a better light.  This show only adds to the stigma that comes along with football and anyone associated with it.

This serves as motivation for my cause.  I want to our program to be respectable on all levels.  It is imperative that we teach our athletes that their actions immediate reflect an entire program of players that came before them, and that will come after them.  With the help of the entire coaching staff, we are making it a priority to instill values in our players that will not only reflect positively on them, but on the program as a whole.  Things are being implemented such as classroom sessions on character education, community service, a leadership council and an accountability point system. We don’t have to yell obscenities at our athletes or even have them chant negative comments about our opponents in order to instill the values of our program.   We do have tough coaches that motivate our players and expect a lot out of our athletes, but they do so with respect and dignity.

Our goal with this implementation is to improve our athletes character and overall quality of life for their future endeavors.  We realize that not all of our athletes will go on to play football in the future, and hopefully the ones that don’t will be able to take these lessons with them in life.  If we happen to improve our “stigma” on the way, that would be an added bonus but not a measure of success.

What do your programs do to improve the character of your athletes and instill value into their lives?  Have you seen a difference in the quality of players associated with your program?  If you are a parent of an athlete, do you appreciate the efforts of such programs, or do you just want your child to win football games?

I would love to hear from my readers and please feel free to share this blog with anyone that might have an interest.  Thank you!

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