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Grade school aged football

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posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 05:53 PM
At what point do the parent and coaches go overboard? When is it too much? When they jeer at the kids? When they get physical with the kids? I am sure that is agreed on! How about when children are excluded from playing at 7 years old, because they will not help the team win? Is that too much or it is just the game of football? At what age is exclusion ok. Life isn’t fair, that is a given. No one promised it would be. The same question presses though, at what age does winning take precedence over sportsmanship? At what age is a child written off as not worthy to play with a team?

These are pressing questions for me as a mother. We played flag football last fall and I can’t say enough good things about the way it was ran. my son’s coach was great and my first football mom experience was a super one. All the kids played all the positions. And you know what? We still won! The parents were happy, the kids were happy, it was great. My son played basketball with Christian Basketball camp this summer and it was wonderful. Again, positive, supportive and he learned a lot. He won camper of the day one day and won a camper of the week award also. Anyone who has ever been to this camp knows what an honor both of these awards are.

I had originally planned for my son to play another year of flag football, as he is a small kid. Tough as nails, but scrawny. He begged me to let him play tackle. It was too late for our regular league, and a friend had mentioned the signups were still open at First Baptist Concord Church league. My first thoughts were that was great, a Christian based program would be ideal. I signed him up and picked up his pads and gear.

He was so excited for practice, had all his pads on and was ready to get on the field, in spite of the 95 degree humid heat. He had been practicing about 40 minutes when I was called onto the field. I was standing on field when the questions started “We need to know what is wrong with your child”. I answered that he had very mild CP. It does cause him to limp, but, does not cause him to abstain from any activity. The two coaches then said something about insurance not covering him, but… He could practice with them, he just could not play any games. They were there to win and the only time he would ever get to play in a game is if they were winning by such a margin they couldn’t lose or losing so badly they couldn’t win. I couldn’t answer these things, as I was too upset and since this was done in front of all the parents on the field, I felt saying nothing was better than humiliating myself more by getting upset

Again, I would like to know at what age should a child be excluded because he isn’t a superstar on the field? This was not a safety issue. This is not a health issue. It is a talent issue. A great quote by a good friend who was a pro football player and has kids on that league said “They have no idea what they have lost by asking him not to play. That kid would have brought more sportsmanship and team spirit to the team than they can imagine”.

One would want to believe, a church league would be the league that WOULD be inclusive. That they would follow a Christian type of coaching, putting the kids first. Putting sportsmanship first. Not win no matter which kid you crush. That is the thing, at what age is it ok to exclude the players that are not going to cut it on the varsity team?

The reality remains I have now missed most signup dates and have a kid who LOVES football, that doesn’t have a team to play on. I hope I get my money back at least. I do know if I can't find another league for him to play on, I am going to have a VERY hurt kid.

Society has become so driven to win, that, all else is sacrificed from a very young age. I don't know. I am just a mom. Just a mom that's kid that chose to have surgery over Christmas so he would be ready for football this summer. Just a mom with a kid that lives and breathes this stuff and understands it a heck of a lot better than me!

This spring, a few months after surgery and they didn't get his flag and it was a touchdown!

posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 03:01 PM
Most 7 year olds are not ready to be exposed to an uber-competitive environment. That is not to say that some children that age are capable of handling higher levels of competitiveness.

When I was a kid there were many different types of sports leagues catering to kids with different levels of skill and competitiveness. Most kids played in ordinary sports leagues which had a level of competiveness that was appropriate for the normal child of that age. There were a few sports leagues that were highly competitive that catered to kids who excelled at a particular sport.

For example, we had AYSO (youth soccer) which most kids at my school participated in during the fall. There was also club soccer which was only for kids that were really good at soccer and were willing to dedicate a large amount of time to practice soccer. Kids who played club soccer often did not play other sports like baseball due to the time commitment. Also, some sports seem to have a culture that is highly intense. I knew people that figure skated that spent several hours a day practicing and would wake up at the crack of dawn to practice. Hardly any baseball players would do something like this.

Perhaps the church league, while being associated with a church, is an unusually competitive league aimed at kids who are good at football and are dedicated to it.

posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 03:11 PM
This is kinda off the subject,but not really.My wife and I signed our oldest son(5) up for Tee ball this summer and we got lucky and got a great coach.He was great with all the kids,and everyone played.The thing that really suprised me is when we played this other team.Their coach was a rude ,foul mouthed jerk that thought he was playing for the pennant or something.He yelled and cursed the kids when they made a mistake.And these were 4,5,and 6 year old kids just learning to play baseball.I know that if we had gotten that idiot as a coach my boy wouldn't have played this year.It amazes me that the other parents allowed their kids to be treated that way.

posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 03:25 PM
I'm in my mid thirties and I've never had an interest in sports, ever. I'd enjoy watching paint dry about the same as I'd enjoy watching a football game. Your story about how your kid will be excluded is "one" good example of why I hate sports.

In a lot of cases kids are mean to those with physical ability inferior to their own, parents and family members are intense about their kids' games to the point of it being unnerving and just weird, and coaches care nothing for the kid as a person... only their ability to contribute to a winning team is important.

Anyway, it's a little silly to subject your kid to this experience of rejection and outcasting. Unless he really has no problem with just participating in practice and being excluded from everything important, I'd pull him out. It's a cruel world...

posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 03:54 PM
Same with me, I will watch sports on TV but I will not participate in them. Recreational skiing on family vacations is about as close to sports as im willing to get.

You would not believe the horror stories that went on when I was in HS from 2002 - 2006 regarding sports. The football team and the cheerleading squad was treated as if they were the supreme living Gods of the universe. The high school was built in the 1950s for like 1,000 students max and when I graduated in 2006 my senior class numbered about 500 and the incoming freshman classes each year are bigger and bigger and the school is falling apart with the concrete staircases being all chipped and ceiling tiles falling down, etc. the school is in general in need a big time overhaul or even a replacement with a larger more modern building. Yet no no, we cant fix the ceiling tiles for we must buy the football team new uniforms every year or build the cheerleading squad their own private fitness center/practice room (even though we already have 2 fitness centers, 1 of which is the football teams private fitness center and 3 regular gyms). It really makes no sense how the school district will do whatever it takes to give the sports teams their every demand even if it means no heat in the winter, cutting back on security guards, eliminating bus routes, etc.

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