New Year and Competitive football at under age is still here!
Most small side leagues will start back next weekend, you can expect more of this adult dominated sport which is supposedly meant to be for kids. Don’t get me wrong we need adults to keep this sport going.
All over the country thousand of children will be playing in organised games, with hundreds of adults watching and cheering on as parents and coaches.
There will be joy and triumph, but there will also be trouble. Some parents are busy chatting amongst themselves. Others Parents and Coaches are prowling the sidelines, almost like generals barking orders and demanding that their child/ Player excels and listens to what they are shouting. This is the reason why the wife no longer comes to games and the kid will eventually give it up for good.
Many adults are wonderful mentors but we also have misguided coaches who will end up causing hurt for the children who play. Such is often the case in youth sports. There is a disconnection between in what adults say versus what children want and need to hear. Most of time the time what adults want and need for football is often not what children want and need. In some cases is seems that adults and children live in different world and speak different languages.
Adults need to look at youth sports through the eyes of the children and to serve the wants and needs of those children at play. This will require a change in adult attitudes but also a change in football leagues systems at under age. The system is failing our kids and putting so much pressure on our coaches.
The kids are paying a price at the expense of what coaches and parents want and need, underage football should be about fun, learning, team development; our system often deny individual children fair opportunities to reach their full potential, we are being robbed of quality players, by not allowing them to be children and putting the added pressure on them to win at an early age we sacrifice the present and the future of the game.
I’m all for children playing hard, competing in games and winning and losing, kids should experience disappointment its part of growing up, but I believe in systems that primarily have the children’s wants and children’s needs and not those of adults in charge.
Children need to enjoy and experience children’s world and not adult world, they only get one chance at this.
Kids play sports to have fun, get exercise, be around their friends, work with teammates, show off their skills (if they’re aloud) and grow. When adults make winning the goal, their choices to often hurt some players.
So many potential gifted players have moved away from soccer and into other sports where systems are favourable toward the children’s needs and not the adults needs.
To the FAI and SFAI, I hope you’re reading this, because you are killing this beautiful game. So many people are caught up in “The Way Things Are” that they cannot see clearly to “The Way Things Should Be”
My vision of changes for the better of the game are only a league/FAI meeting away; by following through with these changes will cut to the core of the misguided structures that adults have developed for children.
The more our adult rules and adult mentality stay out of it, the better off those bouncy bundles of joy will be.
Our Goal is player development, lets us “The Coaches” get back to that and “Let The Kids play”