Organized youth soccer is hurting your child’s abilities to be good friends with people of their own gender.
Tryouts and team sports do more to HURT relationship building than they do to HELP. That’s because we teach our kids that – while this may be their “team” – they are in competition with everyone on that team for the opportunity to actually PLAY… with the team. Of course, this not only destroys team chemistry, it also creates friction among individuals who might otherwise be good friends.
Is your job like that? Do you go to work competing with everyone in the office for work hours? Well, maybe at Taco Bell…
Organized sports, which included youth soccer, are the #2 cause (behind TV advertisers) of social insecurities in children, because MOST children are not the BEST athlete on the team.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- “You’re going to have to compete for your spot on the team and in the line-up.”
- “If you don’t give 100% in practice, you won’t play in the game.”
- “We’re only as good as our weakest link.”
The fact is that someone is always going to be the worst player on the team, so when the coach makes a statement like those listed, about 20% of kids on the team think it’s THEM the coaching is talking about. For a roster of 16 kids, that’s about 3, and the only reason they think it’s about them, is because their teammates tell them.
Compound that by an overbearing parent, and you can imagine the outcome.
“So? It’s not my kid.”
Maybe not, but your kid is still DIRECTLY affected. Here’s why:
Youth Soccer is Dying in America
2018 will see the lowest youth soccer participation numbers in the last 20 years. This is directly related to how coaches and parents present athletic participation to their kids. This dog-eat-dog environment has driven kids by the millions to the world of esports (online competition video games), in which Fortnite is the current undisputed game of choice. In order for physical sports to once again become America’s pastime, parents need to back-off, and coaches need to adopt an “equal playing time” policy for every player, no matter what their ability or interest.
*Coaches laughing out load.*
Sure, the only thing more unAmerican than soccer is equal playing time for everyone on the roster (regardless of skill and interest), but if you want your kid to have someone to play with next year, understand this: Statistically, every bench sitter on every youth soccer team will quit soccer this year. Now that’s not a literal statement, but statistically, about 10% of all youth soccer players will quit soccer for good, and do something else. 95% of those players are the weaker athletes on their team. So, if 10% of all players quit every year… you don’t have to be Einstein to figure this out.
As a parent, coach and/or player, how much do you love the game? Do you love it enough to let it live? Do you love it enough to help it to thrive? If so, then let your kid PLAY soccer. As a coach, praise INTENT, and stop micro-managing the action on the field. Tell the kids when they do something right, and IGNORE EVERY MISTAKE.