Thursday, October 8, 2015

Youth Football - How Does it Survive? I Mean Really?

As a former recreation professional, I've seen my share of youth football. But I have never seen the negative challenges such as it is facing today.

As an example, Friday Night Tykes on the Esquire Channel showed the ugly, win-at-all-costs approach by volunteer youth league coaches. And there are stories appearing almost weekly about parents getting into brawls at games, and even this disturbing story from a few years ago where authorities uncovered a massive gambling operation targeting youth football games in South Florida, leading them to arrest nine men, including several coaches with extensive criminal backgrounds, who they say exploited kids to turn a profit.

With all the above going on I decided to investigate a little more and stumbled on a web site called About Sports. On it was an article titled, What are Youth Football's Biggest Problems?

Now this article intrigued me since I've had my own opinions from my past experiences. I must admit, this article hit on some serious issues.

The following are a few reasons youth football coaches who participated in the survey said were youth football's biggest problems, and after reading these tell me if you don't agree with my headline of How Does it Survive?

* Lack of integrity

*Not realizing what is done in college/pro football cannot be expected of youth players

* Parents pressuring coaches to play their sons/daughters in particular positions, and parental pressures on their own kids to become better players

* And one coach who participated in the survey said: "The number one problem with youth football is Daddy Ball. The coach describes Daddy Ball as, "horrifyingly putrid coaches who don't have a clue about the game putting their kid at quarterback or running back, and yelling at the line to block somebody." The coach said this is the case in a majority of every youth organization in the country.

What was surprising about the article is that there was no mention of concussions. And concussions are perhaps the biggest problem of all facing not only youth football but ALL football.

So now you tell me. How does youth football keep surviving?

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