Adults ruining youth sports

Youth sports in the Mid Ohio Valley have become something much different then the learning stage of the days of yore.

It is lightyears away from a time when we (as young lads and lasses) went out to play our favorite sport with friends, trying to imitate our favorite sports star. It has taken a darker turn. More of a side show for adults who have unfulfilled political ambition or believe volunteer positions are ones of power and authority.

You wanna know why participation has dropped in youth football? It’s no longer a game. Adults who are supposed to be mentors and credible role models are anything but that. They have become militaristic in approach in order to fuel their personal competitive nature instead of teaching the values that are so important in youth sports. In the past year I have seen a coach at a players awards banquet storm out upset because he didn’t get enough recognition and recently a commissioner of a youth team curse and threaten a young lady because she didn’t agree with him.

I have seen coaches cursing very young players because they weren’t performing to an acceptable level in the pouring rain and coaches teaching their player to refuse to shake hands with their opponents after a loss.

I have seen coaches nearly coming to blows in the middle of the field. How many teams even have licensing at all. Check the Secretary of State’s office, you will be shocked. It’s no wonder kiddos are turning to video games. Honestly it may be their safest option.

Where are the coaches, commissioners and volunteers that simply do it for the love of the kids and the game? Oh sure they will tell you they are but look closer.

You owe it to your player. Make sure team has true credible leadership, not commissioners who curse parents or coaches who want to show the players how to be poor sports and fight after the games. And certainly make sure they are properly licensed and insured. Change the culture and the players will return.

Carl La Fong