Thursday, September 11, 2008
Why Football Will Never Be My Sport

Two years ago our youngest son, Garrett, who was just getting ready to turn 9 decided that he wanted to try football instead of playing winter baseball. To say that it was not a positive experience would be an understatement. One of the coaches was a complete psycho, the other ones were not much better, and they all seemed to fight and couldn't agree on how the team should be run. He didn't have a good time and decided that maybe Football wasn't going to be his game.

Last year the team tried to get him to play again (he is actually pretty good) but Garrett said no. One year was enough.

During baseball season this year some of his friends on the team started saying that they were going to play football this season and wouldn't it be fun to all play together? This is when my dread began.

You see, I really don't like football. OK, that's not exactly true. I do like to watch professional football and college ball. However, I do not like to watch young boys play, and this is mainly due to the coaching.

There is so much yelling and screaming. They seem to think that by demoralizing these children they are going to turn them into star athletes. It's all about the coaches egos and very little about the actual kids. Everyone, parents, coaches, grandparents, seem to forget that these are actually children once they hit the field.

Anyway, Garrett decided to give it a try again this year with his friends. He is enjoying it more, however, his mom is not. These coaches definitely need to read some books, such as those from the positive coaching alliance.

I took Garrett to his practices this week because Dave had been out of town on business. Garrett hates to run. Football has a lot of running. The kids usually have to do two laps around the field after they have done their warm up exercises. In the beginning of the conditioning part of the season many of the boys throw up during this part. They just aren't used to all this hard work. For some reason they had the boys do extra running last night and my son was not happy. He was uncomfortable and struggling and he started to cry.

Now, he did not stop running. He ran and cried at the same time. I was proud of him for not giving up and fighting through his difficulty with the extra lap. One of the coaches kept yelling at him "Smith, stop crying" (we'll pretend like our last name is Smith) over and over again.

I didn't get it. Other boys were crying to but he chose to pick my kid to rag on. The one who wasn't giving up. He may have been crying, but he was still running. I felt proud.

When they finally gave them there water break he came over and tried to be strong. He had snot and buggers running down his face but he wouldn't let me wipe them off. He drank his water and went back to the team...buggers and all.
He had a great practice after that and everything was fine.

This is my question. Why is it that all the pee wee football coaches I have seen are overweight and couldn't run 1/10 of what they expect these boys to do? They all seem to have some sort of inferiority complex that makes them act like mad men once they hit the field.

So, you know what happened right? I couldn't keep my mouth shut.

As the coach yelled at Garrett for crying while he was running I just happened to say something like "Perhaps if the coaches actually had to run with the kids they would be crying to. Somehow I have the feeling if the coaches had to run this part of practice would have been over twenty minutes ago".

He looked at me and called a water break.

He then has the gall to tell the kids at the end of practice that if they want to complain they can just sit on the bench. The head coach looked a little nervous. He knew me well enough to know that I would happily yank my kid off the team (since my kid starts and plays most of the game at guard I doubt he would be happy about that). My husband on the other hand would have a very different perspective on the whole thing.

He thinks its good for him to be challenged. I say it is more like tortured.

I'm not sure if women and men (or mothers and fathers) will ever be able to agree on this one.

Anyway, he is still playing, and he actually seems to like it.

If he doesn't mind the yelling and running and crying and throwing up why should I?

Thankfully his Dad is back in town and has taken over the football duties again.

How long until baseball season starts again?

I have a feeling not soon enough for me!


  posted at 9:43 PM  

At 7:56 AM, Blogger Heidi @ GGIP said...

All I can say is, "Wow."

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Rosie : ) said...

Interesting! :) We have no tiny football players over here.

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

Oh I have been there in that position. Our coaches are the same. It is hard, but somehow they keep coming back for more.

I do know when you get a win on the football field or a tackle it seems all worth it to them. =)

At 9:22 AM, Blogger RockinMom said...

Hi Julie-
Boy could I go on and on forever about children football programs. Our town has a program that over HALF the town has left and gone to another town to play.
Including us.
My last straw (2 years ago) was when the CHICAGO BEARS practices were called off (it was on the news) because of excessive heat. Did they call off our practice? Nope. Did I keep my son home anyway? Yup. Did my son play AT ALL the next game? NOPE! Plus he got reamed out by his coaches for missing the practice. He was TEN YEARS OLD!?

That was the end of that program for us.
It is ridiculous to work young boys to the point of throwing up and exhaustion.

Junior High and high school kids should be worked a little harder. Young kids-- they just need to be learning the skills to play the game.

Anyway, sorry... did not mean to go on and on. ;) I am not a fan of my boys playing football either. This year my younger son played flag football and had a blast. My older son REALLY wanted to play tackle so we took him to the other town for their program. So far, I am very pleased with this program. They do a great job with the boys and TEACH them the GAME. :)
Give me BASEBALL over FOOTBALL any day though. ;)
GREAT pictures by the way.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Ugh, I am not looking forward to this battle if my little guy (now 3 1/2) ever decides to try this sport. I will not let some jerk of a coach demoralize my child without giving that coach a piece of my mind. How ridiculous!

I'm glad your husband is taking over football duties for your son. I don't blame you for not being happy with the situation!

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Wow, that sounds wretched. I mean, if the kids enjoy it, more power to them, but working like that in high heat and humidity? My kids would be dropping out like flies. We don't have a football team around here -- probably a good thing!

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Lori said...

I also don't like football. Adam played up until his senior year then just quit. I was happy he did. He started coming home complaining of bad headaches and had other injuries like bruised ribs, etc.

Now, Bryan is 10 and started Midget football. I hate it. He loves it. His dad loves it. So I'm out numbered.

I don't like it, and our family doctor is a woman and she doesn't like it either! She's on my side. She's seen way to many injuries!!


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I am a spontaneous, out going, daughter of the King, who is married to a wonderful guy who is a quiet, shy, non-spontaneous, scientist who also loves the Lord. Truly a match made in heaven! We fight and argue, love and laugh, every single day. I am passionate about orphan care and love to tell our story to anyone who will listen. This blog is dedicated to that journey.

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