Many times a youth football game won’t go the way you want or expect it to go. Sometimes you can even have the officiating apparently go against you. No one, not you or the officials are ever going to call a perfect game. Then there are other games where the other team just seems to get under your skin a little. Maybe their kids play a bit past the whistle or even jaw with some unkind or even swear word language. As youth football coaches, how should we respond?
Here is what one youth football coach did last week:
Watch the video, the coach pushes a kid from the opposing team out o www.ufabet f the handshake line by his facemask. This coache’s excuse was that this player had supposedly been using foul language in the game and was saying something negative to his kids as the players went through the handshake line. The player that was pushed played on the winning team, the coach doing the pushing was on the losing team. The coach stated that he wanted the kid to “knock it off” and was just “doing what he would do to his own son”.
Of course the pushed player and his parents claim the lad said nothing and is an angel on earth, a classic, he said, she said situation. They are pressing assault charges.
Does it really matter what the player said? What kind of an example did this coach set for his players? When confronted with a situation you feel you are being disrespected, answer with force. While most of us coaching youth football would like all the kids to behave as well as out own kids, do we have the right to handle all kids we come in contact with the same way we would our own children? The way I discipline my children is what works based on what my wife and I believe is right for our family and fits the personalities of our children, Our kids are well adjusted, fun, outgoing and well behaved. My guess is we are far stricter than 90% of the population and it works for us, but that doesn’t give me permission or the right to use the same methods on your kids, even if your kids are foul mouthed spoiled brats. Especially if your idea of discipline involves any type of physical contact.
What should this coach have done if this child had been acting in the way that he described?
He could have made note of the players number, the exact language the player was using and talked to the players coach well after the coaches and players had finished their post game meeting. The coach could have then used that supposed incident as a ‘teaching moment”, instructing his players what SHOULD be done in a handshake line and how by NOT responding they were doing the right thing. A better approach may have been to ask your players what they thought this players actions made the player look like to them. Hopefully your players would realize that acting in this fashion (if he did), what a buffoon and low life the jawing player appeared to all. Games should be settled on the football field not by jawing before, during or after games. Hopefully this is what your players learn from you and your actions.