Blog Entry

Youth Sports in America

Posted on: January 28, 2009 11:09 am

Where to begin...

Lets begin with the story that is tearing up the blogs about youth sports. The 100-0 game. I think we all have by now heard the story. Youth girls basketball team beats another team by a 100-0 score. Coach gets fired. Bad move by the way, Coach wasnt in the wrong.

Now, as a father who coaches 5-6 yr old sports, I have no problem with this score. Maybe I was raised in a different era that accepts defeat and learns from it rather than whimpering about it. I know that the kids I coach are always happy in a loss or a win. I cant by the bylaws of the leagues keep scores or records, but I do in my head. The kids that play for me have been so excited when I tell them their stats in a season. I can remember when I played little league as a kid ( little league was all we had where I lived). We had none of this everybody wins. In sports there is always a winner and a loser. Thati s what motivates everyone of us who strives to compete with others. Its the adrenaline rush and the endorphine surge to win.

I believe, right or wrong, that as a culture we have become soft in all forms of youth sports. We need to rethink the values that allow everyone to play, despite the abilities to do otherwise. The naysayers will blather on about the fairness of these statements and I truly feel sorry for those people. They are usually the ones who as kids were picked last behind the 1 kid with a rock in his mouth wondering about the colors of a rainbow. By the way the rock chewing kid was a monster at defensive end. Wonder how he is doing figuring out the colors thing? Back to the point. The everyone wins rule is making sports a joke at young ages. I have 4 kids and I can speak only for myself when I state. My oldest has never played organized sports due to his inability to comprehend what it takes to compete. doesnt make him bad or good. I just knew that his brain didnt function that way. He loves to watch sports and to break it down like an analyst. But to play? Nope! Still love him all the same. Now switch to my 6 yr old. He is a sports playing freak. Cant make him get out of his soccer shoes. Always kicking the ball around the house. When he isnt kicking the ball with his foot he is pushing it around the house with his baseball bat. the Trampoline in the back yard is always filled with balls of every type. Footballs, Baseballs, Basketballs, Soccer balls, even a torn apart Tennis ball (still have no clue where they scraped that poor excuse for a tennis ball up from). My 3 yr old son is right there along side the 6yr old. Heck, 1 game in November the 3 yr old had to be carried from the indoor soccer field cause he somehow wormed his way through the fence and joined his brother on the field to play (i was secretly praying he would steal the ball and score). Did the 14 yr old long to play? Nope! He was more intrested in the scores from across the football leagues. I can only as a father ask him if he wishes to play and respect his wishes not to.

Talk about way off the track i started on...  Wow Ravings indeed. Well. I think I have made a point there somewhere. I know how I feel as a coach and I wish we as a nation would go back to the long, lost days where just the winners were awarded trophys or medals. I know as a kid growing up it was all about the trophy. Many a season went by where there was no trophy on the mantle. Did it make me sad? Heck yea it did. Am I sorry that my kids will never feel that way. Heck yea I am. I am a 39 yr old man now with many a gleaming trophy sitting in the family den. I have won them from a variaty of endeavors, Billiards, Bowling, BMX racing (as a 22 yr old no less), Darts (my wife 1 upped me in this category, her trophys are from the World Championships in Las Vegas), and of all things Cribbage. My 4 kids, the 3 who can talk, always ask me about them and want to hear the stories behind each 1. As a parent I try my best to explain to them how to compete at a level that will allow them the chances to walk away from a competion with 1 of their own. My 6 yr old son has his 1st trophy from soccer sitting right there on the mantle but all the rest he has aquired from sports are littering the play room for his younger sister and brother. Makes me feel proud that he has already built the pride that winning instills. Just to compete doesnt get it done.

Oh, by the way. My 14yr old son. The one who could care less about playing. He is an A student and well on his way to a career in broadcasting. He wants Eli Golds job ( the man who does NASCAR). I am so proud of him. Wonder if he still remembers sitting as a baby watching dad race BMX bikes. Think I will go chat him up and see if he wants to watch a old race and break it down.

Anyhow.... As a card carrying member of the coaching ranks in youth sports in America. Why do we feel as a nation that the kids need the moral boost a trophy instills. I teach and labor away with the youth and I see in their eyes that fire that winning brings. We as a collecive think that they dont care about the score. I beg to differ. I hear them ask every week at practice and before a game. They care. Its the ones who are thrust out on the field by parents who dont listen that think everyone is a winner.

Wonder if they like rocks? The parents that is.

Category: General
Tags: youth sports

Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2009 6:09 pm

Youth Sports in America

Apology totally accepted and my blood sugar is always out of whack. I also put my hand out to shake. I did some research and the whole 100-0 game was very bad. more than just 1 head should have hit the dirt on that one. i guess 39 yr old elf brain just isnt baked enough yet. i still snap off at the yack sack. and i believe we both see same outlook just different goggles at times. :) glad to call you a friend on this whack board.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2009 12:30 pm

Youth Sports in America


Well I think I focused on one little part of your idea rather than the sum of the whole.  This quote is what stirred me into action:

"Youth girls basketball team beats another team by a 100-0 score. Coach gets fired. Bad move by the way, Coach wasnt in the wrong."

Maybe it's because we live in the area of the actual "event" it was highly publicized, perhaps even over-publicized.  But coach Micah's own comments in an email he sent to the Dallas Morning News leave you scratching your head and wondering if he has decided to go off his meds.  Quotes like this:

"We played the game as it was meant to be played. My values and my beliefs would not allow me to run up the score on any opponent, and it will not allow me to apologize for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity."

So I ask, if 100-0 is not running up the score what the hell is?  And yes, I believe the firing of the coach was absolutely the right thing to do.  By the way, here is a good/brief article about the "event" as the wife and I call it:

Now that I have that out of the way, more to the point at hand.  I agree.  Parents today want to spoil their children and would rather give them a reward that wasn't earned because they are too afraid that their children would feel like a failure.  Failure is how we learn people!  Failure is the spark that ignites the drive for success!  One of the greatest minds in our nation's history, Thomas Jefferson, suffered thousands of failures, but he learned from each of them. (I'm speaking figuratively here, I truly don't remember if it was thousands but I know it was a lot)

My wife coaches two youth girls basketball teams, both of them for our youngest two daughters.  The season is wrapping up in two weeks and a few parents have already asked her about trophies to which she replied, "If we place first in the end-of-season tournament they all will get a trophy from the league.  If we get second they will get medals and T-shirts if we place third."  That did not sit well with two of the parents at all who have circulated an email requesting ideas for trophies and a party location for the girls at the end of the season.  The wife and I were not included in the emails.  We would never had known if it wasn't for the few parents on the teams whose moral compass points in the same direction as ours.

That is fine with me though.  I know that the wife and I are preparing our daughters for the real world.  They do not get ANYTHING handed to them, everything is earned.  If we go to the store and they have $8 from their allowance and there is something they want that is $10 we tell them that they should have enough for it next week after we give them their allowance.  Sometimes Mr. Pushover gives in though, but only when the wife isn't there.

OK I lied when I said we don't give our girls ANYTHING.  We give them love unconditionally, and they earn our respect and trust.

And I apologize for attacking/questioning your moral character because of one little comment.  Honestly, I don't usually jump to snap judgments like that.  I think my blood sugar was low that day.


Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: February 17, 2009 6:13 pm

Youth Sports in America

great rant. point taken. not accepted, but taken as it should be. as for being the champion of this debacle,never asked to be that. if all your facts are in order then the overall blame falls on every adult involved. not just the coach. the person who scheduled this should have been fired as well. what about the adult at the special school who accepted this game knowing full well what might happen. did this adult give any concern as to what the outcome would be or was it all about something we have no idea about. as for "learning disabilities" define this term. this is a lump all for anything. as i know this cause my kids have certain "learning disabilities".

 i was attacking the culture of america as a whole not just what happen to 1 team in the dallas ft worth area.

We as a culture have deemed it a very bad thing, snickers, to not give a throphy for just participation. every child should feel worthy. well, sad truth be told these same children are going to find out when they grow up that the world doesnt give out trophys just for participation. The corporate world frowns on such things.

well, anyhow, oh well. i lost what lil train of thought i had. kids screaming and all. fun to try and think with a 3 and 1 yr old running around playing. sorry to ruffle your feathers all over the place just cause my opinion is much different than yours.

as for my moral character...... ppppppffffffffffffftttttttttttttt.


Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: February 17, 2009 12:05 pm

Youth Sports in America

I remember this.  In fact it happened right here in the DFW area.  I also remember the coach had his girls doing a full court press up until the last two minutes of the game.  I also remember he had his starters in the game through the 3rd quarter.  At what point do you call off the dogs?

There are a couple of elements to consider here:

1.) The school that lost is a school for children with "learning disabilities."

2.) The school that lost is also less than 1/10 the size of the other school.  Thus the talent pool to pick from is greatly diminished.

3.) The school that lost hasn't won a game in a very long time and was never any threat to the other school and their standings.

Now I am going to go slightly off track, but I promise you it will lead to a point.  My oldest daughter has dyslexia which we didn't find out until mid way through 5th grade.  We elected to keep her in the standard public school system because she promised she would work hard and make good grades.  She wanted to do this because she didn't want to lose touch with her friends, friends she had known since Pre-K.  She is in 7th grade now and believe me she is struggling mightily but she is passing and she works twice as hard as any other child in her school.  By the way, she is the starting point guard for the 7th grade girls A team and they just completed their undefeated season and won the championship this last Saturday.  Go BJH Mustangs!

Now almost every single game they blew out their opponent with the scores usually in the 60 - 20 range or worse.  Because of this my daughter rarely played even half the game and the coach would always call off the press after they got up by 20 points.  This usually happened in the first 8 minutes.  My daughter and I talked about this at great length and even though it meant she played less she admired her coach for it.  You see, she lives in a world where she deals with humiliation on a daily basis.  In school she has a very hard time completing assignments and she stays after school EVERY DAY to work extra with the teachers to try to keep up.  But she grits it out, she endures because she wants to.

When we heard about this game we were kinda shocked.  But then later when we heard about the extenuating circumstances we were appalled.  I don't feel bad at all that the coach got fired.  Truth be told he has no sportsmanship and is not a person I would want instructing my child.  Then after the school made a public apology he updated his blog saying he was not sorry at all and further more there was nothing to apologize for.

So go right ahead and champion the beat down of a girls high school basketball team that is filled with learning disabilities.  Everybody has a belief of some sort.  Though IMO, you just showed how much you are lacking in moral character.  Perhaps this coach can find his way to your location and coach your sons soccer club or baseball teams.  Then you and yours can go on and live your dream, become captains of industry and national heroes.  LoL, whatever my rant is done.

Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2009 12:41 am

Youth Sports in America

I think i found the content for my next rant. that is if the Lady Galadriel doesnt mind me using her well said line as the fodder to unleash a new rant on the blog world.



I don't mind one bit. Feel free to rant away. :)


Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2009 10:59 pm

Youth Sports in America

Why is it that some parents/grandparents feel the need to get child #2 a present on child #1's birthday?! What happened to explaining/making the child understand that they get their presents on THEIR birthday. I think i found the content for my next rant. that is if the Lady Galadriel doesnt mind me using her well said line as the fodder to unleash a new rant on the blog world.

Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2009 12:53 am

Youth Sports in America


I sometimes think the parents are trying to fulfill a lost need within themselves. Perhaps they didn't get the trophies they coveted as children? I agree with you though - only the winners should get the trophies.

On a slightly similar note - Why is it that some parents/grandparents feel the need to get child #2 a present on child #1's birthday?! What happened to explaining/making the child understand that they get their presents on THEIR birthday. Unless you are the aunt/uncle/grandparent that only gets to see the children at certaon times of year and you do it all at once - that's different.

Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: January 29, 2009 11:22 pm

Youth Sports in America

Nice blog.  I agree that there should always be a winner (and therefore a loser) and that not every team should get a trophy.  The trophy means more if you have to earn it on the field as apposed to just being signed up.  Its a reward for accomplishments not participation. There should be something for participating but not a trophy.  Maybe a plaque or medal but a trophy should go to the winners.

I was a youth football coach for my oldest son.  He's now 14 and started at DE on his JV team.  (He will be moving to varsity next year.)  He has much more talent than I ever did.  My position was Butt Back.  (If you don't know what that is, its the kid that keeps asking to play and the coach yells: "Hell no! Get your Butt Back!")  The problems we had were for the most part not the kids but the parents and coaches.  Some problems I saw

  • Parents with an undersized, space cadet, with no atheletic talent (and no desire to aquire any) wonder why their child isn't the starting QB or RB.  Our league required every player to play a minimum number of plays.  Which was a good thing.  Every child that comes to practice should play.  The better players just play more.
  • Coaches that intentionall run up the score.  There were 2 teams in the area we lived and one team got the good players and one team got the leftovers.  We were new and my son was on the left over team. That team was awful.  Good kids but not much talent at the time.  I can't tell you what I thought of the other coaches that were up by 35 and still had the starting line up in and laughing it up on the sidelines when they scored again.  His final year in pee-wee ball we joined with another small town to form our own team.  This team had good players and good coaches.  There a couple of time I yelled at the Offensive coach to have some class & just run the clock out.  I knew what it felt like to be on the other end.  With examples like this, its no wonder there are alot of classless punks in sports today.  So I think there needs to be some form of mercy rule and penalty for running up the score.
  • Cheating.  Its sad that parents and coaches would cheat at youth football but it happens.  Technically, copies of birth certificates were require to be at every game.  I asked to see the certificate for an 8 year old that was atleast 5'-7" and 150#.  No certificate was produced and the boy played & killed us.  All they had to do was have a birth certificate from anybody that was the right age.  How could I verify it. During the playoffs when the certificates were checked that boy was not on the team. 

You have to take the good with the bad and I can hardly wait until my youngest son (now 2 years old) plays.  He has a strong accurate arm, is a battering ram, and like all kids loves to jump on his dad.

Since: Nov 13, 2008
Posted on: January 29, 2009 6:34 am

Youth Sports in America

I could not agree with you more.  Soft is the perfect word.  Kids can learn just as much from losing as they can from winning.  I believe this is why kids now days are sore losers when they get older.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or