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Should Girls Be Playing Youth Football? NO
Should Girls Play Youth Soccer?
This may be a bit of a controversial topic for some, but in the society we live in, the answer should be a resounding no!
Do some girls have the size and aggressiveness to play youth football? Absolutely, I see sisters of my players who would make great soccer players, but I’m not sure it would be the best for the girl or the boys on our youth soccer team.
Today’s society seems to want to devalue women, rap music with its demeaning depiction of women as throwaway and worthy of abuse, television and movies that present women as abuse worthy sex objects and the same with the print media and the introduction of pornography.
In downtown Omaha almost 70% of our players have no man in the home. If you think I’m exaggerating, we’ve had games with 2 people in the stands and both were females, not enough for a chain crew. This wasn’t a one time deal, we had a lot of games where we didn’t have 3 men to run the chains. Many of our players do not have a model of behavior in the house to “copy” how to properly treat a woman. The children often see first-hand women being physically and mentally abused and of course they hear it in the music they listen to, on TV and in print. I have been coaching youth football for 15 years and the “dadless” house problem gets worse every year. Tom Osborne in his book “Faith in the Game” claims that this problem is increasing and is responsible for the majority of crime and problems with young males.
If we let girls play football with boys, we are teaching the boys that harsh physical contact with females is acceptable behavior. In fact as coaches we should encourage and reward this physical contact. Our players would get used to and get used to being physical with females, the act would desensitize everyone involved in the act of physical force being applied to females by men. The female in the meantime learns that severe physical contact with males is acceptable, it is now a habit. Now, while having females on your team may help the short-term progress of some of our soccer teams, I’m not sure we’re helping either the boy or the girl in their long-term development as productive members of our society.
Girls are as good and even better than boys at many activities, this is not about the girls having the ability to play. This is about breaking the cycle of violence that many single-parent families or even two-parent families find themselves in today. In my mind, coaching youth football is much more than teaching kids how to run good football plays and how to block and tackle. It’s about teaching valuable life lessons that the youth footballer can take with them to use throughout their lives. My father taught me how to treat women with respect and reverence and I was rewarded for that behavior with a wonderful wife and a very satisfying family life. Dad didn’t just tell me, he showed me, even when he and mom had disagreements, they never got loud or physical. He modeled the appropriate behavior every day, many of our children NEVER see that appropriate behavior modeled for them. As a boy, we were threatened that hitting a girl or even pushing one was “mortal sin” material that could never happen. If it happened, I would be treated by my father in the most extreme harsh manner, besides it was also considered cowardly.
In 2001 we had an 8 year old soccer player from one of our Omaha teams punch a girl in the face over some disagreement on the playground of our field. Of course we spoke to the boy and let him know that he should never hit a woman and dismissed him from our program with the promise that he could come back next year if we saw a significant improvement in his attitude and actions. We felt he needed the program and contact with strong male role models. The player had to attend every practice and the games and watch, not play. We persuaded the parents of the stricken girl not to press formal charges. Believe it or not, the striking players “grandfather” argued the case of children and said that the girl “pushed him first”. That made me sick, the poor kid doesn’t have a dad in the house and a “grandpa” who thinks it’s okay to punch girls in the face who push you first. No wonder his daughter had no man in the house. I wanted to hit the grandfather, but thought that wouldn’t be the right message for the boy to see either. We really worked with this kid, but I feel that there is a very high probability that this player will be a woman user/abuser when he gets older and will have a very unsatisfying family life. While the grandson did return, grandfather was not invited to train for us again.
I will never allow females to play in my youth football program. I don’t want our football players to include life lessons and memories when our stud linebacker knocked the stuffing out of a girl running back who had blisters and tears streaming down her face.
However, some people will bite the hand that feeds it. In our rural program we had no female soccer entries. In Omaha we had some moms trying to sign their daughters up for football. After the initial disappointment wore off and the mom was told why we think it makes sense in the long run for females not to play, the moms were very supportive. I can think of only one instance where a mom didn’t “get it” and pulled her son out of the program because we wouldn’t allow her daughter to be beaten by boys on our team. I can still see her today, a single mother with 3 children who needed the program, who refused to listen to reason. This mom had two missing front teeth, probably caused by the same cycle we were trying to help break.
Today we have football and even wrestling between boys and girls, what’s next boxing? or how about ultimate fighting? Where do we draw the line? If girls are as good as boys in football, why not boxing? Why not struggle? Why not Ultimatre Fighting?
There are some who don’t care about the long-term implications for either party, they just have a selfish desire to see their children excel, no matter the cost. I shudder at what is in store for that poor girl.
Let’s draw the line at tackle football.
For more free Youth Soccer Games or free Youth Soccer Coaching tips please stop by Dave’s website:
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