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Should Girls Be Playing Youth Football? NO
Should girls play youth soccer?
This may be a controversial topic for some, but in the society we live in, there should be an obvious answer!
Do some girls have the size and grit to play youth soccer? I can definitely see the sisters of my players who will be excellent soccer players, but I’m not sure if that would be the best for the girls or the boys on our youth soccer team.
It seems that today’s society wants to devalue women, rap music with its derogatory depiction of women as trash and deserving of abuse, television and movies that portray women as worthy sex objects, and the same with print media and pornography advertising.
In the city of Omaha, about 70% of our players don’t have a man at home. If you think I’m exaggerating, we played with 2 people in the stands and both were women, not enough for a chain team. It wasn’t a one time deal, we had a lot of games where we didn’t have 3 men manning the chains. Many of our players do not have a role model at home on how to treat a woman. Children often see women being physically and emotionally abused firsthand, and of course they hear it in the music they listen to, on television, and in print. I have been a youth football coach for 15 years and the problem of the “fatherless” home is getting worse every year. Tom Osborne in his book Faith in the Game claims that this problem is on the rise and is responsible for most of the crime and problems with young people.
If we allow girls to play soccer with boys, we are teaching boys that strong physical contact with girls is acceptable behavior. In fact, as coaches we should encourage and reward this physical contact. Our players were used to being physical with girls, this practice ignored all the activities of physical force used by men on girls. The girl now learns that strong physical contact with men is acceptable, it is now a habit. Now while having girls on your team may help the short-term development 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 as boys and even better at many activities, it’s not about girls’ ability to play. It’s about breaking the abusive cycle that many single-parent or even two-parent families find themselves in. In my opinion, coaching youth soccer is more than just teaching kids how to play soccer well and how to block and tackle. It’s about teaching valuable life lessons that a young footballer can take with him to use throughout his life. My father taught me how to treat women with respect and dignity, and I have been rewarded for this behavior with a wonderful wife and a very fulfilling married life. Dad not only told me, he showed me that even when he and mom disagreed, they never raised their voices. He modeled right behavior every day, many of our children NEVER see right behavior modeled for them. As a boy, we were threatened that hitting or even pushing a girl was “deadly sin” material that could never happen. If that happened, my father would treat me very harshly, besides, it was considered a coward.
In 2001, we had an 8-year-old soccer player on one of our Omaha teams punch a girl in the face on our playground in some sort of disagreement. Of course, we talked to the boy and explained to him that he would never hit a woman, and we dismissed him from our program, promising to come back next year if we could see significant improvement in his attitude and behavior. We felt he needed the program and contacted strong male role models. A player must attend and watch, not play, every practice and game. We persuaded the parents of the beaten girl not to press charges. Believe it or not, the batting players “grandpa” disputed the children’s case, saying that the girl “pushed him first”. It made me sick, the poor kid has no father at home and a “grandpa” who thinks it’s okay to face the girls who push you first. It is not without reason that her daughter did not have a man at home. I wanted to punch Grandpa in the face, but I thought it wouldn’t be the right message for the boy to see either. We really worked this kid out, but I feel like there’s a very high chance that this player will be a female user/abuser when she grows up and have a very satisfying family life. When the grandson returned, our grandfather was no longer invited to coach.
I would never allow girls to play in my youth soccer program. I don’t want our football players to have life lessons and memories when the defender of our team hit a girl with snot bubbles and tears running down her face.
However, some people bite the hand that feeds them. In our rural program, we did not have any women’s soccer records. In Omaha, we’ve had several moms try to sign their daughters up for soccer. After the initial frustration wore off and mom was told why we thought it would make sense for the girls not to play for an extended period of time, the moms were very supportive. I can only think of one case where a mom didn’t “get it” and kicked her son out of the program because we wouldn’t let her daughter get hit by the boys on our team. I can still see her, a single mom with 3 kids who needed a program that refused to listen to reason. This mom was missing two front teeth, probably from around the same time we were trying to help break them.
Today we fight football and even wrestling between boys and girls, what about boxing next? or what about the final fight? Where do we draw the line? If girls are as good at football as boys, why not boxing? Why don’t you wrestle? Why not Ultimatre Fighting?
There are some who don’t care about the long term consequences for either party, they just have a selfish desire to see their children excel regardless of the cost. I cry for what is in store for that poor girl.
Let’s draw a line in the fight with football.
For free youth soccer tips or free youth soccer coaching tips, please stop by Dave’s website:
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