Dear Sports Mamas,
Where do I begin? To use this article as a justification for benching less skilled, less focused, or downright just young players is in my opinion appalling! You also need to look at the innate bias of the writer – his JOB is sports! He is unfortunately, packaging and marketing a product that can be used by these crazy obsessed people! I received a response from him and he was appalled that it would be used to justify this nonsense and that it was not his intent! That makes me happy!
At 5-12 years old, young CHILDREN are still developing. Some develop sooner and stop, some develop later and blossom, some keep developing or some never will be the “star” but just want to play for fun to meet new people and gain a new skill. I am increasingly distressed by the justification of playing the perceived “star” or “favorite” players, when it’s just plain and simple politics wrapped in a candy coating. The craziness and competitiveness of youth sports is damaging our young people’s mental and physical health (repetitive sports injuries from too early specialization, etc.) and I for one, as a mother of five, will not buy into this mentality.
Children need to have fun until they are post-pubescent and then make the decision as to what to focus on. Children are being pressured by coaches at younger and younger ages to go to their chosen camps, play one sport all year long, and to be mean to those less skilled for what? A trophy? A championship? A tournament win? They are CHILDREN! When you are in MS and HS sure – play your favorites, but in youth sports, they all should play!
Papasaurus is one the of the best coaches I have ever had the pleasure of watching in action. He nurtures EVERY child not just the star! I was reminded by a “rival” coach a few months ago and seeing my track star last night reminded me of the power that coaches have over children’s and young adults’ lives. The fact that I got a huge hug from an amazing woman who I coached 25 years ago solidified it in my mind. Visiting one of my runner’s grave site every March does too. She was not nurtured by her coach post HS and ended her life.
So “Coach Haefner” go ahead and play your favorites. I hope that you still speak to them later in life. It is an amazing thing if you can!