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The Declining Numbers Issue  

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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
February 24, 2020 12:51 pm  

I read this from The Athletic:  "The share of children ages 6 to 12 who play a team sport on a regular basis declined from 41.5 percent in 2011 to 37 percent in 2017, according to a recent report from the Aspen Institute."

When talking and listening to coaches, the most common excuse I hear that's given as the reason for declining numbers is that "kids are different today," "kids are softer today," and excuses along those lines.  What's different today is that there is no longer an excess of kids lining up waiting to play the sport you coach, unlike a decade ago.  While the publicity of CTE has certainly made an impact, kids now simply have more options in regards to how they spend their time.  (Keep in mind that schools that no longer offer PE as a mandate, so many kids don't discover their own self-confidence in overcoming physical obstacles.  Student participation in PE used to be "mandatory."  Now they don't even offer the class.  Kids stay inside their own comfort zone instead of being forced to confront their own athletic fears and competitive insecurities.)  There are also more single parent households with each passing year.  This means that moms aren't seeing that Billy goes outside and plays with his friends until it's dinner time.  Billy can come home from school and head directly to the laptop or his video game.  Dad won't see that Billy goes outside because Dad isn't there.  The NFL even has a commercial telling kids to go outside and play for an hour.  However, the biggest problem in the lack of participation stems from the fact that years ago, coaches had an excess of players lining up to play and could even take the step of running off kids in order to get their numbers down.  This excess meant that coaches didn't have to examine how to recruit and keep players.  And many coached in a negative, intimidating way.  Over the years, when numbers fell, they believed the problem was with the kids ("Kids today are soft") when the reality is, kids had less options "back in the day;" schools and parents took the approach that you were supposed to "go outside and play," thus coaches thought they could afford to coach in a negative, intimidating style (in their belief of teaching "toughness") because their numbers were in always excess.  They looked at this excess of numbers as confirmation that their style "worked."  Yet a decade later, the well has dried up, yet many coaches have not changed their way.  It's easier for them to blame children for being soft than it is to look in the mirror and say, "I need to create an environment where kids WANT to be coached by me."  And given the number of practices I've attended in the past decade (at both the youth and high school level), I can honestly say that there's very little that would attract me to the sport, given the men that I've seen coach it.  Football (at all levels) is still filled with the knuckle-dragging mouth breathers who believe that building toughness is through intimidation, crassness and juvenile stunts (i.e., wrapping players in Hefty bags).  Many coaches who would never display such crassness in their own everyday lives, suddenly think this outdated approach is necessary because they're "coaching football," and they want to give the appearance that they know what they're doing.  So they think they are copying what they believe was the key to Lombardi-success.  

Edison was a genius who invented the light bulb.  Yet, the LED is brighter, more efficient and longer lasting.  As great of an invention as the light bulb is, it is outdated technology.  Coaches need to stop trying to copy Edison.  It's Nick Holonyak, Jr. who invented the LED.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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chucknduck
(@chucknduck)
Bronze
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 387
February 24, 2020 7:18 pm  

Right on the money!
The AD of the league I coached in last year asked me to come back and coach the 7th/8th grade team again this season. I said I could but it would probably be best to wait to see if he gets a quality dad coach to volunteer at signups. I don't have a kid playing, I can go where needed. I said make sure you do not put a "daddy baller" or an "intimidator" with the Jr. Pee Wees. This league only fielded two teams in the entire org last year. A bad coach at the younger levels will completely wipe out a program nowadays.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
February 24, 2020 8:37 pm  
Posted by: @chucknduck

A bad coach at the younger levels will completely wipe out a program nowadays.

^ This.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4081
February 25, 2020 12:23 am  

2 different takes. I blame schools.

1) Schools discourage, or in the case of my son's elementary prohibit competitive games at recess. My son was actually given a referral once because he and some buddies started playing basketball and keeping score. Not making this up.

2) Gym class is something like 1 day a week and they do not teach competitive games . . . except for cup stacking. They apparently didn't like the idea of non-athletic kids feeling bad about losing. My extremely athletic son came home from school one day in tears because he lost cup stacking to an autistic kid and everyone made fun of him. We had a really hard time getting him to go back to school the next day.

3) My daughter, then my son attended the same Elementary. Now, my nephew and niece attend that same school. I, my wife, and my brother and sister in law all share the opinion that there is a very strong bias against confident, athletic boys. When I share that with other parents in my county, many agree with that opinion. I think this "jocks are bad" mentality makes its way into the PTA/PTOs and rubs off on many parents.

4) Homework. The amount of homework they give to kids now is staggering. Kids don't have as much time in the evenings and weekends anymore. Blame that one on standardized testing.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
February 25, 2020 1:49 am  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

1) Schools discourage, or in the case of my son's elementary prohibit competitive games at recess. My son was actually given a referral once because he and some buddies started playing basketball and keeping score. Not making this up.

I believe it.  When I taught 1st Grade, I was prohibited from organizing games of Musical Chairs because some of the kids would cry when they lost.  When I taught 3rd Grade, I asked the principal if I could organize a competitive "Math Bee."  The principal replied, "No, because what would we do with the kids that lost?"  (He also coached soccer. 🤔)

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 22951
February 25, 2020 8:27 am  
Posted by: @coachdp

Football (at all levels) is still filled with the knuckle-dragging mouth breathers who believe that building toughness is through intimidation, crassness and juvenile stunts (i.e., wrapping players in Hefty bags).

Hefty bags? 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
February 25, 2020 10:32 am  
Posted by: @mahonz

Hefty bags? 

A common weight-reduction tool (wrapping kids in trash bags).  Either the child is at his normal weight for his age & size (and should be left alone), or he's overweight due to eating incorrectly and now running laps wearing a trash bag is supposed to make up for the months (or years) of overeating and poor nutrition.  The solution is proper nutrition, not a garbage bag.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 22951
February 25, 2020 5:00 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp

A common weight-reduction tool (wrapping kids in trash bags).  Either the child is at his normal weight for his age & size (and should be left alone), or he's overweight due to eating incorrectly and now running laps wearing a trash bag is supposed to make up for the months (or years) of overeating and poor nutrition.  The solution is proper nutrition, not a garbage bag.

--Dave

Ah....we wrap our kids in trash bags under their uniforms when we play in the snow. Keeps them dry. I was just making sure I wasn't being a child abuser. 👍 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
February 25, 2020 5:05 pm  
Posted by: @mahonz
Posted by: @coachdp

A common weight-reduction tool (wrapping kids in trash bags).  Either the child is at his normal weight for his age & size (and should be left alone), or he's overweight due to eating incorrectly and now running laps wearing a trash bag is supposed to make up for the months (or years) of overeating and poor nutrition.  The solution is proper nutrition, not a garbage bag.

--Dave

Ah....we wrap our kids in trash bags under their uniforms when we play in the snow. Keeps them dry. I was just making sure I wasn't being a child abuser. 👍 

No, I'm talking about wrapping them in garbage bags and having them run laps on end to sweat off the pounds.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9492
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
February 25, 2020 10:55 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @mahonz
Posted by: @coachdp

A common weight-reduction tool (wrapping kids in trash bags).  Either the child is at his normal weight for his age & size (and should be left alone), or he's overweight due to eating incorrectly and now running laps wearing a trash bag is supposed to make up for the months (or years) of overeating and poor nutrition.  The solution is proper nutrition, not a garbage bag.

--Dave

Ah....we wrap our kids in trash bags under their uniforms when we play in the snow. Keeps them dry. I was just making sure I wasn't being a child abuser. 👍 

No, I'm talking about wrapping them in garbage bags and having them run laps on end to sweat off the pounds.

--Dave

To dehydrate them to make weight for wrestling that week?


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
February 26, 2020 12:51 am  
Posted by: @bob-goodman

To dehydrate them to make weight for wrestling that week?

Wrestling?  Bob, what are you even talking about?

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9492
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
February 26, 2020 11:44 am  
Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @bob-goodman

To dehydrate them to make weight for wrestling that week?

Wrestling?  Bob, what are you even talking about?

--Dave

I was thinking about it as a school thing.  Football, then?

Making someone sweat just gets off water weight in the short term.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
February 26, 2020 12:04 pm  
Posted by: @bob-goodman

I was thinking about it as a school thing.  Football, then?

Weight-regulated youth football.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9492
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
February 26, 2020 12:14 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @bob-goodman

I was thinking about it as a school thing.  Football, then?

Weight-regulated youth football.

--Dave

Well, at least they're not slipping the kid furosemide (Lasix).


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
Diamond
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 7608
Illinois
Other
Club Admin
February 26, 2020 12:25 pm  

Bob the entire point of it is that doing so is Barbaric! Not to mention dangerous!  

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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