My Jake is now almost 8 years old, a second grader, playing his first year of TACKLE football. Hard to believe they start so young.
The coach is teaching a "Killer Instinct" to the boys. Hit hard, run fast, and score. Winning is the most important part of the game. I get it, I was an athlete all through high school. However, I'm just wondering if it's too serious too soon? Jake comes home from practice or even after a game and tells me he "sucks". Really? I think the most important part of the game at this age is to have fun and to look forward to what snacks and drinks their buddies brought for after the game.
This is not the NFL, but I see coaches treating these boys as if they are pro football players... being drafted, then sidelined if they don't "memorize" the 17 play playbook. They are expected to study the plays every single night, and parents are to practice with their boys every evening so they get it right. If a boy cries he sits out. Really? What 8 year old isn't going to cry when he gets hit in the gut so hard he loses his breath? The boys have been practicing four nights a week for over a month... 2 hours at a time!
I don't know... I worry about burnout and self image. I worry these little guys are going to learn to hate the sport they were once so passionate about.
ESPN interviewed one coach that condemns the practice... I loved this part.. He said "When I coached kids baseball, I started every season with the same speech, "Boys, we are not here to win baseball games. We are not here to learn sportsmanship. We are here to learn how to chew sunflower seeds without using our hands" And we'd stand in a circle until every kid could show me a naked seed on his tongue. Full speed ahead"