some people just have no clue and should keep their opinions to themselves…


1 Response to “some people just have no clue and should keep their opinions to themselves…”

  1. April 20, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Read this article. Some interesting points but for the most part, I think this idiot misses a lot…

    Copyright 2010 Eastern Express Times
    All Rights Reserved
    Eastern Express Times (Pennsylvania)

    April 17, 2010 Saturday


    HEADLINE: Guidelines to steer youth sports

    BYLINE: JANELLE GREER The Express-To,es

    Last week I cited a few reasons why I think youth sports are getting a bit excessive in how they conduct their business by comparing them to what I remember from 20 years ago when I started participating in them.

    I also promised to propose some guidelines to help programs remember what their role is – to teach the game and help the kids have fun.

    So before I begin, let me put a few disclaimers out there:

    ^ I’m classifying youth sports as the age range of elementary school-age through middle school. While I feel the focus should be on learning at any age level, there is a greater emphasis placed on winning once an athlete reaches high school.

    ^ The guidelines are based on my personal experience, observations and even rules of leagues I’ve played in.

    ^ While I don’t pretend to know the intricacies of every sport, I do believe the suggestions can be broadly applied to all youth sports, since my focus is on protecting the youth from overzealous parents and coaches. However, there are some sport-specific references listed to clarify my points.

    ^ These guidelines are just a start. To really overhaul youth sports, each must be looked at individually with more specific rules written for the individual sport.

    ^ And lastly, I am referring to organized sports whether they play games (i.e. baseball, football, etc.) or have competitions (i.e. gymnastics, ice skating, etc.). I am not referring to playing the same sports in the backyard with friends or picking up non-team sports as a hobby.

    So here are some guidelines that can help bring a bit of reform to youth sports:

    1. No organized sports until the age of 7 or if the child is turning 7 by the midpoint of the season. Starting kids too early only puts them at risk of injury and really doesn’t benefit him or her mentally or physically.

    2. Don’t keep score until the 9-year-old age bracket. There’s no reason to keep score for younger age brackets as those should be simply introductory years.

    3. No playoffs until the 11-year-old age bracket. For the younger ages, conclude the season with a fun day such as having the kids play the parents, but spice up the rules that put the adults at a disadvantage. Trust me, your kids will love it.

    4. No potentially dangerous acts such as tackling or sliding until 11 years old. The no-sliding rule was in place in Allentown’s city softball league and though I hated it the time, in retrospect, it was a very smart rule. As I learned later, there is more to sliding than knowing how to, it’s knowing when to. And if a youth is waiting until the coach yells &Slide!& it’s already too late.

    5. Practice time is limited to an hour-and-a-half. As far as frequency, that should be once a week until they reach middle-school age, when it can then be adjusted from there depending on the individual sport.

    6. Coaches need to teach the kids proper techniques. There are too many kids playing with bad habits that can cause injury if continued. The best way to break these habits is to teach them the right way from the start.

    7. In baseball, pitchers should wait to learn to throw curve balls until they are at least 15 years old. In softball, they should wait until late in their high school years. These recommendations come from actual pitchers.

    8. To avoid blowouts, which can be even more common in the younger age brackets, put a limit on the number of points, runs, etc. that can be scored in a time period relevant to the specific sport such as only batting around once in an inning.

    9. No purposely stacking teams. It is pretty sad when the parents need to win more than the kids. Sure kids want to win, but mostly, they just want to have fun.

    10. Trophies and awards are OK and kids love them, but keep it simple. And limit the amount handed out. I once received a trophy simply for being on the team. Needless to say when I got older this one was thrown out. Another needless trophy I was awarded was the MVP of my T-ball team.

    11. No yelling at the kids for making mistakes like it’s the world championships. Remember these are kids that may not necessarily know the best move to make. And even if they do, they are still just kids.

    And if one day I happen to coach my son’s team, no matter the sport, this would be the start of my rules that I would make each player, parent and coach sign.

    1. We are here to learn the game.

    2. We are here to have fun.

    3. The team comes before individuals.

    4. We will show respect to others at all times.

    5. No yelling at teammates, coaches, officials, fans or opposing players and coaches.

    6. No obscenities or derogatory statements of any kind.

    7. No excessive celebrations – enthusiasm is good; showing up the other team or drawing excessive attention to yourself is unacceptable.

    8. Parents are not to approach their children during games or practice in an attempt to coach them. That’s my job.

    Now, many of these may seem a bit harsh. And I’ll give you that, they are tough. But from what I’ve seen in youth sports today, a hard-line stance is exactly what is needed.

    Janelle Greer can be reached at 800-360-3601 or sports@express-times.com Talk sports at lehighvalleylive.com/forums.

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