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Should Girls Be Playing Youth Football? NO
Should girls play youth football?
This may be a bit of a controversial topic for some but in the society we live in the answer should be no!
Do some girls have the size and aggression to play youth soccer? Sure, I see sisters of my players who would make great soccer players, but I’m not sure that would be best for the girls or boys on our youth soccer team.
Today’s society seems to want to devalue women, with derogatory depictions of women as throwaways and exploitable in rap music, TV and movies that portray women as exploitable sex objects, and mainstream print media and pornography.
Almost 70% of our players in the inner city of Omaha have no one at home. If you think I’m exaggerating, we’ve played games with 2 people in the stands and both were women, not enough for a chain crew. It wasn’t a one time deal, we’ve had several games where we didn’t have 3 men to run the chain. Many of our players have no model of behavior at home to “copy” how to properly treat a woman. Boys are often seen physically and mentally abusing women, and of course they hear it in the music they listen to, on TV and in print. I’ve been coaching youth football for 15 years and the problem of the “fatherless” home gets 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 crime and problems among young men.
If we allow girls to play football with boys, we teach boys that rough physical contact with women is acceptable behavior. In fact, as coaches we need to encourage and reward this physical contact. As our players get used to and become accustomed to physical contact with women, this law will desensitize anyone involved in the physical force activity exerted on women by men. Meanwhile the female is learning that hard physical contact with the male is acceptable, it is now a habit. Now while having women on your team may help some of our football teams thrive in the short term, I’m not sure we are helping either boy or girl in their long term development as productive members of their society.
In many activities girls are as good as boys and even better, it’s not about girls having the ability to play. This is to break the vicious cycle of many single parent families or even two parent families today. In my opinion, coaching youth football is much more than teaching kids how to run and block and tackle good football plays. It’s about teaching valuable life lessons that a young football player 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 that behavior with a wonderful wife and a very fulfilling family life. Dad not only told me, he showed me, even though he and mom had differences, he never said it loudly or physically. He modeled proper behavior every day, many of our children never see proper behavior modeled for them. As a boy, we were bullied that hitting a girl or pushing someone was a “mortal sin” that could never happen. If this happened, I would be treated very harshly by my father, and it was also considered cowardly.
In 2001 an 8-year-old football player on our Omaha team punched a girl in the face over some sort of disagreement in the area of our field. Of course we talked to the boy and let him know that he must never beat a woman and removed him from our program with the promise that he would return next year if his attitude and actions showed significant improvement. We felt he needed a program and exposure to strong male role models. A player had to attend every practice and watch the game, not play. We have explained to the victim girl’s parents not to press formal charges. Believe it or not, striking player “Dada” argued the case of the children and said that the girl “pushed him first”. That makes me sick, poor kid with no dad at home and a “grandpa” who thinks it’s okay to punch girls in the face who push you first. No wonder his daughter had no men at home. I wanted to punch grandpa in the face but I thought this message was not suitable for a child either. We really worked on this kid, but I think this player will grow up to be a female user/abuser and have a very unsatisfactory family life. While the grandson came back, the grandfather was never called upon to coach us again.
I will never allow women to play in my youth football program. I don’t want our football players’ life lessons and memories to include when our stud linebacker busts a girl’s stuff with bubbles and tears streaming down her face.
However, some people bite the hand that feeds them. We have no women’s football sign ups in our rural program. In Omaha we’ve had some moms try to sign their daughters up for soccer. After the initial frustration was over and Mom was told why we think it makes sense in the long run for women not to play, Mom was very supportive. I can only think of one case where a mom “didn’t get it” and pulled her son out of the program because we weren’t going to let her daughter get bullied by the guys on our team. I can still see her today, a single mom with 3 kids who needed a program that refused to listen to reason. This mother was missing her two front teeth, probably from the same cycle we were trying to break through.
Today we have football and wrestling between boys and girls, now what is boxing? Or how about the final fight? Where do we draw the line? If gillers are as good as boys at football, why not boxing? Why not wrestling? Why not Altimeter Fighting?
There are those who don’t care about the long-term consequences for either party, they just have a selfish desire to see their kids excel, whatever the cost. I cringed at what was in store for that poor girl.
Draw the line at tackle football.
For more free youth football games or free youth football coaching tips please stop by Dave’s website:
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