The More Things Change…

I firmly believe that youth sports provide a positive experience for young people when the league, the parents and the coaches look at the program from the proper perspective. But my concern has always been that there has never been, since the development of youth league sports more than 30 years ago, a national awareness program to tell local administrators and coaches that they are dealing with a serious business–young people.

I think it’s ironic that, as parents, we are very concerned about what kind of teacher Billy or Mary has in school, but couldn’t care less about what qualifications our son’s or daughter’s youth league coach has. After all, think of the tremendous number of hours a youth coach spends influencing a child’s emotional, social, moral and physical life.

Plato said it best 2,000 years ago: “A child is at his best while playing.” We’d never think of letting our child take swimming lessons from someone who wasn’t a qualified instructor, would we? Why have we, then, for the last 30 or so years, let children risk drowning psychologically, socially and emotionally?

On Accountability In Youth Sports

The blame goes on us, the professionals who have been trained to know better. The youth coach simply agreed to coach. But where were we when he or she needed training?

On Asking The Volunteer Coach To Complete Training

The recreation director who rationalizes that it’s asking too much of a volunteer coach to attend a training program is copping out. That’s why there are so many problems in youth sports–the coaches, particularly in independent youth sports leagues, have the upper hand even though they are using public parks and recreation facilities.

Fred Engh welcomes any opinions, comments or questions readers have about the topics he’s written about, and youth sports in general. He can be reached via e-mail at

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Related posts:

  1. Online Training
  2. Culpable Coaching
  3. Here’s Your Chance To Rate Youth Coaches
  4. An Even Playing Field
  5. Destined To Lead

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