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Negative Leadership And Youth Sports Essay

1204 words - 5 pages

There are leaders in every situation and facet of life, leaders are everywhere around us, both in the business world and out in the community. Leaders can be Supervisors, Managers, Pastors, Teachers, or any person in any situation where they are trying to get a group of people to accomplish a specific goal. As stated by Don Clark “Good leaders are made not born” (Clark 2010), leaders are developed by experience, training, education, and by watching and learning from other leaders. Our children are learning how to be leaders everyday. They learn at school from their teachers and after school, they learn from their friends and parents. One of the most impactful leaders of children in every community is a youth sports coach. In 2006 it was estimated that forty-one million children played youth sports (Hilgers, 2006). So if so many kids are playing youth sports why do we sit back and let bad leaders influence them?
These youth coaches are more influential on a child’s perception of a leader than Teachers, Principals of Schools and in some cases even more than their parents. A youth sports coach is influencing and teaching our children to become leaders, and in most cases they are teaching them to be a poor leader. Usually a youth sports coach will coach a child in two sports, covering nine months of the year, for six to eight years. A teacher is usually only in the child’s life for eight months. As President of Cherry Creek Youth Sports over the last five years, I have seen many leaders or coaches that are a positive influence on the kids. Sadly, that is not the majority. When a child is going to play a sport, they should play to have fun, to bond with their friends and improve (Silverman, 2010). Most youth coaches are coaching to win at all cost, regardless of the impact on the child. What is even more concerning is that the parents of the children support this coaching philosophy. This poor coaching style has a significant impact on how a child views leadership, and impacts how they develop as a leader. The biggest problem we face in youth sports is an emphasis on winning at all cost. Success is the only option and failure is unacceptable.
In the words of Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first your last”(Talladega Nights, 2006), is a very common theme for most youth sports teams. In 2010 a local Cherry Creek Youth Sports football team in the 11-year-old division finished the season with a tough loss in the championship game. This loss was the first loss in 3 years and the first time this team ended the season without a championship trophy. This loss was tough to swallow, but it was also a time to celebrate the end of a great streak. It was the time for the coach and parents to rally around the kids and celebrate the season. Going 10-1 is a great feat, unless you are playing youth sports. Watching the coach verbally blame the kids and then ignore the players is sadly not uncommon. It was the kid’s fault they lost, it was a complete lack of effort...

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