Should Girls Play Youth Soccer?
This may be a bit of a controversial topic for some, but in the society we live in, the answer should be a resounding no!
Do some girls have the size and aggressiveness to play youth soccer? Absolutely, I see sisters of my players who would make excellent soccer players, but I’m not sure if it’s the best for the girls or boys on our youth soccer team.
Today’s society seems to want to devalue women, rap music with its degrading portrayal of women as discarded and worthy of abuse, television and movies that portray women as sexual objects worthy of abuse and the same with the print media. and the integration of pornography.
In downtown Omaha, nearly 70% of our players don’t have a man at home. If you think I’m exaggerating, we’ve had games with 2 people in the stands and they were both women, it’s not enough for a chain team. This was not a one time deal, we have had many games where we did not have 3 males to run the chains. Many of our players do not have a model of behavior at home to “copy” of how to properly treat a woman. Children often see physically and mentally abused women first-hand and, of course, hear it in the music they listen to, on television, and in the print media. I’ve been a youth soccer coach for 15 years and the “fatherless” house problem gets worse every year. Tom Osborne in his book “Faith in the Game” states that this problem is increasing and is responsible for most of the crimes and problems with young men.
By letting girls play football with boys, we teach boys that severe physical contact with women is acceptable behavior. In fact, as coaches we would have to encourage and reward this physical contact. Our players would become accustomed and used to being physical with women, the act would desensitize everyone involved in the physical strength activity that men apply to women. Meanwhile, the female is learning that severe physical contact with males is acceptable, it is now a habit. Now, while having women on your team may help the short-term progress of some of our soccer teams, I am not sure that we are helping the boy or girl in their long-term development as productive members of our team. society.
Girls are so good and even better with boys in many activities, it is not about girls having the ability to play. It is about breaking the abusive cycle in which many single-parent families or even two-parent families find themselves today. In my opinion, coaching youth soccer is much more than teaching kids how to make good soccer plays and how to block and tackle. It is about teaching valuable life lessons that the youth soccer player can carry with them to use throughout their lives. My dad taught me to treat women with reverence and respect and I was rewarded for that behavior with a wonderful wife and a very satisfying family life. Dad didn’t just tell me, he showed me, even when he and Mom had disagreements, they never got loud or physical. He modeled proper behavior every day, many of our children NEVER see proper behavior being modeled for them. When we were kids, we were threatened that hitting a girl or even shoving her was “mortal sin” material that could never happen. If it happened, my father would treat me in the severest way, besides, he also considered himself a coward.
In 2001, an 8-year-old soccer player from one of our Omaha teams punched a girl in the face with his fist over some sort of disagreement on our field’s playground. Of course, we talked to the boy and let him know that he should never hit a woman and we fired him from our program with the promise that he could come back next year if we saw a significant improvement in his attitude and actions. We felt that she needed the show and the contact with strong male models. The player had to attend all training sessions and games and watch, not play. We persuaded the parents of the beaten girl not to press charges. Believe it or not, the “grandfather” of the striking players argued the boys’ case and said the girl “pushed him first.” That made me sick, the poor boy has no dad in the house and a “grandpa” who thinks it’s okay to hit the girls in the face who push you first. It’s no wonder her daughter didn’t have a man in the house. I wanted to slap Grandpa across the face, but I thought that wouldn’t be the right message for the boy to see either. We really do work with this child, but I think there is a very high probability that this player will be a user / abuser when he is older and will have a very unsatisfying family life. Although the grandson returned, the grandfather was not invited to train for us again.
I will never allow women to play in my youth soccer program. I don’t want the life lessons and memories of our football players to include when our stud linebacker hit a runner who had bubbles of snot and tears running down her face.
However, some people will bite the hand that feeds it. In our rural program we have not had registrations for women’s soccer. In Omaha, some moms tried to enroll their daughters in soccer. After the initial disappointment passed and the mom was told why we think it makes long-term sense for women not to play, the moms were very supportive. I can only think of one case where Mom didn’t “get it” and pulled her son out of the program because we didn’t allow the kids on our team to hit her daughter. I can still see her today, a single mother with 3 children who needed the program and who refused to listen to reasons. This mother was missing two front teeth, probably due to the same cycle we were trying to help break.
Today we have American football and even wrestling between boys and girls, what is the next boxing? Or how about the ultimate fight? Where do we draw the line? If gilrs are as good as boys at soccer, why not boxing? Why not fight? Why not Ultimatre Fighting?
There are some who don’t care about the long-term implications for both parties, they just have a selfish desire to see their children excel, no matter the cost. I shudder at what awaits that poor girl.
Let’s draw the line in American football.
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