Monday, February 16, 2009

Youth sports dysfunction, European-style

Once again, the subject is the global reach of youth sports dysfunction. Last week's bad example, Canada. This week's, Great Britain where "touchline dads" are a major headache.

This comes from the London Daily Telegraph.

"Right now, however, in the midst of the inquiry into England's inability to qualify for Euro 2008, the touchline dad has become more than a joke. He is being cited as one of the reasons for our failure to develop good young players. His overbearing presence, it is claimed, is sucking the joy out of the game, producing a generation of leather-lunged hackers, unable to express themselves through skill, brought up to believe the most important thing in football is to "get stuck in". And, indeed, in eight years managing my son's team I have witnessed some terrible things. The father who stepped on to the pitch, grabbed his under-performing son by the shirt front, lifted him off his feet and, spitting with rage, told him, nose-to-nose, that he would be getting it when he got home, was but one."

There is a strong back-to-sportsmanship movement in the UK, led by groups like Positive Coaching Scotland. There's much work to do, apparently.

Thank you, Doug Abrams.

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