I would love to take credit for this article and the incredible context that is brings to light, but I cannot. This was written by a good friend of mine named Che Hendrix. Che is the Head Football Coach at Frisco Heritage High School in Frisco Texas.
Che is an amazing family man who has taken a 4 year old school and taken them the quarter finals of the state playoffs in the 2nd largest classification in the state of Texas. If you don’t know, high school football is Texas is kind of a big deal. Just to show you how big, I have put in some pics of some high school only football stadium from the Lone Star State.
Allen High School
Southlake Carroll High School
This article hits very close to home for me. I write this as a head football coach and athletic coordinator, but also as a dad of 3 boys ages 5-10 who play youth sports. So why do we play? Is it for the money in professional sports? Is it for the prized D-1 scholarship? Let’s take a quick look at the numbers.
According to a USA today survey in 2013, over 35 million kids played organized youth sports. According to the NCAA, around 5% of high school players get scholarships and only 3% go pro. So, why do the other 97% of us play sports? I think there are several reasons; to get exercise, to compete, to be with friends, and most of all TO HAVE FUN!! Why have we forgotten this simple fact of youth sports?
I asked my kids why they play sports, in unison they said we have fun, (and my 5 year says because he’s good at them). Michigan State conducted a massive, nation-wide survey with 10,000 kids ages 5-14. They wanted to find out the motivators and what kids thought about sports, NOT parents. Here are some interesting findings. 91% of the kids surveyed would rather play on a losing team then sit the bench on a winning team. 71% of kids said they would rather the score not be kept. 65% play sports so they can be with their friends.
So why is winning at the youth level at an all-time high?? Why is everything wrapped around winning the trophy in elementary school? This is opposite of what our kids are telling us. I understand what you might be thinking now; that your kid does want to keep score and is competitive. My kids and I are very competitive and I think keeping score and playing to win is important. However, it’s not the end all be all. The lesson learned and key life experiences are what should be the goal for the 97% of us. At the end of the day, I want my kids to self-motivated, goal oriented, hardworking, confident, driven young men not scared of failure but who strive for greatness.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt sports teaches that to all who want learn. Sports teach us how to win, how to lose, how to hurt, how to experience joy and sorrow, and most importantly how to keep trying. Even if you are reading this and are a 3% person, every sports career ends at some point. Even the best players in the world eventually have to do something else. I just hope we as Parents can help hammer home these lessons instead of ignoring them.
Share Che’s awesome perspective with your friends.