I officiate football from the PeeWee to High School level. Personally, I love football having played it from little league to college level. The game can teach life lessons no other sport can. AND, coaches are THE key in teaching these lessons… but I’m troubled by what I see from the coaches and what they are teaching young people. Let me explain…

Yes… football can teach about adversity, perseverance, and work. It can also teach respect for authority and how to deal with those who you disagree with. And thus what I am troubled about.

I have recently encountered coaches of a particular team in extreme Northwest Alabama who constantly yelled at the officials… challenged every call… were disrespectful to the officials… and generally had a bad attitude. Honestly, the only other coaches I’ve seen such horrendous conduct from were little league coaches. It bothered me that the JV players were being taught by their coaches to disrespect authority… to challenge authority… and denigrate those in positions of authority.

Is it any wonder that as some kids get older they yell at parents… break laws expecting impunity… and cry life isn’t fair when things don’t go their way with adult examples like that in the football field?!

Coaches and parents¬†instead try teaching young people to respect authority! Teach them to interact with authority in a quiet manner making their case for unfairness in an adult conversational manner. Trust me, in the long run it will serve them well. However… IF they learn to yell, argue emotionally, and disrespect those over them… it WILL bite them eventually. They will find their way in life to be hard… and a large portion of the blame is those who modeled behavior for them.

Just a thought…