My Holiday Youth Sports Wish List (2015)

By Brian Gotta, President of CoachDeck

The holidays are upon us! This is a time to reflect on the past and look ahead with hope for a new and brighter future. Here are a few items on my holiday youth sports wish list:

That all parents who are about to complain about league politics attend one year’s worth of board meetings before speaking up.

That moms and dads who yell at referees or umpires in a youth sports game have to officiate the next one.

That city municipalities strapped for cash don’t immediately look to charging youth leagues for services that used to be free as a way of balancing their budgets.

That the word “scholarship” be erased from every parents’ mind until their child has at least reached puberty.

That coaches who run onto the field and scream, “THAT’S YOUR FAULT!” to the ten year-old player who made a mistake, (as my son observed while coaching a 10U travel game) would be made to play a game against each other. Every time one messes up, a kid from their team gets to drill them with a ball from close range.

That there was a safe place in every town where children could get together and choose their own teams, decide their own rules, and officiate their own games, with no parents watching.

That all kids who wish to play sports could do so without injury, politics, nepotism or undue parental pressure damaging the experience.

That once each week every frazzled volunteer coach who is scrambling to practice from work, trying to organize a group of energetic kids and figure out what to do with them has a parent come up and say, “We really appreciate you. Is there anything I can do to help?”

That parents who believe the coach is treating their child unfairly observe every practice for a month and see if they don’t change their tunes.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to wish for any of these things. However it’s our job as parents, coaches and league officials to try to make youth sports as perfect as it can be. Here’s wishing all kids have as near the perfect youth sports experience as possible. Happy Holidays and best wishes for a fantastic 2016, from CoachDeck.

Brian Gotta is a former professional youth baseball coach and current volunteer Little League coach and board member. He is the President of CoachDeck and also author of four youth sports novels which can be found at www.booksbygotta.com. He can be reached at brian@coachdeck.com

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