When the outcome affects the income

If the outcome doesn’t affect the income why should I care?  That is something I always tell opposing youth coaches when they inevitably start screaming and yelling at an official for a perceived blown call.  Or, worse yet, at one of their players for making a mistake.

To me youth sports is not about winning or losing but teaching the players life lessons.  Once you stop rolling your eyes, hear me out.  The probability of junior making it to a professional sports team is smaller than former governor Jeb Bush getting the Republican nomination.  The chances of junior getting a college scholarship for athletics is a bit better but not much.

Quite frankly if you do the math, chances are you could have paid for a semester of college rather than throwing your money away on lessons.  It’s a racket.  Getting lessons helps make junior a better player but no instructor can guarantee scholarships or attaining professional status.  If they do I suggest you meet my friend Angelo under the Brooklyn Bridge.  He is selling it and looking for buyers.

What players do learn from youth sports is that hard work and dedication leads to results.  It teaches them if they have a goal they need to prioritize their time to reach that goal.  However, adults ruin youth sports.  As president of my local little league many years ago I was called down to a field because a mother slapped her son’s manager across the face.  When I asked her why she informed me the manager was ruining her son’s chances of getting a scholarship because her son was not getting enough playing time at first base.

Her son was five and playing T-Ball.

I would love to say she was the exception but no such luck. I have seen relationships between father and son destroyed.  I have seen talented players completely burned out because of all the travel games, late night practices, and pressure to juggle school, sports, and that quaint notion of being a kid.

And that leads me to my final rant.  My opinion of high school coaches is so low I think politicians, lawyers, and journalists are ahead of them.  If a child is not thoroughly burned out, disillusioned, or tired of his “favorite” sport by high school, their high school coach finishes the job.

I have yet to find a single player whose confidence was not shattered by a frustrated wanna-be athlete we call high school coaches.  These life-losers scream, indiscriminately bench, and dispatch team rules only to certain players rather than teach the kids how to play the sport. I actually heard a high school coach tell his team it’s not his job to teach them how to play.  He suggested they get that information from their travel team coach.


But that brings me around to my initial point.  Most high school sports programs are tied to “sports academies.”  That is, a travel program managed by a proprietor who happens to be the high school coach or affiliated with a high school coach.

I’ve seen this exact scenario play out too many times to mention: A relatively talented player tries out for the high school team.  The coach points out deficiencies in a particular aspect of the game.  The coach proceeds to change a few things in the player’s mechanics or techniques.

Like any athlete learning something new, the player struggles at first and the coach keeps harping on him.  By mid-season the coach suddenly starts telling the player he sees improvement despite less than stellar results. A few weeks later the coach approaches the kid’s parents about his “potential.”  He then suggests they enroll in this or that program to “help” junior become a better player.

In this case the outcome does affect the income.




About Armando Diana

A freelance writer for more than 30 years I covered the political scene in New Jersey which can prepare anyone for national politics. I have no fancy political degrees and I'm definitely not a lawyer - I am a common person who is fed up with politics. I want leaders focused on doing what is right for the country, not for them.
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