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Little League Football Frustration

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This is our 11yo's first year playing football. He enjoys it but we have a lot of frustrations. It's pretty well known that this is a feeder program for the local high school. I have no problem with that. But it seems like they've stacked some of the teams with the kids with the most experience and gave them the most experienced coaches, etc.


My son's team seems to be mostly kids who've never played before and a coach that doesn't have enough time to do what needs to be done. DH has stepped in as assistant coach but he can't really get anything done because of them coach.


After a whopping two weeks of practice they had their first game and lost 33-6. After another week of practice they had their second game and lost 44-0. I know that if they don't win a single game it won't ruin my son's life. But I'm discouraged with this whole experience. I feel like we got the short end of the stick big time. I'm wondering if this is normal.

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I'm so glad my 11 year old decided not to play football. If he had decided to play, we would have signed him up on a team a few towns away for the exact reasons you have given - the good kids get on the team with the experienced coaches, and if your kid is 'lucky' enough to get on one of those teams, they don't play - so sad...


My ds is such a sweaty mess coming off the ice during hockey season, I cannot imagine what he'd be like after practice/game in 90+ degree weather. :tongue_smilie:

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I'm always torn in how I feel about dividing up kids sports.

On one hand you want it even so that every team has a fair chance of winning.


On the other hand if you group them by experience, the kids actually get better coaching. Example: my son played on an 8u baseball team last year with a lot of kids that had never played. The coaches spent so much time teaching basics that he did not progress at all. In fact, he got worse. Usually in kids sports there are a limited # of practices and volunteers so they can't work with the kids individually.



So yeah, I can't decide how I feel. ;)

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It's the nature of the game. So many kids on the team...practices, once they've determined the "starters". focus on those starters, and the 2nd string....beyond that, alot of standing around and watching, learning by osmosis, I guess.


We've been there, done that..and still doing that at the high school level to a certain degree. DS14 is the center for his 9th grade football team, but shares his time with another boy, so he plays for about half the game. Frustrating to see him standing on the standlines when we've commited SO much of our lives to this football not to mention paid $20 to get into the game every week ($5 x 4 of us). There's about 45 kids on the team and probably 25-30 will be lucky if they see ANY playing time this season.


It suxs, to come to the practice every day, 2 hours a day and then not get to play at game time...but it is the nature of this particular game...and so must be a learning experience for the player. They will have to determine if it is worth it to them.


I will be honest, many many of the "good players" come in with skills already formed, usually from parent practice at home, or outside training. There's always the ones that have some extreme God-Given talent so is so noticeable that the coaches immediately see it, (usually speed in this game) and make sure that player is trained/enhanced...but for many, it's something you work off field before the season ever starts. For those that don't do that....you come in with a uneven balance and it's hard to overcome, especially as they get older. It's just hard to get enough coaching to get better when you are the 3rd/4th etc string.


Honestly, instead of your husband volunteering as a coach, it's almost better that he spend his extra time focusing solely working with your son. As far as your particular situation...feeling that some teams are stacked..well, the teams that lose always think that....sorry, but it's true. It's a whole pie why teams are as good as they are...it's about coaching, it's also about player ability....but team sport or not, we always tell our son to focus on doing the best HE can do. making sure he did HIS job for his team..he can't control everyone else on the team. So you could be on a stacked team, and not play, or be on a not so stacked team, and hopefully get some playing time...honestly my son never did put that much thought into it...it was usually the parents that created the controversy in their own minds. My son just loved football and waited to play for the sake of playing (and believe me, we've been on several teams that lost all season and basically stunk). Sad to lose, but we would focus on his personal playing, great tackle, good blocking, etc.

Edited by Samiam
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I guess I would rather have him on an inexperienced team and get to play than to sit on the sidelines. It is obvious that the teams are stacked though. Even the coaches will admit that they've kept kids from previous years together and the newbies get put on one team. But he is getting plenty of time on the field.

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In all honesty, 11 YO is very late to be playing any sport for the first time around here. I also have no problem keeping teams together. When a group of kids play together season after season, they can form deep friendships and commoradere, which is part of the reason to play a team sport in the first place. Kids ask to be put back on their old teams or to be put on a team with their friends. It isn't necessarily about coaches "stacking teams" so they can win; it is about kids playing with their friends.


Having a child on a team that is getting creamed every week is no fun, BTDT, but it is part of sports and the other coaches probably are not enjoying those games any more than your team is. When we were that team, the coache on other teams tried to do things, like work on harder plays or play players in their second positions, give less skilled players more play time, etc. in order to keep the game from getting cometely out of hand. Our boys only won one game that first season, but they learned a lot about playing with heart, setting personal goals and sticking wih it, even when you weren't winning. They got better and won a few games the next year and have continued to improve. DS no longer plays but I certainly didn't blame the other coaches or the league for our players lack of experience. That was DS's fourth season of football and he was 8 then. It makes sense that at 11 there are some players that have years of experience already.


Instead of focusing on winning and loosing, help your son focus on personal goals and improving his own skills. Cheer him for the plays he does make abd gains on his own. Foret the score. Otherwise it sounds like you will be in for a very long season and your child will pick up on your attitude, making it less enjoyable for him, too.

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