Last Updated: August 6, 2015
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Old Friends playing for a Good Cause
Carl Lee and Brett Farve played in Brett Farve's Legends Game on July 19 in Wisconsin.
Before you turn away, no matter what you think of me, I challenge you to read this with an open and thoughtful mind. I simply want to challenge you to step outside of what you think is taking place in youth sport and specifically football and the rhetoric that the leadership and longtime coaches are saying and simply try to see the truth.
What are the risk of your son playing Youth Football?
As a former professional athlete who still faces the long-term effects of playing for years at the professional level, I promise you that you have no understanding of this uncertainty. I can also assure you that no one can inform you about this fear unless it is something experienced in real life. To not be living it and trying to claim any understanding of the depth in which this problem came to life comes without facts and is reckless. The player’s see their facts, as does the league but the reality in the conflict is that it is clear we do have a problem. That is at least a start that both sides can admit there is an actual problem!!
USA Football and why? You can feel good about your child playing youth football because he starts with a clean slate. Your child will not play or practice with a concussion like “back in the day” in high school, college, and professional football. We took another step to protect your child; we joined USA Football, the leading youth sports program that teaches Heads Ups Football. Some coaches resented this since they had been coaches for years. We understood that, but saw the value of up to date information that promoted safety made sense to us as league.
The rhetoric came because of the demand for testing to become certified. I ask all parents, coaches, and presidents who dared to keep reading, are the kids safer now with the certification or without them? Was this the right thing for us to do for your child? Was it the right thing to do for the coaches?
Rule Changes and Why?
We have made several changes for youth sports in the KVYFL over the past few month. Many have to do with where kids play and what determines that. Understanding tradition and having a choice to play where you would like all make sense individually. Where it falls flat is for the long-term life of a league of six teams.
The mistake is to see this any different from the unfavorable franchise that recently left our league. While they continued to take players in spite of the limited number of player by area is selfish and adult driven. We saw them in a negative light yet, when parents CONTINUE to create ways to take their child some place better. If it were just that reason, it might make sense. Due to those who move for their personal reasons, to be on a better team or a coached will pick your child up and bring him to practice. How is that different from that franchise? If you hated them, thought it was wrong, what makes your action any different and how do others view you?
Presidents and their Power?
Presidents represent their franchise and are responsible for conveying the changes to their coaches and parents. While he or she represents his franchise, the larger responsibility is to vote on what is best for the overall league. The disconnection between coaches and parents with the presidents happens when changes affect programs directly or indirectly, in an attempt to better the league. The belief that one president can influence other presidents to specifically try to hurt one team it their league is unimaginable. Changes come to correct problems and to better the league. The history of the actions of presidents and board presidents clearly reflect reason for change. When a grown man tells you straight from his mouth that he expanded boundaries because of spite, knowing the impact it will have on other children and their franchise, how could that person be a league president? This was a comment told directly to me from that league president.
When a good man steps away from youth sports because he merely wanted to uphold a promise to return children to where they belong and coaches and parents both refused. I ask the coach or coaches is this the action you want for the men in which you are leading? To the parents, if you could pick what type of man you wanted your son to be, which would you pick? What examples are we setting by our actions?
The Touchy Subject!
Background checks and felonies! Let me state by saying I believe in second chances. Although, youth sports is not one of those areas. Laws offer those chances in some areas unfortunately youth sports is not one of them. That is not my stance nor is it coming from others, it is simply a fact. As it relates to the KVYFL, a few individuals have clearly made a huge impact on young men and women within their community. I applaud them, not that they care because it seems as I am the one pushing this specific rule. What I am doing is to bring it to the front of our thoughts to figure the best way to address this because it is simply against the rules. I have said I have no issue nor does the league with those who have been in and around youth sports and has made a huge impact on their franchise and youth sports in their community. Simply put, we must close the door behind these men who have dedicated their time and life to the young men of youth sports.
The only conflict I have had, and never having a venue to say it, is this man could coach my son any day being the man that he is today. What he and others do not understand, as a league president having the luxury of what you are willing to except, you are accountable for other parent’s children. While the debate rest on am I out to get a few individuals, switch seats and as what would you do? I respect their work, I am fine with their participation after so many years, but we must close the door and not risk banking on someone to be this good for our children! This cannot be a debate any longer!
Youth Sports is not a breeding ground or a training camp for the next great athlete. It remains the same as it was years ago, the basic teaching of a sport to young men and women. I am not saying there will not be great stars from the league, quite the opposite. Treating them as if they are the next best thing is not fair to them long term. Why? Because every year in every sport, every state, every city, and every little community has its best player. They are unique in his or her place. The question for us all is to define it as talent or gifted, great speed or faster than the rest, great size or the biggest kid, a great athlete or more ability than his or her peers? Part of that challenge is a willingness to wait for these things to define themselves. The types of investment we are making as coaches and parents are very premature as youth sports only have enough information and technology to introduce your child into a sport. Which is what youth sports are to do. Truth is at the youth level you see very little of the big picture required to make the child the next Randy Moss. Those rare athletes would explain to you that the journey to being a great college athlete requires more than what you could do on the field. There are a host of required qualities that even the obvious athletes are not able comprehend at this age. Every player who makes his or her way through the struggles of a collegiate and or professional career may speak to youth sports as the introduction to his career. There tends not to be any reflection beyond that.
Youth football coaches can only discover your child’s talent based on him or her being simply better than the other children are. Development is not tossing the ball to a child who is faster and or bigger than the other rest of the kids. Let us not ruin this experience for the kids as they simply are learning the game and trying to enjoy it. What we dream for them down the road, let us wait until they define themselves and the direction in which they want to go. Let them play and learn the essential lessons that sports provides, team work, self-discipline, work ethic, competitiveness, self-confidence, and sportsmanship. These simple tools will serve them in all areas of life. I would also advise you if I might, pay very close attention to the current swing in sports if you do dream or your child dreams of a college and or career in sports, the future of sports will not be all about the best athlete, but the best athlete with greatest character. This trend is clear that professional sports has their hands tied to force their athletes to meet the standards of their sponsors and fan base. College sports must following suit as this continued trickle down effect is taking place. Where parents can affect this is in youth sports. You know your child and you know how he or she acts. High school and middle school are not going to fix your child, they may just kick him off the team but this demand for better people in the game is a direct result of the many situations that have taken place over the last few years.
Thank you for reading this in full! I hope it can only make you think!!!
Good luck in the up and coming season!
Message Board Please Read
Good Sportsmanship, Honesty, Loyalty, Self-Discipline, Respect.
We strive to display all 5 during each KVYFL sponsored activity.
The KVYFL will be using NCSI Safe this year for our background checks. The good thing about this company is that each background check will be good for 24 months instead of just 12 as in years past.
Here are the directions to get your check:
Simply go to www.ncsisafe.com and click on “Start Your Background Screening Now.”
Complete three easy steps:
Step 1: Enter Self Registration Number: 88010469
Step 2: Enter Your Information as Requested
Step 3: Provide Legal Authorization and Certification
It is important when entering your name, that you use your full legal name as written on your current ID (state driver’s license, passport or state ID with name and DOB). Please also verify that your social security number was typed correctly. Using nicknames or failing to type a correct social security number may delay or invalidate your background check.
NCSI will contact you directly if there are any questions, problems or issues related to your specific information. An email address is required when completing the background check as our contact with you will largely be electronic. Please be sure to add ncsisafe.com to your list of acceptable domains in your email program to receive notifications from us.
If you have any questions or problems submitting your information, please email
Once you have submitted your information you will receive a confirmation page with a 16- digit Applicant ID Number.
Screening Status" link at www.ncsisafe.com.
Thank you for your cooperation in this important process.
Please see the League Documents Section at LEFT for Bylaws, Minutes and additional points of interest.
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