INNOVATIONS IN SPORTS: Allowing Kids to Coach Kids – Part II
Judging from the response on my WFAN show this AM, this thought – that of allowing HS kids to coach LLers or kids on other youth teams – seems to be amazingly popular. We had call after call supporting the idea, and best of all, we had calls from as far away as Delaware and Michigan, all saying that this innovation should be readily adopted.
Yes, there still needs to be some parental involvement — most notably for any medical emergencies, or transportation needs to away games, or to make sure there’s enough water on hand during practice and games. But as one caller said, “I’ve been doing this [letting HS kids coach] for years, and it works great. I just give the older kids – the coaches – some basic instuctions, and they embrace the responsibility. And the younger kids love playing for the HS kids.”
I recognize that some parents will look at this idea with a jaundiced eye. Especially those parents who don’t want to trust the athletic development of their young star to a HS-aged coach. These parents will no doubt try to influence the young coaches regarding their kid’s playing time, starting line-ups, and so on. But as I suggested: if you have concerns or worries about all of this, the answer is simple: don’t bother to have your kid sign up. Let him or her play for another team in another league.
Meanwhile, the other kids on the team coached by the HS student will have all the fun that the league is supposed to offer. And remember – it’s supposed to be about having fun, right?
I really do think this is a very smart and very easily adaptable idea. Let’s see which national youth sports league embraces it first.