- Journal of Sport History
- 3 Myths that are Destroying the Youth Sports Experience for our Kids
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Maybe you're the weird ones, OK? Maybe you gotta chill out. Maybe your team's fans need to learn how to act. Do you want to know why Dolphins fans don't dive off their cars onto folding tables before games or why Heat fans don't rant and rave for the entire 48 minutes of a basketball game? It's because we do things in Miami differently — mainly because it's different in Miami. Would Cleveland Browns fans still paint their faces and wear dog masks to games if they lived by the beach and were ten minutes from a staycation after work every day? You decide, but that's our truth.
Like it or not, Miami fans simply aren't taking this sports thing as seriously as some other fan bases around the country. We have other stuff going on, OK? We're good. A loss hurts, but we aren't gonna catch a felony or get our ass kicked so Josh Rosen can hear our voices in the stands. Owing to photos of empty ballparks and the fact that the Marlins have made the playoffs all of two times since their inception in and just so happened to win the World Series both times , outsiders don't respect Marlins fans. There are cities that have never won a title in any sport, much less MLB.
The Chicago Cubs went damn years between titles, so you can see how their fans might hold a grudge after watching newbie Marlins fans throw parades for their baseball team in and The fact of the matter is Marlins fans have had enough suffering in their existence to last a century. No team's fans have ever had more soon-to-be Hall of Fame players ripped off their roster — by the team's own doing — than the Marlins. It's one thing to watch a player leave in free agency; it's another to see the team trade Miguel Cabrera in his prime for a bag of balls.
Marlins fans exist, and they are tired, man. Any other city would have a similar reaction if it had been through what this fan base has endured. All Miami Hurricanes fans are obnoxious.
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To be fair, this one somewhat checks out. If you conflate confidence and cockiness with obnoxiousness, that's on you, but we can see how you'd feel that way. Hurricanes fans have a reputation for being — how should we say this — annoying as shit. Not until the past few seasons, when the turnover chain became a thing, did the nation see one redeeming quality in the Hurricanes or its fans.
The reality of the matter is a lot of Canes fans are superchill, quiet, family-oriented, and just excited about getting out and doing something fun on a Saturday afternoon in beautiful weather. You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter s - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Journal of Sport History
Not every Miami fan is drunk off a case of Coors and throwing a "U" in your face every chance they get. Many are, but not all. Please correct the record.
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Miami fans somehow care about a player's country of origin. This one pertains to the Marlins more than any other team. For some reason, everyone assumes more people will show up at the ballpark if the players hail from the same country as the fans. This has never been proven to be true, yet every time a Cuban player is available, it's instantly assumed signing him will fill seats. News flash: Miami loves a winner no matter where they are from or what they look like. South Florida, more than most any other place in America, doesn't see race or color. We see fun, entertainment, and good people.
It's sort of beneath the fan base to expect anything less. All rights reserved.
3 Myths that are Destroying the Youth Sports Experience for our Kids
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There are a lot of studies tying early specialization to higher injury rates see this article and Dr. James Andrews book Any Given Monday , higher burnout and drop out rates, as well as psychological and identity issues. High-level sport performance experts such as Tony Strudwick from Manchester United FC , football coaches such as Urban Meyer, and others stress the importance of multi-sport backgrounds to develop overall athleticism, decrease injury rates, and increase internal motivation.
Talent development programs in professional and college sports are no longer looking at simply what level an athlete plays at, but what got him or her there. Given the choice, they want upside over current performance. Quite the contrary.
Kids like winning. They understand they need to try and score, and prevent the other team from scoring. They understand they need to try their best. What they do not understand is how winning could be more important than simply being out there playing. And what they will never understand, especially prior to high school age, is that the result of this game is more important than getting the opportunity to play. I love competitive sports, and I hate participation trophies.
I have coached competitive athletes my whole life, many of whom went on the become college and pro players. This myth does not produce better, more competitive athletes.
It turns youth sports to an outcome focused enterprise, and puts way too much pressure to not make mistakes and try new things on young athletes trying to learn a sport. It produces bitter athletes who quit, and excludes far too many potentially top performers because of birth month and developmental age.
The downward creep of select teams is pervasive, and again, quite convincing at first glance. If I get the best players, exclude others, coach them and only play them in outcome focused events against other top players they will develop faster, right?
How could this be bad? Its wrong because if you are all about winning and cuts prior to puberty, you are selecting the kids who are very likely born within months of your calendar cutoff for your age group, and are physically advanced compared to their peers. You are potentially cutting the top player at age 18 because he is young, and has not yet physically matured.
You are selecting early maturing kids, not identifying talent. You are focusing on outcomes, not the process of getting better. Prior to age 12 is a time for kid to sample many sports, not be forced into choosing one.
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It is a time to develop as many players as possible, not a select few. Kids must learn to love with the game, play for fun, own the experience, and develop the intrinsic motivation to improve. That is the path to long term success. When winning is the priority prior to high school, then you are choosing short term success over long term development.
Youth sports is an investment in many things, such as character development, athletic improvement, and becoming a healthy, well rounded human being. It is not, however, an investment in a future scholarship. This myth has been perpetuated by sporting goods companies, beverage makers, and some professional coaches looking to make a few extra bucks.
A look at the numbers demonstrates that scholarships and pro contracts are reserved for an elite few athletes whose time, effort, and dedication, combined with their talent and a good dose of luck, led them to the higher ground. Only 1 in 10, high school athletes gets a partial athletic scholarship.
For the majority of athletes, there is not a scholarship to be had, at least on the playing field. Academic scholarship dollars far outweigh sports aid. Sports is not a financial investment. These three myths are very convincing at first glance, very persuasive to many parents who want only the best for their kids, and very unrealistic.
Sadly, in far too many communities they have become the status quo. It is very difficult to convince people that this path is less likely to help your child become a better athlete, and far less likely to help him or her develop as a human being. These three myths are killing youth sports, damaging our kids, and making athletics a toxic environment for far too many children. The best way to help your child succeed is not only to recognize the common mythology surrounding youth sports, but to overcome it by sharing this message with others who think like you do.