The Privilege of Coaching Youth Football

I picked up an airline magazine before takeoff. The title of the article said it all, “Lie, Cheat, and Steal your Way to the Top.”  Under the headline it read, “everybody is doing it.”

The article went on to disclose what sadly we all know. Wall Street cheating their investors, CEO’s have caused people to lose their entire retirement savings. Politicians have acted in their own self-interests instead of representing those who vote for them. Reality TV shows that glorify the cheater for being crafty and smart. Unfortunately the sports world has not escaped this epidemic of cheating. Professional and Olympic Athletes are found guilty of substance abuse. It is disappointing to learn that a chemical may have contributed to a victory.

George Allen, the legendary NFL Hall of Fame Coach, once said, “Gagne sans peril – triumph sans glorious.” I was puzzled, and he went on to explain it was French for “To win without struggle is to triumph without glory.” Those words helped me through all my years in youth sports. I used to tell my boys, “Don’t pray for an easy victory but pray for the strength to be your best!”

Why not cheat? As youth leaders you will be called upon to answer that question. Your actions will be the most powerful answer. Do you encourage the WIN at ALL COSTS Philosophy? Do you focus more on building championship human beings or  championship trophy’s?

Do you focus more on building championship human beings or  championship trophy’s?  

Do you show off your team by running up the score on a weaker opponent? Do you discourage the weaker player in the hope he quits so you won’t have to grant him his mandatory plays? Do you tell an injured player, “You’re not hurt?” Do you go wild during the games and abuse players and officials when it is not an easy victory? Do you disregard your obligation to encourage academic achievement? Do you fail to teach against substance abuse? Is Giving Back to your community a concern to you?

Coaching youth football is a privilege, but more importantly, shaping the character of our youth is a responsibility . Football coaching gives you instant respect. The price for that respect is your responsibility to teach young people to make good decisions. Football is the greatest sport on the planet because it’s the world’s greatest teaching tool for real life lessons. As a parent or a coach be the example for our youth to live and lead lives respect and honor.

Joe Mazzenga,

President of Granite Hills Eagles Football and cheer

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