"Friday Night Tykes" - Through the looking glass

St. Ann Golden Eagle Football
St. Ann Golden Eagle Football
"In Texas, there's nothing pee wee about youth football. Get a look at the obsessed fans, parents and coaches."  This is the tagline being used to promote a new docuseries about the Texas Youth Football Association


As I watched the 1 minute trailer, I realized something.  This type of intense sports culture is not just in Texas.  It's all over the country.  I have heard stories about similar coaching philosophies from Mass. to Kentucky, Ohio to Arizona.  As a youth football referee for the past 18 years, I have seen this culture all over the Chicagoland area.  From Blue Island to Naperville, from Flossmoor to the Northside of Chicago.  Actually it happens right here in the Channahon-Minooka-Shorewood area. And it's a problem. No, it's an epidemic. 

Let me ask a simple question.  What is the purpose of youth sports?  Is it to win?  Is it to have fun?  Is it to learn about life?  Actually, I think it is all three plus some. 

We would be doing a disservice to our athletes if we did not give them everything we have to achieve victory.  I am not saying that winning is the end-all be-all of youth sports.  I am simply saying, our job as a coach is to give our athletes the best opportunity to win. The tools to be victorious.

Just as Morgan Freeman said in the movie Evan Almighty.  When you ask God for Courage does he give you courage or the opportunity to be courageous.  When you ask God for Patience, does he give you patience or the opportunity to be patient.

We can't make our athletes win.  We don't play.  But we can give them the opportunity to win. But in giving them the best opportunity to win, can we do it without creating a culture that winning is the most important aspect of the sport?

Two years ago, I had a vision for St. Ann Football.  I wanted a program to be firmly rooted in values.  I wanted a program where teaching virtues was just as important as teaching football.  I wanted a program where our players would have fun learning the game and the value of the program.  I wanted our program to be looked at for the good it is doing within the community instead of the score on the scoreboard or record in the books.

After assessing our 2013 football season, I think we achieved all of our main goals.  Can we do better?  YES  And we will!

In 2014, St. Ann Football is partnering with SportsLeader.  SportsLeader is a virtue-based mentoring and motivation program for coaches of all ages, youth through professional, for boys, girls, young men and young women. It is for schools and teams, whether public or private, who are interested in a structured, intentional and specific method and curriculum to help teach virtue.

With SportsLeader, St. Ann Football is actively taking steps to better our program.  We are continuing our commitment to focus on the development our players as athletes and as citizens of our community.

As St. Augustine once said:

Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.

We are humbled by what God has given us through St. Ann Football.  To find out more, visit us on the web at StAnnFootball.com

Fly like an Eagle in 2014. Registration opens February 8, 2014

God's Peace

John Krenkel

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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