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Kids learn best through experience and by making mistakes…not by being micromanaged through every pass.
The practice of knowingly including over-aged players on tournament teams is indefensible and illustrates the very worst of youth sports. Not only does it erode the integrity of athletic competition, it also violates the implied oath of all youth coaches to model the very best behavior for young and impressionable minds…and it jeopardizes the safety of players who are forced to play against more mature – and often larger – competition.
Both in my capacity at US Lacrosse and as the parent of two young lacrosse players (who also play soccer and basketball), I’m often asked what I think is the most important aspect of a quality youth sports experience. For me, it’s all about a coach who inspires my child, teaches correct fundamentals, and values players safety and fun above all else.
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