Youth football coaches should never curse in front of their players, it shows a lack of self-discipline and lack of respect for the players and parents. Some youth football coaches bring their everyday colorful expletive filled vocabulary with them to the practice or game fields, to the detriment of their teams. Others guys feel the need to curse to provide emphasis to whatever it is they are saying. While some will use their rough language to somehow prove they are part of their environment and won’t adjust their language because they are “keeping it real.”
One of the key attributes most youth football coaches try to instill upon their youth football players is discipline. Websters definition of discipline is : control that is gained by requiring that rules or orders be obeyed and punishing bad behavior, a way of behaving that shows a willingness to obey rules or orders, behavior that is judged by how well it follows a set of rules or orders.
When a coach uses profanity in front of children, it shows them he can’t control his own tongue or control his own emotions. That flies in the face of one of the main attributes most coaches are trying to instill in their players, discipline and self-control. Kids aren’t dumb, they look at what you do, rather than what you say. Their eyes are always on you and when you curse in front of them you are being a hypocrite and they know it.
If you are someone who curses a lot, do you curse in front of your mom and dad? How about your boss or pastor? How about in front of your kids teachers? If you said no, why not? Most would say because they feel it would be inappropriate to curse in front of those people. What they are really saying is they respect those people too much to curse in front of them. So what does that say about the people they do curse in front of? Yep, you got it, it means those people aren’t worthy of respect.
As someone that grew up in the inner-city to parents that were both blue collar workers, I grew up in an environment where cursing was prevalent. I’m no saint, I’ve said every bad curse word in the book at one time or another. But when you are a coach around impressionable young kids, it is never appropriate to curse in front of them. Cursing is one of the first steps in breaking down the barriers of civility. That becomes a very slippery slope that can lead to some pretty nasty consequences when you are coaching youth football.
When you curse you are telling the parents that there are no barriers when it comes to language and civility. So now when it’s game time and you or the referees make a mistake, you’ve set the bar to the point where they know it’s acceptable to use that type of language against you and the referees. Bad language is the first step to a total breakdown in the civility of your crowd. Is that healthy for your team and your young players? Do they need to be part of that type of experience?
I get why you use it sometimes, you use a strong word as a point of emphasis, to make an impact. Aren’t you smart enough to find another word, tone or method to get your point across? Sure for some it might be like hitting your thumb with a hammer and something inappropriate accidentally slips out of your mouth. If that happens you have to own it, not sweep it under the rug. Apologize to your team and let them know it was wrong and you will do your best to not do it again.
Cursing is a great way to lose your team and show inconsistencies in who you are and what you want the kids to be. Using profanity sets the behavior bar very low for your parents and players to follow. It also is a great path to losing parents, some like me would never put up with it and vote with our feet by moving to another team. You simply can’t curse when you are coaching youth football and nearly all the successful youth coaches I’ve worked with across the country have well-disciplined teams and don’t curse in front of their players.
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