Many youth football coaching enthusiasts tuned in for the first season of Friday Night Tykes a youth football reality television show. If you aren’t familiar with the show it is program shot in San Antonio, Texas in the TYFA youth football league. The first season was sensationalized due to some very inappropriate behavior displayed by several of the featured coaches and some fans. The second season’s kickoff show was shown yesterday. Some of you may remember I sat in with Mike Martz and Clinton Portis on the review panel show “Tackling on Tykes”, which aired a week after their season concluded.
Many felt the show was a slam set up job meant to harm the game. Others said it was representative of what many have seen or experienced. Personally I’ve never seen much of the controversial happenings live. But I’ve heard a few stories from credible sources that inappropriate things like those shown on the show happen in youth football. So bad stuff happens that shouldn’t and this show captured some of it and put it out for the entire world to see. As the season progressed there were some very positive moments as well. The net is, there is good and bad in youth sports, many times from the very same coach.
What can we as youth football coaches learn from the experience? Maybe we can recognize some of the negative things happening on our team or even within ourselves. When faced with that notion and having to look ourselves in the mirror, maybe that becomes a catalyst for change. No one wants to be “that guy” maybe it encourages some to take steps to avoid poor behavior. On the other hand when we see a coach getting results on the show, solving problems, the kids are gaining and growing from the experience and he’s doing the right things the right way. maybe we can learn from that as well.
This season’s first show centered on last years problem team, the Broncos. They terminated problem Coach Charles Chavarria. The new sheriff in town has vowed to keep it clean, positive and teach tackling without using the head. The practice and game footage seems to show progress there.
The Colts and Coach Marecus Goodloe are also back for season two. Deep down you can see that Coach M loves and cares about his players. Unfortunately his language is R rated. It’s not a once in a while thing or meant to be malicious, it’s just part of his normal vocabulary. It slips out all the time and you just can’t do that around kids. He has a pretty good team, but this year he can’t rely on the one skilled little running back to keep him in games. Like many kids, it looks like that little player hasn’t grown and others have caught up to him a bit. It happens all the time in youth football.
A new team, the Spartans are being featured this year. The Spartans are moving up from Division II to Division I. With the exception of maybe one player, they don’t seem to have the athleticism of the Outlaws, Colts, Steelers or even Broncos. Their coach is a very passionate rah rah type. Big hat, no cattle, I’m doubting this team does very well this season. From the small bit of practice footage shown, this team is not very well coached. Their precision and pace is poor to put it mildly. Their team’s big story is they have an 11 year old girl on the team that looks to be about 5’9” tall and about 170 lbs. She dwarfs many of the kids she is playing against and is playing youth football to lose weight. She is a first year player whose mom is very pushy.
The big bully on the block back for season two is the Outlaws. True to their name the Outlaws are very big, intimidating, very athletic, very confident and extremely physical. This team pursues to the ball and tackles with leverage and speed. They have multiple weapons and run the ball the best. Without a doubt they are the best of the teams shown in this first episode.
How will this season hash out? See if you can predict how the teams will do just based on the tiny bit of footage shown. For my take on last seasons Friday Night Tykes shows, here it is for every episode: