By Ken Reed
You’ve probably seen it. A Canadian youth hockey coach going through the traditional post-game handshake line trips two opposing players, one 13-years old and one 10-years old. He then turns and points his finger at the kids while yelling at them. One of the kids that was tripped suffered a broken wrist from his fall.
It represents youth sports at its worst. And it confirms my belief that there’s too often too much adult ego involved in youth sports.
Well, on Tuesday, the coach, Martin Tremblay, was sentenced to 15 days in jail (video and story) by a court in metro Vancouver.
“[The sentence is] a signal to other parents heavily involved in the sporting activities of their children that they must be seen as models of good and acceptable behavior and not as instigators of violence and of riotous behavior,” said judge Patrick Chen.
In too many instances today, adults – driven by their egos – are warping the original intent of youth sports. Win-at-all-costs (WAAC) and profit-at-all-costs (PAAC) ethos are taking the fun out of youth sports and, in some cases, damaging the physical and emotional development of young people.
Here’s hoping Tremblay’s 15 days in the slammer is a wake-up call for overzealous parents and youth coaches everywhere.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.