Sportsmanship Survey Shows Disappointing Results

A recent survey of 2,000 parents and coaches by Liberty Mutual displayed some disappointing results:

  • 50% of parents & coaches believe sportsmanship has worsened since they were growing up.
  • 60% witnessed or participated in negative or abusive sideline behavior.

The complete infographic with additional insight and statistics is below.

What do you think? Do these results match up with your experiences?

2014 Sportsmanship Survey

Exposure To New Cultures From Youth Sports

An immigrant from Guinea coaching a youth soccer team.
Image courtesy The Oregonian.

Youth sports can be incredibly impactful and stories like these are why many trumpet the benefits of participating.

In Wilsonville, a suburb of Portland, Oregon, a team of third grade girls has an unlikely coach – an immigrant from Guinea.

The Oregonian tells the story of Kalil Konate, a former semi-pro player who moved to America two years ago to be with his wife Alicia. He promotes a philosophy of “peace through soccer” and both players and parents have taken to him.

These unique enrichment opportunities are rarely found in the classroom and these players are certainly fortunate to have Mr. Konate as their coach.

Are there any similar stories in your organization? Let us know in the comments below!

Semantics in Youth Sports – ‘Cutting Players’


An intriguing article was posted recently in the Coloradoan about a local youth soccer club ‘cutting players younger.’

The article mentions two local clubs and team formation practices centered around competitive teams. In one situation, there’s even a competitive ‘non-tryout’ process for teams as young as Under 9. In those situations, they don’t ‘cut’ players, but players can be ‘inactive’ for games.

The semantics are important – both in the ‘non-tryout’ situation and as far as how the article is framed.

In soccer organizations (and sports) nationwide, there is an increasing push to field competitive Travel teams that contend for championships.

That said, there are almost always Recreational opportunities that exist in those same organizations. The organizations realize that a vibrant Recreational department is a terrific feeder system for kids ready, able, and interested in playing for competitive Travel teams.

The responsibility falls to the parents to evaluate these opportunities properly. The article spends time talking about the psychological implications for a young child of not making a team, but with proper framing and opportunity, this seems to be a non-issue.

What do you think? Are organizations really ‘cutting players younger’ or is this article just highlighting a worst-case scenario?