fundamental soccer logo

Fundamental Soccer Blog


Marc wrote …

I will say, “I am NOT in Favor of Coed Teams!” After watching my son, daughter, and nieces, I went from “Coed is fine” to “No Way Coed is Bad for the Girls.” I watched my daughter and nieces blossom when they didn’t have to deal with the more dominant boys who “shoved” them aside.

Denise Responded …

Although I completely understand and respect Marc’s opinion on not wanting Coed, I do have to disagree on the stance. There are a lot of positives that come from having both girls and boys playing and learning together, and the solution to over-dominating and rough behavior isn’t to remove the girls but to correct the boys’ behavior. I’m sure there are some boys that play with those same players that feel the same way. 

The message in the SOCCERevolution is focused on how we develop children in the sport of soccer through skill, personal development, and teamwork while providing a safe and supportive environment for practice and play. To Marc’s point, soccer wasn’t fun for his daughter and nieces, but that could have been different if the coach and parents of the rougher kids had corrected the behavior and communicated the expectations, allowing every kid to enjoy playing on the team. 

Marc Responded …

Well, I was the coach (or my brother with his daughter’s). Why would I want to train boys not to be what they are? Why hold them back?

Something Koach Karl taught me way too many years ago is kind of a parallel here. We were having issues in our rec league (and comp, too) with very lopsided scores. It was mainly with interleague play, so it wasn’t a “better balance the teams” issue. We were searching for ways to punish the team that was scoring a lot of goals to try and force the game scores to be more balanced. We were doing all the tricks, pulling players, forcing 18 passes, etc. But sometimes, that still wasn’t enough. Karl and I had a discussion somewhere, and I brought him up. His answer was, “Why are you punishing the player/team that is better prepared?”

I see this as something similar. Why punish the Boys for being Boys?

Denise Responded…  

Is shoving and more aggression on the field from dominant youth players the skill we want them to learn, or do we want players to be more technical with their moves, strategy, and activities? I’m not a soccer coach, but as a female and former girl youth soccer player, I can tell you that the way you explained the problematic children wasn’t a gender issue but a player issue.

I remember (a long time ago) when I was younger, we would have girls against guys all the time with soccer, and you had strong players in both, but one thing was true on both sides: you had to be cautious of the aggressive players (shoving, kicking erratically, etc.) because their behavior would lead to injuries. They weren’t better than the other players; they were simply more aggressive.

In my opinion, “punishing boys for being boys” is a phrase used in all aspects of life that in my opinion is an excuse for allowing boys to get away with bad behavior, whether it be soccer or other. We should not accept shoving and poor behavior to be the norm on the field, but instead, we should expect our boys to be able to understand group play, technical skills, and teamwork. Simply removing girls from the equation only perpetuates and encourages poor behavior while punishing the girls for no reason of their own.

This is why the ‘SOCCERevolution’ is so important for coaches and parents to read and truly understand to create a different way of thinking and reacting that is more conducive to an inclusive and fun environment for all kids. These are kids, not professional adult players. To be clear, you don’t have to stifle people’s development to have everyone involved, but you do have to hold people accountable for reaching for the higher bar.

Koach Karls’ Notes

I’m sure it’s clear there’s a lot to think about, right? Every child brings their own something special to the field, and that’s what makes the game so magical!

Whether you agree more with Marc or Denise, what matters the most is what is best for the kids/players, and that’s where you come in. Your Voice and Support can help make a Difference!

At SOCCERevolution, we’re all about making sure every U-6 to U-12-year-old feels like a superstar, no exceptions!  Please share your ideas and stories because you never know who WE, TOGETHER, can reach/teach to benefit the children!   

Guest Kontributor

On top of our already large base of Special Kontributors, we also have Guest Kontributors. We thank all who have taken the time to kontribute to!