By Colleen D.
Every athlete at one point in his or her life has experienced defeat. Losing helps a child develop just as much as winning does. Losing teaches youth how to be sportsmanlike, teaches them to get in the gym and work on their skills, and it also teaches them how to accept that they lost and to “take it on the chin” and not make excuses.
Everyone has lost in his or her life, but can you say everyone has lost by 91 points? Not only did Western Hills, a team in the Texas high school football league lose by 91 points but they actually lost 91 to 0. They did not score one point in an entire football game. The coach from Aledo High school who won the game is now being accused of bullying by some parents who witnessed the defeat.
According to ABC news, “Tim Buchanan, head coach of Aledo’s team, told ABC News that this is not the first time the team has drastically outscored an opponent, and that he needed to keep his starters on the field to prepare for the playoffs”
But isn’t it possible to prepare your team by giving your starters more repetitions in practice rather than leaving them on the field for the entire game when you’re leading my a significant amount? Sport has the opportunity to foster youth development in very positive ways. I do not that winning by 91 points teaches anything to the players on the winning team either. It is important to compete and, yes, winning is important. However, I do not think winning by that much and keeping your best players on the field help foster youth into being sportsmanlike individuals. Giving other youth the chance to go out onto the field and play will allow the starters to change roles and have to cheer their teammates on while the bench players have the opportunity to play and prove themselves to the coach.
Also, Western Hills athletes most likely did not develop in a positive way either. Yes, learning how to take a lose is important when you are young so you know how to handle it when you are older. But losing by 91 points is not a loss, it is a beating. And this is unfair for the players who put countless hours of training in every week to get better.
Elaine Raakman and colleagues (2010), wrote an article called, The Development of a Typology of Abusive Coaching Behaviours Within Youth Sport. She states that young athletes who have experienced coaches who neglect their players, speak down to their players, and are aggressive harm youth in a way that is not fully understood at this time. Coach Buchanan neglects his other players by keeping his starters in when they are up by 90 points. He seems to not only care about winning, but also running up the score to make the other team feel worthless.
Good for whoever decided to charge this coach with bullying because the way I see it, Coach Buchanan not only bullies other teams by running up the score, but he also bullies is own team by being neglectful.
For additional Reading:
Huston, T. (2013). Texas High School Football TeamAccused For Bullying after 91-0 Rout. Brett Bart, Retrieved from http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Sports/2013/10/22/Texas-High-School-Football-Team-Accused-of-Bullying-for-Winning
Raakmam, E., Dorsch, K., & Rhind, D. (2010). The development of a typology of abusive coaching behaviours within youth sport. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 5(4), 503-515.
Stebner, B. (2013). Texas High School Coach Accused of Bullying After 91-0 Win. Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/high-school-coach-accused-bullying-team-win-article-1.1493353