Don’t Rush the Kids: Scaling Sports for Long-Term Success
The leagues run by We Not Me Sports are where classmates learn how to play together.
A good educator knows how to scale the lesson to meet the learner where they are. Then they steadily increase the challenge so the student can stretch themselves. Every program in We Not Me Sports is designed with this approach in mind:
- They use kid-size balls and equipment
- The number of players and the size of the field are modified
- The refs will sometimes stop the game to explain a rule or teach a skill
But, most importantly, We Not Me manages the INTENSITY of the games and the adults. See, it’s easy to slip into competitive mode when playing sports. You should watch Coach Matt during a pickleball match. Yikes!
Their site supervisors and refs walk around taking the temperature of the games. Coaches can sub out a player who is upset or needs to settle down. But, what about the adults getting worked up like they’re at an Eagles game? In the moment that requires a blend of sense of humor, straight talk, and civility. So, We Not Me tries to be proactive too. There is a difference between a Developmental League and a Competitive League.
Here’s the thing: the player’s role is to compete, regardless. They should try to score and they should try to stop the other team. This is sports, not coloring in a book. The amount of lessons to be learned by trying and failing and trying again are numerous.
The difference between a Developmental and a Competitive League is how the coaches and parents behave.
We Not Me discourages:
- The coach from playing their best players the entire game. Or having their stud take every shot.
- Parents from cheering against other kids. Or thinking winning is everything.
We Not Me encourages:
- Coaches to encourage hustle, tenacity, and competitiveness. And follow that up with humility, teamwork, and sportsmanship.
- Parents to cheer for their own child and their teammates. And reminds them to praise the performance, not the result.
A developmental league like this is one of the best ways to prepare young players for more competitive leagues like CYO or high school and beyond. According to Project Play of the Aspen Institute, if you race ahead to the cut-throat approach before the child is emotionally ready it’s a sure-fire way to turn them off from sports too early. And if that’s not the child’s aim, then they will still have the practice of learning how to play with their friends.
Fall Flag Football
This fall We Not Me Sports is running their inaugural Flag Football League! Just like their Winter Hoops league, they aim for teammates to be classmates. It’s part of their philosophy to help kids learn how to play together. Get on the text thread with the other parents and find a crew who’s ready to have fun, learn, and compete!
Registration for kids in grades K – 5 (as of Sept 2023) is open now and the Early Bird Discount runs until June 30th.
Games will be played on the turf at The Haverford School on Sunday mornings in September and October.
For more details like becoming a Coach or a Free-Agent visit www.wenotme.club.
If you have any questions, reach out to Matt Hartman at firstname.lastname@example.org.