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Should 3rd-graders be mugging for cameras?


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https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/2023/01/20/reaction-viral-video-third-graders-taunting-aau-basketball-game-overtime-courtside/69822754007/

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If you inhabit Twitter and follow sports at all, odds are you probably saw a video from @CourtsideSports and pushed out again by @Overtime with the caption, “These third graders acting different” and a laughing emoji.

(Imagine trying to decipher that sentence 20 years ago).

The video, apparently taken last weekend at a tournament at Sports Plus in Cincinnati of a third-grade travel team, lasts just 42 seconds. It starts with a kid looking at the camera as he is walking to the sideline, slapping hands with his coach, then dancing. Next clip, a different kid muscles up a shot as he gets fouled, staring at his opponent and yelling “Baby!” and putting his palm to the ground to signify that his opponent (about half his size) is, in fact, too small.

Big kid then walks to the free-throw line and dancing kid is behind him, staring at camera, flexing. Next clip, dancing and flexing kid, again staring at camera, lets out a primal scream. “Let’s go!” No context here, but intimidating nonetheless.

....

I retweeted the video Wednesday at lunchtime asking, “Thoughts on this? Honestly curious.” And, of course, people had thoughts. Mostly negative. A sampling:

“As a coach and educator who loves his kids dearly, I would have a hard time not ripping them off the court by their jerseys. They have been told this, too.”

“Bad for the game, the kids, and the future of the game.”

“Disrespecting your opponent at that age is disturbing and sad.”

“I don’t like it. Can’t imagine what it will look like when they get in high school. Where are the parents and coaches?”

“Foolishness. Reasons why the youth sports are in the shape it is. Grown men shouldn’t be allowing this at such a young age. I don’t like it. They will come up with a taunting rule because it causes too much tension and aggression. It’s gotten out of hand.”

There were dozens more. Good responses. Well thought out. Not everyone was necessarily against it, though. “Oh good grief … they are acting like kids,” one reader responded. “As long as it’s not directed at other team, fine,” wrote another.

It is a good discussion, I think. Is the behavior even a problem? It probably depends on your stage in life and experiences. As a good number of readers pointed out, this celebratory behavior is what kids grow up watching. And, to a certain extent, what harm is there in playing with emotion and having fun? I will admit, I enjoy covering kids who play with an edge.

....

Story focuses on youth basketball but can easily be applied to football as well.  

Thoughts?

 

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Showing my age, but I played youth football in the era of the "Ickey Shuffle."  When I scored my first TD, guess what I did?  

The referee's flag after I spiked the ball and then the reprimand from the coach quickly got my attention.  So my career stats include 1 (and only 1) Ickey Shuffle celebration. 

My irritation with the clip isn't with the 3rd graders.  They are just imitating what they have seen on TV/YouTube/TikTok.  It does bother me that a coach and parents allow such behavior.   

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2 hours ago, oldtimeqb said:

Showing my age, but I played youth football in the era of the "Ickey Shuffle."  When I scored my first TD, guess what I did?  

The referee's flag after I spiked the ball and then the reprimand from the coach quickly got my attention.  So my career stats include 1 (and only 1) Ickey Shuffle celebration. 

My irritation with the clip isn't with the 3rd graders.  They are just imitating what they have seen on TV/YouTube/TikTok.  It does bother me that a coach and parents allow such behavior.   

When I coached youth football, one of my "practice before the game" routines was to do the traditional stuff like go over line-ups, remind the kids of special tendencies of the upcoming opponent, double-check who was going to be visiting grandma instead of coming to the game, etc. One part of that routine was to remind the kids of conduct and that they were representatives, not only of themselves and their team, but of their parents, school, faith, and community.  Talked specifically about after-score activity, handing the ball to the ref rather than throwing it at them after plays, helping other players up including opponents, not saying anything to the other players other than positive comments, and if there was any problem, to tell a coach and the coach would talk to the ref or the other coach rather than them trying to handle it.  I saw a person here on GID who has a tagline that says something to the effect that your are either coaching it or letting it happen.  I like that idea in that both what we say/do and don't say/do has impact on our kids so, as coaches/parents,  we need to be deliberate in that guidance from all angles.

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1 hour ago, foxbat said:

When I coached youth football, one of my "practice before the game" routines was to do the traditional stuff like go over line-ups, remind the kids of special tendencies of the upcoming opponent, double-check who was going to be visiting grandma instead of coming to the game, etc. One part of that routine was to remind the kids of conduct and that they were representatives, not only of themselves and their team, but of their parents, school, faith, and community.  Talked specifically about after-score activity, handing the ball to the ref rather than throwing it at them after plays, helping other players up including opponents, not saying anything to the other players other than positive comments, and if there was any problem, to tell a coach and the coach would talk to the ref or the other coach rather than them trying to handle it.  I saw a person here on GID who has a tagline that says something to the effect that your are either coaching it or letting it happen.  I like that idea in that both what we say/do and don't say/do has impact on our kids so, as coaches/parents,  we need to be deliberate in that guidance from all angles.

If I could outlaw the flying chest bump I would... 

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I have no problem seeing kids do a little celebration dance after scoring a TD if it is tasteful, not drawn out, and not disrespectful to anybody, including the opponent. If the pros can act like kids, why can't the kids act like kids? 

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49 minutes ago, AG said:

If the pros can act like kids, why can't the kids act like kids? 

Perhaps because we’re trying to teach kids fundamentals … including the fundamentals of good sportsmanship and an attitude that focuses on team rather than individuals, since we know that likely none of those kids is ever going to make a living playing football.

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19 minutes ago, Bobref said:

Perhaps because we’re trying to teach kids fundamentals … including the fundamentals of good sportsmanship and an attitude that focuses on team rather than individuals, since we know that likely none of those kids is ever going to make a living playing football.

While I understand what the point is, I've always found it to be too strict, but maybe that's just me. I see no harm in changing the rules as long as the rule change is simple.

If they're not going to play pro football, why not let them celebrate now and have a bit of fun? 

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This is a post I made a couple weeks ago and I feel it's appropriate here.  There is a huge difference between getting excited and celebrating with your teammates and trying to show up an opponent.  There is too much of the "hey look at me, look what I did" attitude instead of the focus being on the success of the team.  I know I'm "old school" and I am good with that.

Gritty, not pretty.  There are far too many people worrying about how cool they look and getting style points instead of getting gritty and doing whatever it takes to accomplish the task at hand without worrying one bit about what that looks like.  We have people spending more time and energy practicing their new celebration dances and hand shakes instead of using that time and energy refining their craft.  The best celebration and one of the best things about all of sports is turning and celebrating with the people you’ve put in the blood, sweat, and tears with.  Once people figure out it’s not about YOU as an individual, it’s about US as a team, they just improved immensely at any sport and as a part of any team they are a part of.  WE B4 ME!  I hope everyone has a great day!

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2 hours ago, AG said:

I have no problem seeing kids do a little celebration dance after scoring a TD if it is tasteful, not drawn out, and not disrespectful to anybody, including the opponent. If the pros can act like kids, why can't the kids act like kids? 

Yes, lets lower the bar because overpaid, entitled athletes do not know how to handle themselves.

15 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

Like celebrating with your teammates after kicking the other team’s ass!

Play hard now, celebrate later.

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1 hour ago, Hornetcoach said:

This is a post I made a couple weeks ago and I feel it's appropriate here.  There is a huge difference between getting excited and celebrating with your teammates and trying to show up an opponent.  There is too much of the "hey look at me, look what I did" attitude instead of the focus being on the success of the team.  I know I'm "old school" and I am good with that.

Gritty, not pretty.  There are far too many people worrying about how cool they look and getting style points instead of getting gritty and doing whatever it takes to accomplish the task at hand without worrying one bit about what that looks like.  We have people spending more time and energy practicing their new celebration dances and hand shakes instead of using that time and energy refining their craft.  The best celebration and one of the best things about all of sports is turning and celebrating with the people you’ve put in the blood, sweat, and tears with.  Once people figure out it’s not about YOU as an individual, it’s about US as a team, they just improved immensely at any sport and as a part of any team they are a part of.  WE B4 ME!  I hope everyone has a great day!

At Rochester, we have a drill we run called "Touchdown drill". Players get divided up into groups and each player starts 15 yards from the end zone and runs the ball in for a touchdown. The group has to then go and congratulate them and find a teammate to celebrate with. If you want kids to do it, you have to practice it. Like you said team success is the whole point, not tearing down the other team with a celebration. If you are that good of a team, let the scoreboard speak for itself.

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16 minutes ago, First_Backer_Inside said:

At Rochester, we have a drill we run called "Touchdown drill". Players get divided up into groups and each player starts 15 yards from the end zone and runs the ball in for a touchdown. The group has to then go and congratulate them and find a teammate to celebrate with. If you want kids to do it, you have to practice it. Like you said team success is the whole point, not tearing down the other team with a celebration. If you are that good of a team, let the scoreboard speak for itself.

I absolutely love this idea!

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On 1/24/2023 at 12:53 PM, temptation said:

Yes, lets lower the bar because overpaid, entitled athletes do not know how to handle themselves.

Play hard now, celebrate later.

So a guy doing a Lambeau leap "doesn't know how to handle himself?" A guy doing a fist pump doesn't know how to handle himself? 

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20 minutes ago, AG said:

So a guy doing a Lambeau leap "doesn't know how to handle himself?" A guy doing a fist pump doesn't know how to handle himself? 

Poor analogy.  Even you have to see the difference between celebrating with the fans/celebrating with a "fist pump" vs flexing in your opponents' face and staring them down and holding your hand inches from the floor while running back on D.

There is celebrating and then there is rubbing your opponents' face in it.

You're trying too hard.

Edited by temptation
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