Is my boy too competitive, agression in Sport.

Discussion in 'General Football' started by Trix, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. Trix

    Trix Well-Known Member

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    . Not sure if this is the right place for this but just wondered what the good people of SC thought about Youth football and how competitive it is.

    My Son is 11 and is currently on the books for a championship club, but due to our location he is being sponsored by them to play for another football league teams academy much closer to where we live. He has always been super competitive and losing to him is basically never an option. The problem is it is getting him into trouble at school, he is seen as too aggressive with the other children during PE and even in the playground where he is playing against kids that are not of the same mind set as him it is causing them to get hurt. The problem is the school are often on the phone and see at as him being violent. When I have spoken to his coaches at both clubs though they don't see it as violent at all and although he gives away a lot of fouls for pushing and pulling shirts etc they see it as something that sets him apart from others his age and have said it is very important that he keeps his aggressive nature on the pitch and to not discourage him from playing that way. He plays as a striker for his club, and even at 11 he has been training of late with kids 2 years above because physically he can more than handle himself at that level even though his technique is probably a little behind them. They think playing with better technical players will bring that side of his game on, but I think it might be a contributing factor to his aggressive nature at school. I have tried to get him to understand that he can't do this at school but I think it is very much instinctive and purely his competitive fight for everything nature that pushes him at times to go OTT and this is starting to creep into anything that could be classed as competitive not just football.

    I have had parents accuse him of bullying because their kid has been hurt etc(even though it has only been individual incidents) but the school as yet have said they don't consider that to be the case as they don't believe it is malicious or intentional.

    Just wondered if anyone else had any experience with kids and aggression in football?

    * As I say even though it is football related, I'm not sure this is the best place for this, so if it needs moving please do so
     
  2. TaoistMonkey

    TaoistMonkey What would Phil Dunphy do? Staff

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    Trix jnr growing up

     
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  3. Dougal

    Dougal Staff Staff

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    I think the next part of his learning curve would be disapline. It’s all very well having an aggressive side but if he can control it to a point he’ll go a long way. We’ve all seen the players who have an edge, we’ve got Alli after all, but there’s more to him than that. Harnessing the aggression and using it as a strength would be the way to go. To remove it altogether would be a mistake. And all of this is purely for the pitch. Any troubles he has elsewhere you’d have to sit down with him with your parent head on, put the football aside, and just tell him it’s not on. Whether he succeeds or not he still has to deal with people in the real world on a day to day basis.

    But I’m neither a football coach or a father to a son.
     
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  4. Insomnia

    Insomnia Twisted Firestarter

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    If his coaches are happy with him & think that sets him apart leave him be mate. So you might get the odd winge from some parent from school, but I'm sure you'd know if your son was a "bully", he's a competetive kid that wants to win, sounds good to me
     
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  5. Marty

    Marty Throbbing member

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    It's easier said than done, but your kid needs to learn which settings suit his competitive, aggressive nature and when he needs to learn some more self-control. It seems like his coaches have some influence on him, reading between the lines. I know school behaviour isn't their problem but maybe approach them and ask if they can't try to coach his mentality as well, just keep telling him that games at school mean literally nothing and that he has to try to save his aggression for the pitch, and keep it on the pitch. If both you and his coaches keep telling him this then it may eventually sink in.

    His on-pitch aggression is definitely a strength that can get him a long way should he have the right technical progression.
     
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  6. robbiedee

    robbiedee Mama said knock you out

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    I stopped coaching kids at the end of last season at U12's level.

    I had one lad who was physically stronger than the rest of his team mates. At training he used to be a bit 'over zealous' with some of his challenges and it got to a point where I had parents complaining to me about this lad.

    It got to a point where some players were scared to tackle him or challenge him for the ball and on occasions would shit themselves before he even got his tackle in.

    There were also players in my team who didn't take too kindly to his physical game and tried to be physical back. This ultimately lead to arguments and fighting because he didn't think he was doing anything wrong and they thought he was being a 'dirty hacker'.

    This went on for a couple of seasons but last season, other kids had caught up with him in terms of strength and size and the team was a lot more balanced with less in house fighting.

    The problem you have is all the kids are going to be competitive but can't deal with your lads 'physicality' they then moan to teachers and parents that he's being aggressive. Parents of kids that age (certainly in my experience) still wrap their little boy up in cotton wool and don't like to see their boy roughed up (fairly or unfairly).

    I think all you can do is have that chat with your lad and remind him that and to try and adjust his game so that he is less aggressive but still getting the benefit of playing a calmer game. I'd imagine that he still has all the skills to be one of the best players in his school team by taking out some of the competitiveness. The tricky thing is you don't want him going backwards because of this.

    Not sure what the happy balance is, the key is to keep talking to him about it and making sure he knows why the other kids and parents might be moaning/complaining without knocking his confidence.

    @Shanks has a lad a similar age playing football at a high level - he might be able to offer some advice, alternatively have a look in the "A Parenting" thread in Chat...
     
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  7. leonspurs

    leonspurs Well-Known Member

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    Boxing or martial arts classes could be a good way of instilling discipline, whilst allowing the competitive nature of your child to come through. Does not seem a major issue though from the what the teachers and coaches say.
     
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  8. Trix

    Trix Well-Known Member

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    Like I say it's starting to creep into other things. He has been sent home today for "violent behaviour". When I have gone into the school to see what happened his PE teacher said he was playing Rugby and tackled "too aggressively". When I asked him what that meant he said he had caught hold of a boy running to score a try and threw him to the ground. Now they were only playing grab rugby whatever that may mean so it may as I say have been over aggressive. I can understand him being reprimanded for it and even sent off during the game, but is this really classed as violent behaviour? Aggressive yes, I get that but his teacher even said he didn't think it was anything other than my lad trying to stop the other kid(who was laughing about it when it happened).from scoring and it wasn't malicious, but it was dangerous. My boy has played full contact Rugby for 3 years now for the local town side, and at school they are not allowed to. That is my point about instinct taking over and him going ott. What was against school rules would have been applauded on a Sunday morning. The problem is this isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened, and a lot of that has to go down imo to schools being too soft/overly cautious, yet it is a rule and so should be adhered to. Question is how do you stop kids playing with instinct in some situations and not in others?
     
  9. Rocksuperstar

    Rocksuperstar just a child getting older...

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    The only angle I can contribute from is as a scout leader who has had young members who are exactly as you describe. There are two that are now older and have moved on, but as lads, if they didn't win then it was clear to them they had either been cheated or the team let them down. That used to make them furious but, as I said to them both (they'd regularly be on opposing teams which I did on purpose), this is what makes you improve BUT if you lose your focus and get angry, you don't learn and don't improve.

    If someone bests you despite you doing your best, you need to first of all accept that, then second you need to reflect on how and why you personally didn't come out on top and find a positive from that. Be it learning a new skill, gaining experience on how to play against a particular opponent or if it's that they did cheat, how, why and what can you do to not give them that opportunity next time.

    I can see how it would be difficult at school but they also had to learn the difference between a competitive game and having a kick around as that line is lost when a kid is under so much pressure to perform when they are in a real game.

    Both are now playing as 14 year olds with great prospects, and I'm sure that with someone they trust to just talk over things that frustrate them, rather than a coach who will demand improvements, etc then their perspective will even out as they mature.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
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  10. 'O Zio

    'O Zio Active Member

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    No offense mate, but if he's been playing rugby properly for 3 years, he should already know that you're not allowed to pick people up and thrown them to the ground. I highly doubt it would be applauded by his sunday team when he was sent to the bin for an illegal tackle, and if that sort of thing is, then I'd question whether that team/coaches were the right environment for him, especialyl if he's already got aggression problems.

    As for his football etc., I think it's one thing having a competitive edge/aggression but if it's at the point where he's unable to tone it down in training or fucking PE class then I'd say he needs a talking to. I'm sure the other kids get that he's better than them, so why does he feel the need to rub it in everyone's noses and take everything too far when it's bloody PE class? Not only is it potentially jeapordising any potential career in the game (both through being too aggressive but also because he's risking injuring himself as well) but, no offense, if I were one of the other kids or one of their parents, I'd just think he was a bit of a twat to be brutally honest. There's just no need for it.
     
  11. Trix

    Trix Well-Known Member

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    I never said "he picked him up" and threw him to the floor. you just made that bit up. He grabbed him whilst running and twisted/ pulled him over, Because it was at speed the boy he tackled flew over. As I say it wasn't allowed in the rules of the game they were playing, but it was 100% not an illegal tackle in normal rugby.
     
  12. leonspurs

    leonspurs Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it does seem that it is more just the will to win with your lad rather than him being nasty or violent towards other children. That said, as you have pointed out its started to creep into other things, best keep a eye out for that type of behaviour. Try having a word with your lad along the lines that kids develop at different speeds and he has to be more careful playing at school. Basically trying not to blame your lad or not to discourage him but at the same time to try and make him understand that he has got to be a bit more careful when playing at school. I would not worry to much, he is that age as well were you are growing all the time and you do test yourself out playing competitive games. As you said, the difference between his club rugby and school rugby is more a adjustment he is finding hard to do in that competitive environment, rather than him been nasty to other kids. If he keeps having issues, then maybe get him some boxing or martial arts classes. But make sure you get him a good tutor with a good reputation for instilling a good mind set as much as teaching good technical skills.
     
  13. 'O Zio

    'O Zio Active Member

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    Fair enough, sorry I misread it. To me throwing someone to the floor implies that it was an illegal tackle because in rugby you're not allowed to throw people, you have to grab them and go down with them. But if that's what he did then fair play, although not according to the rules they were playing at the time based on what the teacher said. Grab is like one step above touch rugby. You can grab people and stop them moving forwards and then they're considered "tackled" rather than actually having to bring them down.

    Either way though, if he's unable to play any sport without taking the aggression too far, then that's a problem in my eyes, whether it's rugby, football, or any other walk of life. If he is unable to just realise it's a PE lesson or he's down the park with his mates and so he doesn't need to go in there making crunching tackles, pulling shirts etc. then that's not a sporting problem it's a behavioral problem that needs to be dealt with IMO. If he takes that "win at all costs" attitude with him to the workplace, for example, he won't be doing himself any favours.
     
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  14. mpickard2087

    mpickard2087 Fantastic Member

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    I suspect it's partly instinct, but also partly that he's enjoying the opportunity to completely dominate kids at school - especially if he's used to mixing it with older kids at football.

    Tough one as I don't think I'd want him to lose that competitive spirit if I was in your position - who knows where that could take him in youth football (and beyond) and life in general. I think maybe at this stage it is just something that people (family, coaches, teachers) need to keep nagging him about until it sinks in and the correct balance is found - when/where it is a good time, what all the consequences can be of going too far, warn him how if it continues then how that might impact on something he enjoys (football) etc.
     
  15. E17yid

    E17yid Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a load of fuss over nothing (not on your part).

    Just being a typical boy. Let him crack on but obviously let him know when and what is acceptable which you’re obviously doing anyway.

    Id get it if he was actually sparking kids out but he’s not. A rugby tackle? Christ, what’s the world coming too.
     
  16. dontcallme

    dontcallme SC Supporter

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    I'm not a parent or a coach so not really qualified but happy to share my ill-informed view.

    Essentially people need to learn good sportsmanship, fair play and that in certain situations you need to ease off.

    His competitive spirit is helping him achieve in what I assume he wants to do. This is a positive.

    But a lot of kids just enjoy a friendly kickabout. At school they expect a friendlier, less competitive game than a proper game with a ref.

    Your son sounds like he is alienating himself from the other pupils. Eventually they might just stop playing or even worse telling him he can't join in at break time kickarounds.

    I would advise having a word with him and telling him to ease off on the aggression during non-training sessions and organised matches.

    He might find himself short of friends if he doesn't.
     
  17. Trix

    Trix Well-Known Member

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    And herein lies the problem and posted about it in the first place. As far as his coaches are concerned, he is bang on track and we shouldn't change anything. His actual behaviour itself is fine, it's just when he crosses that white line so to speak. I would worry it was just his coach at his current club but I have spoken to his parent club aswell and they are also happy. Don't get me wrong they have a very strict code of conduct, that has to adhered to and he has no problems with that at all.

    The reason I posted was to see if anyone else had had experience, with this standard of sport coaching wise to see if it was common place.

    I am sort of thinking about pulling him out if things don't improve but I know he might never get this chance again especially with the sponsorship programme from the Championship club who don't usually do this sort of thing. There were certain "who you know" strings pulled to put it into place if you know what I mean.
     
  18. Danners9

    Danners9 Used in a Squad Rotation system

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    IMO, calling it bullying or violent behaviour is pathetic from the school, and may be indicative of how schools are - everyone gets a medal for trying, no one loses, everyone is special, sort of thing. It's sport, some kids are bigger than others at that age and the dominance shows. In time, others will catch up. Also, maybe next year or the one after, the school might start to group kids based on ability rather than putting everyone in together (at least that's how it was at my school...) - but even then you take a few hits because some are better than others at some things and others get them back at another sport.

    Might be worth having a talk to the school about how they see competitiveness and how much they value talented athletic kids because if they don't, and are going to punish him for being good at it, then it might not be the best place for him - at the same time, if he likes the school it might be worth telling him to go easy during class for the time being.
     
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  19. 'O Zio

    'O Zio Active Member

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    Then I reckon maybe just have words with him and say to save his aggression for when he plays rugby with his proper team or football with his Championship club/academy thing and try and tone it down for PE lessons and general just having a kick about. Tell him it's good that he's got that in his game but he needs to learn to use it to his advantage/at the right moments. Like I say it's a good thing up to a point but if it's already getting him in trouble and causing him to gain enemies, whether they be parents, other kids, the headmaster etc. then it's already having a negative impact on his everyday life. It's great that he's got this place at the academy etc. and that they like it, but I'm sure you know better than most how few kids ever actually make it in the game so he also needs to learn to adapt to non-competitive situations as that attitude won't necessarily do him any favours outside of a professional sport environment, and if he's being excluded from school and missing lessons etc. because of it then that's not going to look good for him applying to go to Uni etc. if his work suffers.
     
  20. theShiznit

    theShiznit Well-Known Member

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    Does he enjoy playing football?

    The only reason I say that is that a friend has been coaching a U14 team and had a swathe of them pull out at the end of last season as they thought if they hadn't been picked up by a premiership team by now they are not going to make it. o_O

    What's wrong with these fucking kids? If you love football you play it until your legs stop working! maybe he needs to just enjoy those school games with mates (could be useful for sharpening tekkers) and save his competitive nature for the academy games?

    If not you might have another BAE on your hands ;)
     
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