Author Topic: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive  (Read 2173 times)

blast05

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What are peoples experiences and opinions on this?
I am one of the coaches of an U-8 team and would be happy for them to only start being somewhat concerned about winning by the time they are U-16. Until then, primary focus is on enjoyment and life's lessons and ensuring the kids are playing at a grade suitable to their level (i.e.: they are not getting hammered). I know my other mentors will not agree by the time we come to U-10.
The counter argument to my position is that for far too many things that kids do, its all about 'everyones the best' and 'lets all have fun'. The real world is of course different and there is a lot to be said for say Irish dancing where it is ultra competitive (under the main governing body at least) and you learn quickly that if you want something you have to bloody well work hard for it.

Do any of your clubs have policies on this ?!

Syferus

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2017, 04:12:43 PM »
U16 is an age at which inter-county panels will have been assembled for at least two years already - it makes no sense to leave it that late if one of the aims is for players to reach their full potential.

lurganblue

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2017, 04:17:54 PM »
Under 16 in Lurgan is time for Buckfast and girls.  Competitiveness is already over  ;)

OgraAnDun

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2017, 04:27:29 PM »
I was in U10 when Go Games was introduced in Down and the league was removed and I thought it was the end of the world. I can remember classmates in U12 slagging us off about if. Kids will be competitive and keep their own mental score regardless of what the administrators or referees say.

blast05

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2017, 06:03:15 PM »
So, if its competitive from say U-12 and you have 30 lads coming to training, how do you give more than 20 of them a game ?
In other words, in being competitive, are you happy to accept you are going to lose 10 lads .... any of whom could well be the star guy at minor if they continue to get the chance

Syferus

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 06:06:46 PM »
So, if its competitive from say U-12 and you have 30 lads coming to training, how do you give more than 20 of them a game ?
In other words, in being competitive, are you happy to accept you are going to lose 10 lads .... any of whom could well be the star guy at minor if they continue to get the chance

There won't be much of a team of stars at minor (U17 now) if they only start taking it serious a year beforehand.

Zulu

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2017, 06:14:41 PM »
So, if its competitive from say U-12 and you have 30 lads coming to training, how do you give more than 20 of them a game ?
In other words, in being competitive, are you happy to accept you are going to lose 10 lads .... any of whom could well be the star guy at minor if they continue to get the chance

Could you not field two teams? Or attend as many tournaments as possible to give players who don't get much championship time more games?

StephenC

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2017, 09:58:35 PM »
The current system works IMO. U8 and U10 are non-competitive* while U12 and upwards are.

*Non-competitive to me doesn't mean that the kids aren't aware if they won or lost (try keeping a group of U8's from keeping the score in a game), it means .... everyone gets a game and gametime/position doesn't depend on who is winning .... results are not publicised in the media ....
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 10:02:36 PM by StephenC »

Itchy

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2017, 10:01:47 PM »
The current system works IMO. U8 and U10 are non-competitive* while U12 and upwards are.

*Non-competitive to me doesn't mean that the kids aren't aware if they won or lost (try keeping a group of U8's from keeping the score in a game), it means .... everyone gets a game and gametime/position doesn't not depend on who is winning .... results are not publicised in the media ....

Exactly. Although I would say at U12, if you are serious about developing kids, each player should get same time on pitch regardless of the score. The key goal is to keep as many playing as possible. Obviously fielding 2 teams if you have the numbers is the best way to do this.

Throw ball

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2017, 10:42:52 PM »
The current system works IMO. U8 and U10 are non-competitive* while U12 and upwards are.

*Non-competitive to me doesn't mean that the kids aren't aware if they won or lost (try keeping a group of U8's from keeping the score in a game), it means .... everyone gets a game and gametime/position doesn't not depend on who is winning .... results are not publicised in the media ....

Exactly. Although I would say at U12, if you are serious about developing kids, each player should get same time on pitch regardless of the score. The key goal is to keep as many playing as possible. Obviously fielding 2 teams if you have the numbers is the best way to do this.

This is something I have had many discussions about.
I think on average you lose 40% of players from under 10 to under 16. If you do not give everyone equal time up to under 12 you risk losing more. Equally you need to keep as many involved as possible as clubs don't just need players but also need administrators,  referees, ticket sellers etc.. If kids feel they are not being treated fairly you are losing more than a player. Even in simple football terms you could be losing his brother or sister or friends who are better players.

I read somewhere that it has been proven that inclusiveness breeds better players in the long run.

I also feel that it is the club's responsibility to look after the players. Destroying a young persons confidence at an early age can have lasting effects.

An Astrail

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2017, 06:20:34 AM »
A perspective from coaching Aussie Rules in Sydney.

We are officially non-competitive up to and including U10s - this means results aren't posted online and there is no league table or finals series. But scores are usually kept informally by the teams involved and performances are recognised by the clubs and coaches.

From U11 upwards competitive football comes in and from U13 representative teams are selected.

To be honest I always feel that the non-competitive stuff is as much a control on coaches who get carried away with winning at the expense of developing a team of players for the long term. The kids want to win, and they know whether they win or lose, but there's nothing worse than the aggressive junior coach who spends all his time on a few at the expense of the many.

magpie seanie

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2017, 08:59:30 AM »
In supposedly non-competitive games at U8 and U10 level we regularly encounter clubs who would bring 12 players to an 11 a side game or 10 players to a 9 a side game. Meanwhile we'd have 18 or 20 that you'd be trying to rotate. The stronger players are getting frustrated at standing on the sidelines for half the game and watching their team lose (they are well aware of the score) and the team mentors heads are wrecked trying to rotate the players fairly. I believe what our club is doing is correct and will stand to us in the long term but it's a balls of a system when others are taking the piss or simply don't have the same numbers as you do. If you complain what can the county board coaching and games group do? Nothing. The alternative is to organise games yourself against other clubs but that's a mammoth task when you have big numbers of boys and girls. I have coaches who are doing tremendous work getting seriously pissed off with all of this and they're getting tired of me telling them to stick with it, that they're doing the right thing.

I understand the thinking behind non-competitive games but let's face it - everyone cannot win all the time in life as well as sport. You have to learn to lose as well. I think we're overdoing the mollycoddling a touch. I'm not sure what's the right thing but certainly I thought removing U12 from being a proper championship was wrong. Run a Go-games format league but have a proper championship at the end to introduce kids to it.

johnneycool

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2017, 11:12:42 AM »
A perspective from coaching Aussie Rules in Sydney.

We are officially non-competitive up to and including U10s - this means results aren't posted online and there is no league table or finals series. But scores are usually kept informally by the teams involved and performances are recognised by the clubs and coaches.

From U11 upwards competitive football comes in and from U13 representative teams are selected.

To be honest I always feel that the non-competitive stuff is as much a control on coaches who get carried away with winning at the expense of developing a team of players for the long term. The kids want to win, and they know whether they win or lose, but there's nothing worse than the aggressive junior coach who spends all his time on a few at the expense of the many.

Bang on the money.


manfromdelmonte

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2017, 04:13:31 PM »
In supposedly non-competitive games at U8 and U10 level we regularly encounter clubs who would bring 12 players to an 11 a side game or 10 players to a 9 a side game. Meanwhile we'd have 18 or 20 that you'd be trying to rotate. The stronger players are getting frustrated at standing on the sidelines for half the game and watching their team lose (they are well aware of the score) and the team mentors heads are wrecked trying to rotate the players fairly. I believe what our club is doing is correct and will stand to us in the long term but it's a balls of a system when others are taking the piss or simply don't have the same numbers as you do. If you complain what can the county board coaching and games group do? Nothing. The alternative is to organise games yourself against other clubs but that's a mammoth task when you have big numbers of boys and girls. I have coaches who are doing tremendous work getting seriously pissed off with all of this and they're getting tired of me telling them to stick with it, that they're doing the right thing.

I understand the thinking behind non-competitive games but let's face it - everyone cannot win all the time in life as well as sport. You have to learn to lose as well. I think we're overdoing the mollycoddling a touch. I'm not sure what's the right thing but certainly I thought removing U12 from being a proper championship was wrong. Run a Go-games format league but have a proper championship at the end to introduce kids to it.
happens to us all the time

or the other clubs bring an overage player or two just to be competitive

Kilkevan

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Re: At what age should underage football/hurling be competitive
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2017, 05:38:33 PM »
Under 14 but only then mildly so and the focus should be on learning and enjoying. The substitutions idea in the Feile is great so everyone gets a game. Introduce them to it gradually at that age, a bit more serious at under 16 ready to fully go for it at minor level. Under 12s down should just be purely about enjoyment.