It seems every generation gets a nickname. Gen X, Gen Y, The Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers etc etc. I think the latest group of 10-25 year olds will be known as the "Weakest Generation" for me. Now, get this straight boys and girls. I am not going to throw much blame your way boys and girls. This is clearly a parenting problem. We have a major one in this country currently. The quality of parenting has eroded significantly.
Coaching competitive youth soccer over the past 16 years I have witnessed it first hand. I take kids from the age of 10 all the way through high school and see them off to their college soccer experiences. I have coached a few hundred high level student athletes in the last decade and a half so I have good experience on the quality of young man being produced. Expectations have fallen so very far.
Now we have participation trophies and awards just for showing up. The lowest level of schooling expectations in United States history. 8th grade graduations. Seriously? The list can go on and on.
I go out to dinner and look at tables around me. Families sitting like zombies. Every kid at the table looking down at their smart phone. The parents doing the same usually. No social interaction whatsover.
High school reponsibilities. I would rather a very accurate guess that about 20% of my players get summer jobs. These are the good kids too. Responsible. Top 10% of their class kids. So I know if only 20% of my soccer players are working then the number over the rest of their age group probably sits much lower.
So what do the other 80% do? Sleeping until noon and then sitting around playing XBox all day. Basically they don't do a derned thing. No learning about responsibility or the real world. We are producing a non productive generation.
It shows in our society right now. We are becoming more and more of a welfare state. Don't want to work? Fine apply for a check from the government. A recent survey found that half of all the unemployed Americans that are receiving government benefits have no intentions of getting a job because the free government money is good enough. They would rather sit on the couch and collect tax payer money than be productive in any way at all.
Sad Sad. I'll go run errands tomorrow and I guarantee you I will see ten "help wanted" or "now hiring" signs during the morning.
So please. I ask you parents. Ask more from your boys and girls. One thing I have found is that the more I ask from my players the more they seem to give. They are willing to take responsibility and learn lessons. We just need to ask it of them.