Editor: I have read your article “Girls make good sports,”(View related) and I couldn’t agree with you more. I have always argued that girl players need to be treated exactly like the boy players. I have coached boys, girls, and mixed soccer teams for nine years now. During that time, I have seen the downplay of girl teams.
Girl teams seem to get the worst field, the worst referees and less parental involvement. Do not take me wrong, we have played on some great fields, had some great referees and have had great parental involvement. However, over the years (it seems) when a choice has to be made between a girl team and a boy team, the boy team wins out.
However, not all male coaches treat girls differently. My prior girl teams and my current U9 girls team (parents and players) will attest I know how tough girls are. For example, when the tears come (not from being hurt), my girls are required to run on the sideline until the tears stop and they get their heads back in the game. They then go back in and play.
When we scrimmage the U9 boys competitive team every week, we never ask that they take it easy on us. I believe this has helped our team play tough against very tough opponents; teams that have been together for much longer and have many more years experience than us. Our girls have learned that they can accomplish anything and compete against anyone as long as they work hard and play as a team.
I also believe that playing soccer will teach them life lessons they will carry with them the rest of their lives that will help them compete in life.
Coach Rick Myers Largo United U9 Girls Competitive Soccer Team