Fair game time for junior football is an essential aspect of fostering team spirit and camaraderie among young players. While some parents and coaches may prioritise winning above all else, it’s important to remember that youth sports should be about developing skills, having fun, and learning the values of teamwork and fair play.
One of the key benefits of fair game time is that it emphasises the importance of the team over individual players. When everyone is given an fair opportunity to play, the focus shifts away from individual achievement and towards collective success. This helps children learn to work together towards a common goal, and teaches them the value of supporting one another, even when they’re not on the field.
Another advantage of fair game time is that it allows children to experience a variety of positions and roles within the team. By rotating players in and out of the game, coaches can help kids develop a well-rounded skill set and a deeper understanding of the sport. This can help prevent burnout and keep kids engaged and motivated, even if they don’t excel in a particular position.
From a parental perspective, equal game time can also help alleviate some of the stress and pressure that often comes with youth sports. When parents know that their child will have a fair chance to play, regardless of their skill level, they’re less likely to become overly invested in winning and more likely to focus on supporting their child’s development and enjoyment of the sport. This can help create a more positive and supportive environment for everyone involved.
Remember, fair game time doesn’t necessarily mean exactly the same minutes every week but it does mean the coach should think about the overall game time given to each player over the season. Similarly starting different players will build a sense of team over self.
Ultimately, fair game time is an essential component of junior football that offers numerous benefits for both kids and parents. By emphasising teamwork over individual achievement, promoting well-rounded skill development, and creating a positive and supportive environment, equal game time helps children develop into well-rounded athletes and team players, while also fostering a love of the sport that can last a lifetime.