Recently I had a conversation with a parent of an 8 year old boy who played youth football for the first time. His team practiced 4 days a week and played games on Saturday. He was at every single practice and every single game. He tried his best.
During the last game of the season, late in the 4th quarter with his team winning 30-0 he went up to his coach ... "Coach, can I go in? I haven't gotten to play all year and we're winning pretty good?"
His coach said, "No, you're not good enough maybe next year."
Personally I would have had "a good long chat" with this "coach" a lot sooner but ... I've heard tons of stories like this. I've seen tons of coaches like this ... youth teams with 45 players and only 12 play the whole game.
This is why 73% of kids quit sports by the age of 13.
Little kids want to play, they want to have fun, they want to learn how to play the sport.
A friend of mine, Ron Jennings, has started a league called Sportsmanship First League, SFL, www.sfl1st.com
He started the Lakota Stallions youth football league 5 years ago with 70 players grades K-6. This past season there were 440 players on 22 different teams. Their player retention rate is the highest in the country.
If you're a head coach at the high school level maybe consider checking this out. You'll be glad you did.