This week’s column was to be dedicated to the subject of concussion testing and how one local league paid to have baseline evaluations done for any of its athletes who wished to participate. This reporter had in-depth interviews with league officials, parents, and facility experts. But apparently this reporter was speaking into his iPhone without properly setting the app to record the conversations. So … that column will run in the month of February as I have now decided to take the baseline concussion test myself and share the experience with the rest of you.
In its place, I (along with the help of our studio audience) have come up with a Player Survey to show how our children view their youth sporting experiences.
This 25-question survey is written for children about 10 to 14 years old who have not yet played a high school sport.
I will not use the names of children, coaches, parents, or towns when reporting on the results of this survey.
Just as I’ve done with the Coaches Questionnaire, only the answers to the questions will be displayed. All other information, as always, is completely confidential — you have my good word on that.
I will only ask for the age of the child and sport(s) played. You are also free to pick and chose the questions that your child answers.
1. Does it bother you that some kids play a lot more than others?
2. Do you think the best or most talented player deserves to play more?
3. Rank the importance of these three player characteristics, with 3 being the most important and 1 being the least important: Effort; Attitude; Skill Level.
4. Do you hear your parents or other players' parents attempting to coach from the stands?
5. Do you hear your parents or other players' parents yelling at the officials during the game?
6. Would you rather win a game against a team you are clearly better than or lose a close game to a team that was even with you in skill level?
7. I think discipline is an important part of being on a team, and I want a coach who is tough rather than a coach who lets us do what we want? T or F
8. A coach that makes the whole team run in practice when one kid screws up is FAIR or UNFAIR?
9. Personally, I would rather get a lot of playing time and lose than get very little playing time and win. T or F
10. The coach cares much more about winning than I do. T or F
11. The coach cares much more about winning than most of my teammates do. T or F
12. I've pretty much forgotten about whether we won or lost by the time the next game starts. T or F
13. My least favorite part about being a player on this team is…
14. Just because I’m really good at one sport and on their best travel team, doesn’t mean I should have to commit to it all year and miss out on playing other sports. T or F
15. The kids of the coaches play the most even if they aren’t that good. T or F
16. What are your reasons for playing sports?
Score 1 (lowest) -10 (highest)
To stay in shape and get exercise ________
To improve my skills and learn to play the right way ________
To have fun ________
To be part of a team and to learn teamwork ________
To go to a higher level of competition, such as high school sports ________
To earn a college scholarship _________
To increase my self-confidence ________
To win ________
To make friends ________
For the excitement and challenge of competition ________
Because my parents asked me to play ________
17. I quit playing a sport. Y or N: __ during season; __ after season. Why?
18. There should always be a champion crowned at the end of the season. T or F
19. I’ve had coaches who didn’t seem to know much about the sport he/she was teaching us. T or F (sport) __________, T of F (sport) __________, T or F (sport) __________
20. I like playing on the same team and against kids that are better than I am. T or F. Why?
21. I’ve seen kids younger than the rest of us make the team because their parent is the coach. T or F
22. Some of my friend’s parents hardly come to watch them play in games. T or F
23. Have you ever been insulted by and/or called a mean name by one of your coaches? Y or N
24. Have you ever heard a coach use bad language (swear words)?
25. Please list anything else that you think would be interesting for us to know.
Player’s age: _____
Sport(s) played: __________________________________________________________
Thanks for taking the time to respond. You can copy and paste the questions into an email and send the completed survey to firstname.lastname@example.org.