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21

Feb, 2017

TXS Core Value 2 - Honoring Friendship Requests

TXS Core Value 2: Friendships

Simply stated, kids love playing with their friends. From the outset, accommodating friend requests was a core value with TeamX Sports. For better or worse, you have my two boys to thank for that. They were the driving force in the launch of TeamX Sports. They loved football and wanted to play with their neighborhood friends, so I agreed. Closely related to Core Value 1 (Fun) is Core Value 2 – Friendships.

Once again we learned from research, that this too is a strong motivator for kids entering sports and staying with sports. Over the years we’ve come to learn that this core value is one of the cherished values as expressed by parents. 

In countless examples, we have witnessed the formation of strong childhood bonds of friendship as kids play together season after season. These friendships not only improve the fun factor in sports, but carry over into other important social environments like school, where acceptance, a sense of belonging and growth in confidence is critical for healthy childhood development. We have witnessed the same kids play with each other season after season for many years.

Honoring player requests is not without its price on the field however. Sometimes the competitive performance of a team will suffer or succeed depending on the skill level of the players. Yet, consistently the feedback I receive is that kids would rather play with their friends and lose than to give up on their friendship requests in hopes of winning. And for winning teams, we have been fortunate enough of late to split off divisions and have the more competitive teams play against each other. It’s never perfect, but it's the price we pay in order to retain one of the most cherished TeamX Core Values of honoring friendship requests.

Another challenge occurs when the network of requests exceeds 10 per team. This happens especially when there is a popular coach that has stayed with the group for a period of time. It’s always disappointing to me and to the families when we cannot honor every request, but fortunately this only happens a few times per season and we do a lot of work behind the scenes with the coaches and the parents to divide up the kids with the least amount of disappointment.

There actually is a method in place that we use in deciding how to create teams when they exceed 10. It”s rather lengthy, but in brief, coach/kid connection is first. So for example if 10 kids played with a coach in a prior season and all 10 want to be back with that coach the following season, this takes precedence. A second process involves reciprocal first choice requests. In other words if player A requests player B as their first choice, and player B requests player A as their first choice, these requests we guarantee.  I want bore you with the rest.  

Honoring player requests is a lot of work but in the end well worth it to see the happiness that comes from seeing friends play with their friends.