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What Takeaways Are There, If Any, From The Show Friday Night Tykes?

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

“I’m curious as to PCA’s viewpoint on the show *Friday Night Tykes * sensationalizing screaming coaches and parents... all over 8-year-old football...”

PCA Response by PCA Lead Trainer, Joe Terrasi

Friday Night Tykes, a reality-based television show which recently landed on the USA Network (from its original home on Esquire), depicts youth football coaches, athletes, and families as they conduct practices and face opponents in a competitive season. Positive Coaching Alliance is sometimes asked for our point of view on the events depicted in the show. Here is my take on it as a PCA national lead trainer and long-time youth advocate and sports coach.

For starters, it is important to recognize the medium Friday Night Tykes represents. A former colleague of mine was an integral behind-the-scenes component in the popular reality show Laguna Beach, and he was ever careful to point out that the show’s primary purpose was entertainment, not information. As such, show producers and editors carefully compose “story arcs” by compiling footage that is sometimes not exactly an exact representation of events. The individual moments that make up the story certainly happened, but there is no way for a viewer to see them in their full context. This isn’t to excuse any bad behavior that is shown, but it is important to note that we don’t necessarily have all the information to make a fair assessment.

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