Coed vs Single Gender (fwd)

Donna Woodka (
Wed, 22 Apr 1998 16:24:12 -0700 (PDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 19:11:53 -0400
From: terpranger <>
Subject: Coed vs Single Gender

Like many on this list, I grew up playing on teams comprised of both
boys and girls. Coaching U-12 girls has given me the opportunity to
think on the state of soccer in the country today in which boys and
girls no longer play together in many leagues. This strikes me as
rather unfortunate.

My sister once told me that when our town league decided to split up the
boys and girls, she no longer enjoyed herself. She had played for many
years and liked the competition of playing with and against the boys.
The girls she found to be to prissy and whiny. It really turned her off
the game, and she stayed out of it for a long time before I got her
involved as my assistant. I have also heard of a young boy who played
coed for a few years before the league separated the genders. He was so
upset that he quit playing. I have read a lot of posts to this list
speaking of the requirement for the game to always be fun first of all.
A player who quits obviously is not having fun.

Any of you who have seen interviews with the members of the women's
national team know that many of them got their start playing with and
against boys. They credit coed soccer for their tactical speed,
developed to offset the speed and strength advantages the boys had over
them. They also learned about competition and aggressive play, which
many girls do not take to naturally.

I would contend that boys can also gain from playing with girls. They
would be forced to learn how to play a game which is not so physical,
but in many was more tactical and creative. It also never hurts for
boys to develop the notion that girls are their equals.

Now of course there is a point at which boys would just physically
overmatch girls. At that stage it makes sense to separate the genders.
Before that, however, there seems to me no advantage in doing so, and
possible negative consequences both in terms of skill development and
social growth.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this topic?


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