This past week a video of a nine-year-old girl playing boys youth football hit the internet, and media, on a fairly large scale.
To say I was impressed with this young ladies athletic abilities as I watched her slash through openings, sprint by would-be tacklers (even those who had an angle on her), make corners, take hits, and complete tackles, would be an understatement. This girl could flat out play, demonstrating an athletic ability, at this age (maybe any age), rarely seen.
Showing this video to a couple of varsity football coaches at my high school elicited the exact same response…amazement!!! None of the coaches could believe this young lady’s “vision,” her ability to dip and cut around players and through holes, and demonstrate a tenacity that would likely make some professional players envious. Heck, there is one play in this video where a would-be tackler has her by the waist (3:13 of video) and she drags him a good five or six steps before he finally brings her down. She just keeps her feet, and body, moving forward.
As I said, this girl can flat out play. If you haven’t seen this video, take a look:
Now I know there will be some that might say she has no business playing football, that it serves no purpose, and that she has no “real” future in it as her male counterparts start to mature. But…isn’t one of the purposes of playing sports (especially at this age) about having fun? Shouldn’t an athlete, male or female, be able to choose what “they” want to play, as long as they can compete and no special “rules” have to be made? And, right now, this young lady can do a lot more than just compete!!!
My only concern is that the media will make too much of this, that she will be thrust into the limelight to a point where it becomes harder for her, the place where one can lose perspective on what it really is all about. A little bit of notoriety isn’t necessarily bad, the girl certainly shows some very good athletic potential. However, let’s just admire it for what it is, a developing young athlete with, likely, some extraordinary talent, and then pick up the story again in say…I don’t know, eight to ten more years.
What do you think?