Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
'Gay, Lesbian and Ally' page launched by NSCAA
by Mike Woitalla, January 7th, 2014 12:48AM
Subscribe to Youth Soccer Insider

MOST READ
TAGS:  nscaa, youth boys, youth girls

MOST COMMENTED

By Mike Woitalla

The NSCAA has added a remarkable piece to its array of resources by launching a “Gay, Lesbian and Ally” page on its web site.

“We have to make it clear the association stands for the acceptance of everyone,” says NSCAA president Jack Huckel, who appointed Dan Woog to head the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) committee.

Huckel says reports of hazing and harassment were part of the impetus to launch the page but it’s also just another part of the NSCAA’s quest to improve coaching.

“The goal of the NSCAA is to make people better coaches,” says Woog. “If a kid is dealing with any issues that prevent him from focusing, he’s not going to be as good a player as he could be. He’s not going to be able to contribute what he could and that impacts the entire team.”

The first of the Frequently Asked Questions on the site is: “I’m not sure why this should be an issue for the NSCAA. Who cares if someone is gay?”

The answer: “You’re exactly right. It doesn’t make a difference if someone is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). We’re simply providing resources for LGBT athletes and coaches -- and all allies -- so that everyone who plays soccer is assured of all the support they’ll need.

“All coaches want to do the right thing for all athletes -- but they don’t always know how. This information will help all LGBT coaches and athletes feel more comfortable, which means they’ll perform better. It will also help all ‘straight ally’ coaches help them -- becoming better, more successful coaches in the process.”

That gay professional athletes are so reluctant to come out demonstrates the degree of homophobia in sports. David Testo, after a decade of pro ball, came out one month after he was released by the NASL’s Montreal Impact in 2011. Robbie Rogers came out last year after he announced his retirement following a stint with Leeds United. But Rogers returned with the Los Angeles Galaxy, becoming the first openly gay male athlete in a major U.S. pro league.

Both offered insight into their childhoods. Testo, who cited among the reasons for coming out reports of a high rate of suicide among gay teens, said, "I kind of hated myself. When you’re told gay people are sinners and are going to burn in eternal hell and you’re a child, what are you supposed to feel?” Rogers said: "You grow up learning that who you are isn't natural, or is a sin. It does have an impact -- it scares you, it really scares you."

The NSCAA site provides "One-on-One LGBT Support" as well as links to LGBTQ programs and projects. Anticipated questions include, "My player just came out to me, what do I do next?" or "Should I come out to my team?"

For anyone who coaches for a significant amount of time, the odds are they will have on their team gay or lesbian players. They will have straight players on their teams who have gay relatives. Thus the FAQs make for valuable reading.

“The point is not to have kids come out before they’re ready,” says Woog. “The kid wants to be on the soccer field. He looks up to his coach. The time he puts in is really important to him. So coaches need tools -- what they say, what they don’t say, the words they use, the examples they use -- to create an atmosphere where all kids feel comfortable to achieve to their potential.”

NSCAA “Gay, Lesbian and Ally” Page

This year’s NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia will include, on Jan. 17, a 10:30 am workshop: “Create Safe Space for LGBT Athletes: Be a Winning Coach” with a panel including Dan Woog (boys varsity coach, Staples High School/author on LGBT issues); Mike Bryant (Center for Leadership in Athletics, University of Washington): Erin DeMarco (head coach, Bryn Mawr College) and Atticus DeProspo (Cornell University varsity player).

(Mike Woitalla, the executive editor of Soccer America, is co-author, with Tim Mulqueen, of The Complete Soccer Goalkeeper and co-author with Claudio Reyna of More Than Goals: The Journey from Backyard Games to World Cup Competition. Woitalla's youth soccer articles are archived at YouthSoccerFun.com.)

Soccer America on Twitter: Follow Soccer America | Mike Woitalla



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Youth Soccer Insider
Tips for attending a college ID camp    
With summer being a popular time for young players to attend College ID camps, we've asked ...
Gottschee and FC Dallas take No. 1 seeds into Development Academy playoffs    
FC Dallas and BW Gottschee of Queens, New York, are the No. 1 seeds in the ...
Teen stars sign with MLS clubs    
In the wake of Atlanta United, set to begin MLS play in 2017, signing 15-year-old Andrew ...
How refs deal with trash-talking    
"Look at the scoreboard" and "You got nothing" are two common things that trash-talking players say.
Does American soccer really only work for white kids?    
Les Carpenter's article for the London-based Guardian on American youth soccer is headlined: "'It's only working ...
Changing the Canvas: Finding Inspiration Outside of our Beautiful Game    
My wife is a developmental psychologist. For two decades she has been studying children and the ...
'Toughest World Cup yet' awaits U.S. U-17 girls    
The USA will face Paraguay, Ghana and defending champion Japan in the first round of 2016 ...
John Hackworth: India experience provides valuable lessons for U.S. U-17 boys    
In its third international tournament of the year, the U.S. U-17 boys national team finished runner-up ...
Adding to the alphabet soup of American youth soccer    
If your children play soccer in the USA, they may be playing under the umbrella of ...
Insights on European scouting of U.S. youngsters by 'Arsenal Yankee' Danny Karbassiyoon    
Daniel Karbassiyoon jokes that Arsenal kept him from going to college twice. The first time, at ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives