When it comes to kids sports, it seems many coaches go for the wins over the experience. But even if the kids on John Curley’s Eastlake black rookie football team never win a game, the coach and KIRO co-host insists what matters most are the memories.
Curley has assigned all the 8 to 10-year-old players to watch the iconic football movie “Rudy”. In it, an undersized player fights for years to finally get in for one play on the Notre Dame football team.
“I want them to know you get one chance and I’m going to give them that one chance,” he says.
For Curley, that means the score doesn’t matter. It’s a sharp contrast to many youth coaches and parents who put winning above all else.
“I want these kids, when they look back 30, 40 years, they remember that they had one play,” he says.
Curley recently revisited a Pennsylvania field where he caught his only touchdown pass as a 12-year-old. The memory of his father proudly cheering him on has lasted his lifetime. He says he wants the same for his players.
“They might not remember anything else, nothing else other than the fact they had the opportunity to do something great,” he says.
Even if it means sacrificing wins to get it.
“You get into 14, 15 (years old) it’s not about the romance, it’s not about the memories, it’s about the wins and losses.”