As April turns to May, elementary schools across the country will begin their final month. During this period, angst-ridden loser parents will fret about whether their child will finish the year on the Honor Roll. Other parents will be concerned about whether their child will pass to the next grade or be “held back.” In so doing, they will be overlooking perhaps the greatest opportunity their child will ever have—redshirting.
Redshirting is the most underutilized developmental tool available to today’s parents. The end-goal of redshirting is to ensure that the student gets held back for at least two (and preferably three) years, thus maximizing the number of years that they will able to play high school football. It will also give them an immense physical advantage over their grade peers. If your child’s age doesn’t start with a “2” when they enter their senior year of high school, you have failed as a parent.
As a youth football coaching legend, I require all of my players’ parents to redshirt their children. The easiest way to accomplish this is to hold them back from starting kindergarten until they are six or seven years old. But once they start school, the month of May becomes vital. This last thirty days of the school year presents a unique opportunity for your child to miss tests, stack up unexcused absences, and engage in a potpourri of violent behavior to increase the chances of being held back. We have a saying on my team: “Legends are born in the fall, but they are conceived in May.” If you play your cards right, the kids that your child went to preschool with will be college graduates when your child suits up and takes the high school football field for the last time.
Perhaps the greatest example of redshirting’s immense benefits is my cousin Shane. Throughout elementary school, Shane was held back three times for a variety of academic and disciplinary reasons. He fought the custodial staff, he stole teachers’ cars, he couldn’t read, he set the school on fire, etc. And every step of the way, Shane had to listen to some know-it-all counselor or vice principal telling him that he was destined for failure if he didn’t change his ways.
But old Shane got the last laugh. He had a full beard and was driving to school in the seventh grade. And as a twenty one year old high school senior, he was the most dominating outside linebacker in the region. Shane would take the field on Friday night, rack up double-digit tackles, and then legally purchase a keg for the post-game field party. He’s now known as the most prolific supplier of counterfeit apparel in Northeast Georgia. Truly legendary.
So this May, I encourage you to reconsider your priorities and focus your efforts on redshirting your child. They will thank you later, trust me. They may even turn out like Shane.