Adults often take youth football more seriously – and intensely – than the young players on the field.
In a preview clip from the upcoming Esquire Network docu-series Friday Night Tykes: Steel Country – a Pennsylvania-based spin-off of Friday Night Tykes – tempers flare between a coach and parent at a practice after one child, Benny, is told to do laps because of a lack of attention.
“Laps or push-ups,” the coach explains of his punishment methods in the clip, which is exclusive to PEOPLE.
Tension build on the sidelines, leading the coach to call Benny over to explain to his father why he is being punished.
“What do I keep asking you every day in practice to be?” asks the coach.
“A leader,” Benny responds meekly.
“Say it to your dad,” orders the coach. “Tell your dad it’s your fault you’re running – no one else’s.”
Things continue to escalate as Benny and his dad leave practice.
“We’re not doing that, man,” one man tells the coach of getting heated with the parent. “We’re about these kids. We’re not about this.”
“These [coaches] aren’t monsters,” executive producer Matt Maranz told PEOPLE when discussing the original, Texas-based series in December. “They don’t wake up in the morning saying, ‘Oh, man. I can’t wait to mess up some kid tonight.’ These are people who truly believe that this experience with football is preparing their kids for the rest of their lives. They genuinely believe that this is the best way to raise children.”
Friday Night Tykes: Steel Country premieres March 22 on Esquire Network.