"I was a big, strong, athletic kid and I had an advantage over many of the other kids my age because of it. Coaches would therefore always project me to play somewhere else besides quarterback. They all seemed to have a particular body type and lack of athleticism in mind that they associated with that of a quarterback and therefore always looked for another position that better fit their stereotype of my body type."
Tim Tebow in Tim Tebow
Stratification occurs when an individual makes a classification based on some kind of hierarchy. How this happens and why it happens can vary, but in sports, we can make assumptions based on our predispositions of what we think should be rather than what is or might be. A good example of this can be found in soccer. Historically, many coaches and managers would place black players in attacking positions because they were perceived to be faster but not as effective at the decision making or strategy needed in defense. Of course, while we know this to be wholly untrue, this thinking existed for many years.
Tim Tebow's quote from his autobiography suggests that stratification is still occurring in sports. In fact, he mentions how difficult it was for coaches to see him as a quarterback throughout his youth, high school, college, and even professional career. As we know, Tebow had an incredible playing career, one which might not have had happened had he and his family capitulated to the wishes of coaches. Therefore, as coaches, we must consider thinking outside traditional assumptions, our own biases, and be open-minded.
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