Where to begin...
Lets begin with the story that is tearing up the blogs about youth sports. The 100-0 game. I think we all have by now heard the story. Youth girls basketball team beats another team by a 100-0 score. Coach gets fired. Bad move by the way, Coach wasnt in the wrong.
Now, as a father who coaches 5-6 yr old sports, I have no problem with this score. Maybe I was raised in a different era that accepts defeat and learns from it rather than whimpering about it. I know that the kids I coach are always happy in a loss or a win. I cant by the bylaws of the leagues keep scores or records, but I do in my head. The kids that play for me have been so excited when I tell them their stats in a season. I can remember when I played little league as a kid ( little league was all we had where I lived). We had none of this everybody wins. In sports there is always a winner and a loser. Thati s what motivates everyone of us who strives to compete with others. Its the adrenaline rush and the endorphine surge to win.
I believe, right or wrong, that as a culture we have become soft in all forms of youth sports. We need to rethink the values that allow everyone to play, despite the abilities to do otherwise. The naysayers will blather on about the fairness of these statements and I truly feel sorry for those people. They are usually the ones who as kids were picked last behind the 1 kid with a rock in his mouth wondering about the colors of a rainbow. By the way the rock chewing kid was a monster at defensive end. Wonder how he is doing figuring out the colors thing? Back to the point. The everyone wins rule is making sports a joke at young ages. I have 4 kids and I can speak only for myself when I state. My oldest has never played organized sports due to his inability to comprehend what it takes to compete. doesnt make him bad or good. I just knew that his brain didnt function that way. He loves to watch sports and to break it down like an analyst. But to play? Nope! Still love him all the same. Now switch to my 6 yr old. He is a sports playing freak. Cant make him get out of his soccer shoes. Always kicking the ball around the house. When he isnt kicking the ball with his foot he is pushing it around the house with his baseball bat. the Trampoline in the back yard is always filled with balls of every type. Footballs, Baseballs, Basketballs, Soccer balls, even a torn apart Tennis ball (still have no clue where they scraped that poor excuse for a tennis ball up from). My 3 yr old son is right there along side the 6yr old. Heck, 1 game in November the 3 yr old had to be carried from the indoor soccer field cause he somehow wormed his way through the fence and joined his brother on the field to play (i was secretly praying he would steal the ball and score). Did the 14 yr old long to play? Nope! He was more intrested in the scores from across the football leagues. I can only as a father ask him if he wishes to play and respect his wishes not to.
Talk about way off the track i started on... Wow Ravings indeed. Well. I think I have made a point there somewhere. I know how I feel as a coach and I wish we as a nation would go back to the long, lost days where just the winners were awarded trophys or medals. I know as a kid growing up it was all about the trophy. Many a season went by where there was no trophy on the mantle. Did it make me sad? Heck yea it did. Am I sorry that my kids will never feel that way. Heck yea I am. I am a 39 yr old man now with many a gleaming trophy sitting in the family den. I have won them from a variaty of endeavors, Billiards, Bowling, BMX racing (as a 22 yr old no less), Darts (my wife 1 upped me in this category, her trophys are from the World Championships in Las Vegas), and of all things Cribbage. My 4 kids, the 3 who can talk, always ask me about them and want to hear the stories behind each 1. As a parent I try my best to explain to them how to compete at a level that will allow them the chances to walk away from a competion with 1 of their own. My 6 yr old son has his 1st trophy from soccer sitting right there on the mantle but all the rest he has aquired from sports are littering the play room for his younger sister and brother. Makes me feel proud that he has already built the pride that winning instills. Just to compete doesnt get it done.
Oh, by the way. My 14yr old son. The one who could care less about playing. He is an A student and well on his way to a career in broadcasting. He wants Eli Golds job ( the man who does NASCAR). I am so proud of him. Wonder if he still remembers sitting as a baby watching dad race BMX bikes. Think I will go chat him up and see if he wants to watch a old race and break it down.
Anyhow.... As a card carrying member of the coaching ranks in youth sports in America. Why do we feel as a nation that the kids need the moral boost a trophy instills. I teach and labor away with the youth and I see in their eyes that fire that winning brings. We as a collecive think that they dont care about the score. I beg to differ. I hear them ask every week at practice and before a game. They care. Its the ones who are thrust out on the field by parents who dont listen that think everyone is a winner.
Wonder if they like rocks? The parents that is.