Winning vs Fun is a tough question, I wrote about this issue in a previous article, Play for Fun but Winning is Funner. Most kids are competitive and always want to know the score and who won. Its only when Little Johnny loses and starts crying that mom and dad are against competition. When you win, its always a party and everyone is happy. Losing brings out the boo birds.
I love this caller answer to the Winning Debate Question posed by Bob Frantz who hosts “The Bob Frantz Show” on WTAM-AM 1100 from 7 p.m. to midnight weeknights in Northern Ohio.
“At what point does ‘protecting a child’s fragile self-esteem’ become ‘lying to our children?’ ” he asks.”Sports should never be so important that anyone derives their self-esteem from the outcome of a game, but if the alternative is telling the kids that the outcome does not matter … and to LIE to 8-year-olds by pretending that life owes them a ribbon or a paycheck just for showing up, I’ll ALWAYS tell my son the truth.”Read the full article via Bob Frantz: Responses to the winning in youth sports debate – news-herald.com
I do agree that most children under 5 depending upon maturity level should play on non-competitive non scoring league teams. These should be fun introduction leagues to introduce the sport in a positive manner. But once they are in Kindergarten or First grade at school then competition should begin because it has in school with grades and academics.
If you are worried about competition and not learning the sport, in today’s youth sports environment, there are a ton of sports camps to learn the game and skills that are non-competitive opportunities to learn the game. You can also teach your child in the backyard, at the park and or in your living room skills of the game. I have done all of the above with my boys. Yes, we have moved furniture around to do a few drills, but an easy way to learn new skills in the living room are Sport’s Skills DVDs and Championship Productions makes a DVD for just about every sport.
So, don’t just ask the volunteer coaches to teach your child the rules and skills of the game. There are a ton of free and paid “How To” & “Do it Yourself” resources available. You can also hire a private coach to teach skills too. YOU have plenty of opportunities to spend quality time with your child coaching them the basic skills of the game giving them a jump start in practice. Your Coaches will be thrilled you took the initiative and got involved.
Believe me, once your child starts winning a majority of the time, you will love winning too. Everyone loves the smell of Victory.
“The taste of defeat has a richness of experience all its own.” says Bill Bradley American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, and former three-term Democratic U.S. Senator from New Jersey.
Let me know what you think. I invite you to comment on this post.
Keller, Texas / Fort Worth / DFW