I remember the first real organized boys club (now called youth club) sporting event – it was a tee ball game – my team was sponsored by Reeser’s Auto Body and we played against “McClellans.” I remember losing that game 12-6, and I also remember going home and crying my eyes out! You see, my parents really never taught me how to lose prior to that. My dad and I would kick the soccer ball around in the back yard, and I’d always win. I thought I was probably the best 5-year-old soccer player ever. I also thought that I (or my team) would find a way to win. I learned a valuable lesson that day, and was able to accept defeat a lot better after that.
I don’t have kids, but I’ve heard this from quite a few people who do have kids – that youth sports is a lot different now. In fact, in many instances, they don’t even keep score, and in tee-ball, everybody bats every inning. Folks, I don’t want to offend anybody, but I think that’s a bunch of bullsh*t. It’s like we as a society are afraid to allow our kids to compete at all. What fun is that? What lessons are learned? How does that prepare ANYBODY for growing up?
Look, I wasn’t the greatest athlete growing up, and I wasn’t the worst, either. I knew there were plenty of kids better than me in certain sports, and I was cool with that. I remember being on an intramural baseball team that won 1 game the entire season. Was I upset with that? Of course not! Did I quit trying? Absolutely not! I loved to play. I loved to compete. Heck, I’d still like to get into a bar softball league, or maybe play basketball once a week. A topic for another day.
Seriously, how did we allow this to happen? Allow ourselves to create sports in which kids don’t compete. Can we even justify calling this a sport? I know, I know – this allows ALL kids to play, no matter if they are good or bad. Seriously? Are we going to do this with everything? Hey, I suck at math – can I build a rocket? Man, I was never good in shop class – let me build a house! See, it doesn’t make sense in those areas, does it? Well, maybe it’s the same way with sports – not everyone can be good at it, and that’s ok … but PLEASE, bring back the competition!