Laziness ruining youth sports

When exactly did we get so lazy?

Kids can’t handle not getting a trophy ——————–> Give everyone a trophy!

We can’t handle the trophy for everyone atmosphere ——>Get rid of trophies!

Kids can’t handle winning and losing —————-> Stop Keeping Score

Adults can’t handle being supportive from sidelines ——-> Don’t allow any cheering at all


Anyone see a trend here? Looks like laziness to me! How about we take a little time and teach some life lessons that we all claim are so valuable in sports. ohhhh that takes time and commitment. yea. it does!  I’ve heard otherwise, but I challenge the fact that sports teach character and life lessons on their own. If that’s what we think then we’ve identified problem A!

Challenges in sports may teach a lesson, but what that person walks away with from it and if it’s a lesson they can use to make their lives better is completely dependent on WHO, if anyone, helps them work through that obstacle.  Without good coaching or guidance, that bad experience may just be teaching a player that they hate sports. That cheating is the only way to win. That bigger players are more important. That they do nothing but make mistakes.  Do we really want to leave it up to the sport itself to impart lessons on our kids without the help of a mentor (parent, coach, older player, etc)?

So back to our laziness. Why would we stop keeping score? If you put two young kids outside with a basketball to play horse I promise you they are tracking those letters because competing is fun! You can take down the scoreboard, but have you ever coached a team that didn’t keep asking each other what the score is? There’s nothing wrong with competing! What’s wrong is when we don’t take the time to teach that the score is part of the FUN, part of one element of playing sports, not the primary or only thing. That losing is a part of the game as much as winning, and you will win some and lose some your whole life. The sun will rise, there will be another game, the game ends and life keeps going. Parents, this lesson goes for us as well! Win some, lose some, move on but the fun – that continues!

It’s not the score that’s a problem, it’s our lack of teaching balance in sports that’s a problem. The all or nothing quest and the fact that the very model of how to handle winning and losing from our coaches and parents is often out of balance themselves.

We’ve tried it all – no trophies, lots of trophies, no score, no cheering, no rankings, and yet we are just as lost and our kids are likely more confused than ever. Are we supposed to compete? Is it wrong that I want to win? Is it wrong to lose? We’ve jumbled the message. We’ve made a huge mess trying to “fix” things.

Let’s just get back to the basics, teach balance, strive to win, recover from a loss, respect the win from an opponent as a job well done, a loss from the team as a job well done but that didn’t go your way that day, an opportunity to learn and get better, the chance to do it again at the next game, and an hour or so of fun competing – a healthy and fun activity for all ages!






lazy picture from http://funny-pictures.picphotos.net/clipart-lazy-person

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