November 25, 2013

Everyone Wins

I am not one to talk about sports around here.  I was a cheerleader for about 3 years and then decided it wasn't for me and that was the end of my athletic career. Sports aren't my thing, it's cool.  I don't have a competitive bone in my body and when I hear what kids go through to play sports it kinda sorta makes me sick.  And don't get me started on the parents...some of their behavior from the sidelines is just plain embarrassing.  BUT if my kids want to play a sport a season, so be it.  If they are better suited for drama club, that's cool too. I'm all for whatever they want to do, I'll support it all, even wrestling {blech}.

I recently heard that the kids are playing sports a little bit differently these days.  As in no one loses anymore, everyone's a "winner".  I even read a quote that said, "there are no losers, you're just the last winner" and while I can appreciate this sort of word play, I do not think that it's helpful for children to grow up with this kind of mentality.

In sports there is a clear winner and loser, period.  One team scores more than the other, that team is the winner.  It's easy, even for me, to understand.  You can turn on the TV at any given point to see some sort of game on and the score is clearly stated right there in the corner of your 48" TV.  There is a winner and a loser in every game.

I think about the kids who are raised like this and I think about when they are adults, out in the real world.  I can't imagine how they will handle situations like job promotions.  I know the reason behind the "everyone wins" mentality is to teach kids to have fun, worry less, feel good and I support that, I think that sports should be fun and can be fun even with winners and losers.  But I don't think that it sets them up to be reasonable adults.

Imagine, if you will, how these kids will handle competing with another person for a raise only to not get it.  Unfortunately there is a winner and a loser in this situation.  It's frustrating enough to be turned down for a job but when you are raised with an "everyone wins" mentality it's got to be even more devastating because you've probably never experienced let down like that before.

I guess it's easy for me to say, I've yet to experience the kids sports world, but I'd hope to teach my kids to be gracious losers.  You can be bummed, sure, but you congratulate the other team and do better next time.  You try, you do your best and that's all you can do. Sometimes your best isn't good enough because there is someone better out there.  But there is also someone who isn't as good, someone that you are better than. Someone will win and someone will lose and, to me, that's OK.

So, what do you think of "no score sports"?  Do you think it's helpful for children to grow up thinking that it's all fun and games or do you think that there should be a winner and a loser?  What about the effect it has on them as adults?

16 comments:

  1. I am right there with you. I really hope this mentality loses its momentum by the time my girls are in high school. Without that sense of competition, I would never have had the same motivation to succeed. As parents we can validate our children in so many other ways... don't take away their sense of pride and accomplishment by letting everyone be the same, because they're not. We can all find something we're the "best" at - let's give them the chance to find it!

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  2. I am all for there being a winner and a loser. That is life. I hope when my kids play sports, this "everyone is a winner" stuff is over with. Participation ribbons or certificates, thats fine. But only the winning team deserves the trophies and title of "winner" If everyone gets the same award at the end of the season, why would the participants give 110% at all times? That works in pee-wee football or coach's pitch when you're 7, but when you're 25 and you've always been rewarded for minimal effort, not getting that promotion, or job even, is going to hurt like hell!

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  3. I'm generally not a fan of no score sports but I think there is a time & a place for them. I'm a huge supporter of our Church's Upward program. I love that it's a teaching program and it revolves around learning the game. Even referees correct & coach when making a call. Then if you stay in the program as you get older score is kept. I like that it creates a safe environment to learn without the pressure of winning or losing.

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  4. Amen for this! This is especially frustrating for me because I am a teacher!

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  5. I couldn't agree more. I don't know how they do it in other areas, but around here, at least for the first few years that the children are learning "the basics" (like when they are 5-6 years old), they don't keep score, and I can appreciate that. I can see not wanting to discourage children from the game while they are still developing abilities. But then after a point, they start keeping score and everyone seems to survive and try a little harder. And I think they see the parents getting into it a bit more too, and they respond to that. I never liked team sports myself. If I did good, I wanted all the credit. Conversely, if I screw up, I want it to fall squarely on me and not influence a team. I don't know what that says about me as a person, but it would be weird to live in a world where no one was keeping score. What's the point (pun was originally not intended)?

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  6. Our kids are in sports, my son is a football player in Texas (8 years old) and I played soccer my whole life and I will firmly stand against everyone is a winner. There is a winner and there is a loser. It might sounds harsh but if you didn't win then well guess what...work harder. Get out there and practice and practice until you walk away with the W and not the L. If we teach our kids that everyone is a winner then they will never try harder in life. Why when the amount of effort you put forth doesn't change the outcome. What we should teach is good sportsmanship. That if you win you don't have to rub it into the other players face...but you better go out there and work even harder because next time they are going to want to beat you that much more. Our football team had an amazing winning season this year, which is a great feeling, but the year before we didn't and that was the reason we worked so hard and got to where we were this year.

    Laura @ Mice In The Kitchen

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  7. I can tell you exactly what happens in the real world when someone gets a promotion and the kid who 'always won' doesn't. They pout, and complain loudly, and freak out. Heaven forbid they find out your salary. As we millennials, matriculate in the workforce we are showing exactly what happens to those kids. I was never taught this way. There were clear winners and losers. I'm going to teach Boomer the same thing, because that's just not how the world operates. I think its important to praise your children for their efforts even when they don't win. I lost games in tennis and my mother would tell me, hey I watched you play and you really worked hard. You'll do better next time, or she was just a better player. And that was ok. She was still proud of me for doing MY best. I think at the end of the day thats the better lesson.

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  8. No-score sports drive me crazy. AND every single kid out there knows who won, even if they don't keep score... we're kidding ourselves to pretend otherwise.

    The ONLY time I could understand is in some of the toddler/intro leagues with kids who are like 3-5 years old... I think at those ages, it really is more just about playing and learning the basics. But overall? Totally disagree with no-score sports. Our kids need to learn how to be both graceful losers, AND graceful winners.

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  9. Exactly! I couldn't agree more.

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  10. I think a no loser game is okay for REALLY little kids that are just learning the rules or how to play the game. Like those 3 year old soccer players who all fight over the ball no matter what team they are on lol. I think around 5 years old though it's time to have a winner and a loser. It's good for them to learn how to lose without getting super mad and angry about it. It's part of the game. No one can win all of the time. The earlier they learn the better. =)

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  11. I worry that this way of thinking would lead to false feelings of every one wins every time. And as an adult, we know that's not the case. However, I can see myself a few years down the line sugar coating winning and losing to Connor as to not hurt his feelings. But that's simply because I'm his Momma and don't want to see my baby upset.

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  12. I think its good at a young age, when kids are still learning the skills and exploring social skills, as well as coping skills. But, by the time they are older kids (8-10) then, they should start keeping score. In VA where I grew up, soccer was HUGE! EVERYONE did recreational soccer. Each league was based on age. The youngest was U6 (kids 4-6 years old). These teams had all the kids running after the ball in a big herd. 2 "coaches" per team were allowed on the field to help direct the cute kids, as well as regular refs. There were no goalies, nor points. But, once they got to U8 (7-8 year olds), goalies and scoring was incorporated. I like it that way.

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  13. I'm so glad all the comments are saying how bad an idea this is. Setting kids up for failure. Someone wins and someone loses, period. Sports also teaches how to develop new skills if a team is losing a lot. There would be no need to hold practices and encourage teammates if everyone won. I'm scared for how these children will act in school and yes, out in the real world.

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  14. Summary: if you can't lose gracefully, you don't deserve to win gracefully.

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  15. I don't like it. I think that it's the way life works...win and lose. If you tried hard or played your best and still lost, that's fine. If we teach our children everyone wins, when they are "lose" or someone brings it to their attention it could cause BIG problems. I am reminded of the Parenthood episode of Sydney getting so mad at chess because she lost and throwing the BIGGEST FIT, screaming kicking, etc because she wasn't taught about losing. To each his own, I guess.

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  16. This is hands down one of my biggest pet peeves. Also, rumor is they are doing away with things like "MVP". Umm what?!? How are we supposed to give our kids something to work for? How will they know what they are good at?! I don't expect E to be good at everything. Do I want her to try; absolutely. But I don't expect her to be the best at everything. I want her to see how some people do other things better while she does things better. I want her to have a goal. A "win" to go for. I can't even... This subject irks me something fierce.

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