Life is all about competition. You win or lose a job, a boyfriend (or girlfriend), or even a best friend. That’s the way it is, and that’s the way it has always been.
So why are kid’s sports teams taking all of the competition out of… the competition?
In an effort to promote what they call “Long Term Player Development,” the Ontario Soccer Association has ruled that all U-12 teams will no longer keep track of goals during the game or keep league standings.
Well, most parents like myself, who come from what I consider “the old school” way of thinking, believe that this “no winner” type of mentality is ridiculous. You’re harvesting an unrealistic idea of what it means to win and what it means to lose. And when these children turn into adults, they’ll be crushed at losing that job, that girlfriend, or that scholarship and never have learned how to cope with not being the proverbial “champion”.
Other parents actually may be wishing that their kid’s league would adopt rules similar to the Ontario Soccer Association — “Youth sports should be about having fun and learning new skills, not just winning” they’d say.
I personally am an advocate of healthy competition for children; and things like organized youth sports teams and competitive gymnastics and dance groups are safe environments to teach kids that winning and losing is just a fact of life. They need to know that whenever you compete against one person or even one hundred people for something, that there are going to be winners – and there are going to be losers. And losing doesn’t mean that you’re awful, or not worthy; but you just weren’t the “better man”… that day – and you know what? That’s okay.
[Below you can see my kids taking part in a little healthy competition. :)]
I’ve elected to teach my twins this lesson early – because if I don’t… the world will.
What’s your take on competition when it comes to kids? Play to win, or just play to play?