Hope you are great!
I was reading an interesting article on a interesting topic in Mens Journal the other day that I put up on Facebook. It sparked quite a lot of comments and thoughts so i though i better follow up with a longer post on my though about the subject.
First thing first. I don’t think I would have continued with SPORT if I would not have had the POSSIBILITY to compete and to be crowned winner..or for that matter loosing. I would never have continued with TENNIS if i would not have been allowed to win and be crowned winner..or for that matter loosing. Perhaps I would have found something else where I would have had the possibility to win. I loved playing points no matter practice or competition. No matter sport. Competing is the best way of player development. No drills are equal to competing!
I used to love to compete when i was younger. It was my passion to practice and then go head to head with another team or another player. I ended up focusing more on individual sport when i was around 14 years old after winning the Orange Bowl in Florida. The reason for me focusing on tennis was part that I liked LOOSING more in individual sport. Yes thats right. You had no one else to blame then yourself. I hated loosing don’t get me wrong. The friends that knows me knows how difficult I was to be around after defeat. But I learned how to grow from the losses. I tried to practise harder and better until the next match. When you are doing any kind of sports you will learn to loose. I’ve had so much benefit from that in my life. Sport thought me that. During my 10 years as a professional tennis player I only won 15 professional tournaments (12 ATP, 2 Challengers and 1 Satellite at that time) out of probably around 200 tournaments!! Still got to number 2 in the world.
When I read that we are taking away the opportunity to compete in young ages and even giving trophies to EVERYONE involved I’m not sure we are doing the right thing here. Sports build strong character. Character for life. Not only for sports. Not all people in life will be winners ALL the time. We have to learn and grow from defeat. This is best implemented in early years if you ask me. If we make this a part of life. We have to give inspiration to the winners that feeds from that and the create building platforms for the kids not winning.
If we look at the business life we know for sure that everyone is not winners all the time. Specially not the first time (watch the movie Steve Jobs as an example). BUT if you can handle defeat and grow from that you will have a chance on the next deal. All days in your private life will not be great (even if it looks like that many times on social media), we just have to deal with it and move on with a positive mindset. Same goes for school. Not everyone can have the best grades. Its impossible. But the champions are understands the process and that keep pushing forward without loss of motivation even when it gets tough.
Are we gonna take away this? Im not sure we are doing the right thing here.
We start in the wrong end I think. Let the kids compete. Let them do that alone. Kids are smart enough to solve the issues and scoring without interaction from parents. Positive feedback from the coaches and parents. Talk after the game. No stress. It should not be that difficult. Did we have ”crazy parents” at my times? Hell yes we had!! We can’t wrap our kids in cotton. We have to prepare the kids for life. In sports and outside.
Hope you are having a great Sunday!