Tuesday, June 15, 2010

0-0...Everyone Loses

Anyone who knows me, knows that i'm a huge sports fan. Football, boxing, baseball, basketball, whatever. There seems to be this energy that comes out when I speak or think about certain games or athletes. Recently I was having a conversation with a couple of friends on the importance of sports in school.

Due to the current budget issues in my home state, California, a lot of sports programs have been and are in line to be cut. The argument is that it's just "p.e" and can be substituted with any physical activity. I beg to differ. Sports, especially team sports, teaches so much that not only prepares you for the game, but for life. Competition, determination, accountability are all traits needed to succeed in this world.

As we continued on, I was informed that they had already done away with keeping score. Games were being played, and no score was given. Everyone was given a turn at bat, or went the length of the field and they just switched. What part of the game is this? Seasons with no playoffs, no stats, no championships? What are we doing to the youth of this country? No wonder they have no sense of direction, ambition, or focus. No wonder there is this overwhelming feeling of entitlement...they're not working for or towards anything.

It was brought to my attention that some schools have completely done away with valedictorians, because they didn't want to have a "best" student or make the other kids feel bad. At this point I about lost it. Feel bad? How about telling them to try harder. Not keeping score? No stats? If I was one of these kids and wanted to truly compete, this would kill me. How do you get better? How do you push yourself? I think kids need to feel bad. Teach them about it when they're young, show them how to deal with it, how to overcome. There is nothing like the cold bitter taste of defeat and failure. Let them experience it early, they will either push themselves to never feel it again, or they will accept it and repeat that process throughout their lives. Let's give the fighters a chance.

Let's give our children a chance. Sports gives them the opportunity to interact with those that they may not with in day to day life. It teaches them how to communicate and work together. Let's not deprive them of these necessary life lessons. Kids need sports, and to keep score, and playoffs, winners, losers all of that.

For all of those parents and adults leading the charge in favor of this horrible idea let me say, just because you never got over being picked last for kickball doesn't mean the children have to suffer.

They say "art imitates life", well I say sports trains you for it. So let's have shut outs, run up the score board and end zone celebrations! Give these kids something to play for or hand them an instrument.

Go Lakers!!!

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