Wednesday, April 6, 2016

we are {not} all winners

we can't all win. it's a fact of life. there can only be one winning game/person per event.
which means, there has to be losers. and. losing stinks.

we have had some tough little league losses lately. it does not sit well with the coach {mr. c}.
in fact, he hates it. he takes it very personally. we all do.

after our third loss in a row, mr. c came home frustrated. he knows the game inside and out and is great with the kids. he doesn't understand why they aren't doing better.
first of all, it's little league. at this level, there are kids who have never played or do not want to play. they are there because the parents want them to play.  it's instructional. it's an opportunity. its' a place where everyone gets to play with equal play time. which is good...but, it's not real life. we only get the grades, the jobs, make the teams, etc. if we outshine the other players. and, sometimes we have to lose to get better.
{don't get me wrong. i think it's a great program and is instrumental in giving kids the opportunity to play the game}.

as i pondered mr. c and cade's frustration over their losses, i found myself thinking...what could be done differently?  do we coddle our youth too much? is it too much to make them all feel like winners? are we trying too hard to boost their confidence? we don't want them to hurt or experience loss but, they have to. my heart sinks when cade strikes out but, hopefully, we are teaching him to think about why he struck out and how he can improve.
{i definitely over coddle. i am the first one to say, "you did great! it's ok if you lost!". where as mr. c dives right into what could be done better}.
i believe confidence is one of the greatest things we can give our kids but, at the same time, they must learn there are winners and losers and you have to work hard for that win. rewards should not be given out to everyone because, everyone is not the winner.

valuable lessons come from losing. hopefully, we strive to do better and work harder. we face our challenges and recognize what we need to do to obtain that win. therefore, we shouldn't get a trophy for trying. we need to own that loss and try harder. 

when i was in high school, our marching band/drill team/ half time show and cheerleaders won the texas state championship every year. i had the opportunity to be on the winning teams twice. {once as a member of the drill team and once as a cheerleader}. our directors do i say this? a dynamic devil duo. {it was a husband and wife team}. they were so mean. they did not mess around and we all knew it. they would call you out in front of the entire team if you were the slightest bit off or out of formation. and, they weren't nice about it.  but. we wanted to be there. we endured grueling tryouts to be there. why? because they brought wins. and, winning feels so good. at the end of the day, the long practices, the repetition, the sweat and tears were worth it because, we received victory and achieved that goal. it was hard but, good. and, at the same time...we had fun. great memories were made.

i'm not suggesting mr. c yell at these kids or make them endure grueling workouts but, maybe we {the adults} need to ease up on the softness. maybe, every kid should not get a trophy. maybe, a pat on the back and suggestions of what needs to be done next time is all they need. maybe, we all need to be reminded that we can't all be winners all the time but, we need to try like hell.

"it's supposed to be hard. if it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. the hard is what makes it great."
- a league of their own

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