Youth sports have long played a vital role in the development of this country’s young people. The lessons in team work and fair play that are taught everyday on the playing courts and fields help to build a strong foundation in those who participate in youth sports. Greensboro is very lucky to have a solid youth sports infrastructure. Organizations such as the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department and the GYSA have been recognized for their well run programs and definitely make a positive impact on those who participate.
While there is a lot of good going on in youth sports, there is one recent national trend which I find very disturbing. It seems that those who run many youth sports programs have taken to the idea of de-emphasizing winning as a means of ensuring that at the end of the day, no child’s feelings will be hurt. Like many of today’s ideas concerning children, it is a noble but misplaced one. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating a “win at any means” philosophy that some overzealous coaches and parents preach to their players. These are children and the main idea is for these kids to have a good time but this is still competition and in competition there are winners and losers. When you try too hard to blur the line between winning and losing, one of the most valuable lessons youth sports teaches disappears. When we send the message that winning doesn’t matter, we deprive kids the opportunity to learn important life lessons that winning/losing situations offer in their formative years.
Adult life is full of these winning/losing situations, whether it be in your personal or profession life. How one handles these situations can have a major impact on their life. How these situations are handled depend on how the person is equipped to handle them. Winning, and much more often losing, provide kids with the lessons that equip them to handle these later in life hurdles.
Sports teach kids how to positively handle both winning and losing. When they become adults, they are better suited to handle life’s version of winning and losing, prosperity and adversity, with class and tact. Let’s hope that youth sports will be allowed to continue to mold young athletes into well adjusted adults through the experiences it provides in the competitive arena.
GreensboroSports.com is currently looking to expand its coverage of youth sports in the Greensboro area. We would love to hear from parents and coaches who can provide us with an information on their young people’s teams and activities.