Are You Okay with Putting Winning Aside?
I know ultra-competitive coaches and I know super laid back coaches. I’m friends with both types. I’m probably somewhere in the middle. I want to win as much as the next guy, but I’ll never make a fool out of myself or my kids by being that animal who’s known by a certain name (the other name it goes by is mule, so figure it out).
The coach I mentioned from above, the one who was questioning my integrity as an umpire, falls into the extreme category of ultra-competitive. I often wonder what drives these guys. Is it some sort of failing in their personal lives right now? Some slight from their playing days? Did they get cut from their school team and now they’re out to live vicariously through their son?
I really don’t know. I just know that when you see it, it’s not pretty. And it’s all over a little plastic trophy. It makes no sense.
There’s plenty of time to take winning incredibly seriously. When a kid is nine or 10, or a few years younger or older…I tend to think that’s not the time.
Don’t get me wrong. We’re not here to meet up and sing Kumbaya in a drum circle or anything. But remember…this is fun. And a lot of how much fun the kids have is going to depend on how you act.
If you need to take out your frustrations or prove something to someone, this is not the place to do it.
Real Story from “The Trenches”
You know what’s really great? Other than the very few instances I mention elsewhere in this story, I really can’t think of a time when I saw a coach now, or during my playing days, put winning above all else. So I have nothing for you here!
Again, of course we try and win. Everyone has more fun when you do, including the kids.
I do remember waaayyyy back when, I had a Little League coach who pulled as aside as a team and said something to the effect of, “You know all that stuff they say about how winning doesn’t matter? BS. We’re here to win.” And that was all cool. I mean, the kids are competitive. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be playing sports in the first place.
But I honestly can’t think of very many egregious examples of bad sportsmanship that relate to this topic at all.
So I guess we’re doing a good job! If you decide to coach, help keep up the tradition.