Part 1: Born to Win

Born to Win

I believe that every person has a special gift and contribution to make in this world.  We strive to instill this positive attitude in our children, but in an effort to fight the battle against a generation of youth who display an aura of “entitlement”, we consistently talk about work ethic and what it takes to be successful at anything in life.  It is like walking a balance beam, trying to keep your children’s dreams alive, but teaching them that dreams generally don’t just come true for some and not for others….it takes effort, determination, perseverance and hard work to WIN in sports, and life in general.  We often talk about success stories like Michael Jordan ~ who didn’t even make his varsity basketball team in his sophomore year.  Michael Jordan took that disappointment and channelled his frustration to practise with a level of determination that eventually made him one of the best players of all time. Was it raw talent?  He would say “no”, but rather hard work and a level of commitment that has been matched by few others. As a parent, I want my children to grow-up knowing what it takes to be a winner and how to win graciously in all aspects of life.

Sports:  Much More Than a Game!

score board

To keep score or not to keep score…that is the question!

My husband and I were both involved in sports as children and believe that sports can play a powerful role in the overall development of our own children. Today, many are debating the psychology of whether we should keep score in youth sports or not. Personally, I don’t think that score keeping has any bearing on the self-esteem of children (they are keeping score whether there is an official scoreboard or not).  Children who feel too much pressure from sport are dealing more with parents who have unrealistic expectations and have made it more about being the best, than having fun.  You don’t have to look beyond the politics in minor hockey to establish that the problems are more related to parenting, than the scoreboard. Sport is so much more than skill development and competition. When I was a child, sport was not about getting a scholarship or making the A1 team, it was about building friendships and having fun!  As parents, we see the value of sport far beyond their performance on the ice, field or court.  Involvement in sports:

  • promotes a healthy lifestyle
  • promotes risk taking
  • expands children’s immediate circle of friends
  • teaches children about commitment – once a decision has been made, we make our kids’ stick it out for that season, even when they may not like it (we talk about being commited to a team and how others are depending on you to be there for the practises and games, it forces them to think beyond themselves)
  • teaches children how to be a team player, a skill that is essential in the work force (your grades might get you hired, but your inability to work with others is generally what will get you fired)
  • provides opportunities for chidren to learn life lessons like dealing with disappointment, how to get along with difficult people (coaches and team mates), work ethic, sportsmanship, etc.
  • provides a positive social experience where they can have good, clean fun!

Summary

Not all children are athletic, but many organized groups and activities can provide similar learning opportunities.  I believe that everyone was born a winner and should have a chance to shine, but your child doesn’t have to be the superstar of the team to gain valuable life lessons and experiences from their involvement in sports.  Every sport requires a different skill set and level of athletism.  Some sports require more precision and steadiness while others are more about speed and agility. When you consider all that can be learned through participation in sport, the potential is there for every child to feel like a winner!

We all want to see our children succeed and be happy, but I also feel that it is extremely important for children to learn how to lose.  Check-out Part 2 of this post tomorrow: Learning to Lose

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About Cindy RoyI am a busy mother, wife and kindergarten teacher. I have a huge list of loves! I love my family, Springs Church, old houses, "up-cycling" and DIY projects, scrapbooking, volleyball, interior design, cake decorating, party planning, healthy eating, and sleeping. I am very organized and reflective, and am continually striving to do life more lovingly, passionately, effectively and successfully.

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