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How important is winning?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Probably because I recently wrote about competitive vs. fun sports for kids, I was especially attentive to attitude as I sat at our grandson’s soccer game.

DGS #5 is quite talented. He was recruited for a travel team (under 12) as soon as he turned 10. DD#2 elected to have him stay with the rec league, but that had problems too. After he scored a few goals, he would be benched so the game would remain competitive. Sometimes that could happen within 10 minutes and he wouldn’t even get the minimum playing minutes that rec teams were known for.

Long ago two of our three children were involved in competitive sports and 2 competed in SERIOUS piano competition. (DD#2 did both) When waiting for the awards, more than anything, I wanted my kids (or their team) to win something. It’s the same way with me. I want to win something, whether at a race or in the morning when I get on the scale. I want my effort to be validated somehow.

Fortunately that feeling passes quickly. When getting on with my day, going out for lunch after a game or a race or just signing on to SP after my morning weigh-in, that temporary win (or loss) isn’t so important.

After a piano competition long ago, my 8 year old daughter told me that “it doesn’t matter if you win or lose because you have to do it all again anyway.” She meant practice and compete.

That was a very perceptive attitude for a kid. This morning my scale showed an upward leap. Since I weigh every day, I know this isn’t a big deal, just the result of a lunch of Greek food and dinner at a Mexican restaurant. It isn’t often that I eat out twice in the same day.

Whether my scale is being friendly or not (win or lose), I have to “do it all again” anyway if I want to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

Regarding DGS#5 – The coach had a perfect solution. After DGS scored 2-4 goals, he could still play but he had to only pass the ball to a teammate. If there was no one around then he could take a shot himself as long as he did it with his left foot. The result was improvement in his all around skills and a better, more competitive game for all.

There’s a difference between short term and long term wins. I’m in this for the long term.
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  • OWL_20
    I like your coach's solution a lot. I have no experience with kids and competition nowadays, but I do remember from 'back in the day'. We had a pretty competitive soccer league when I was playing, our coach was mad about winning. As I grew older the competitive spirit just went 'meh' not sure why, maybe it's because I thought I couldn't hack it, so I wouldn't try. Interesting blog--making me think, here!
    1652 days ago
    Hmmm maybe this will work out much better a 2 footer if there is any money in this as an adult this might be a good experience.
    1653 days ago
    When it comes to things physical, since I've never been much good at them, I tend to shun competition and pursue solitary endeavors, like walking. Academics was my competitive arena, and I could be pretty intense in my pursuit of good grades. Now that academia is long behind me, from both the student and the teaching sides, it feels as if I've lost a spark or passion and am just holding my own.
    1653 days ago
    Now that's a coach with an innovative solution. I really like it!

    As a naturally competitive person myself, I like solutions that still allow kids to excel without "punishing" them for being good!
    1653 days ago
  • CAALAN23
    That is one awesome coach that DGS#5 has! It's sometimes hard to find that level of coaching in a rec league. And congrats to all the little ones for having such drive and spirit!

    I am not competitive in that sense that I am in races but in the sense that I should see results for effort. In a war with myself so to speak, LOL, what else is new?

    I do love your blogs, I look forward to them. Keep it up!
    1653 days ago
    How do you strike the balance between wanting them (and you) to strive for the best they can do, but then be a gracious winner/loser at the end and not let their self worth be determined by the result. Working with my kids on that right now with mixed results. Great solution for the soccer coach, sounds like a good way to improve his game and to help elevate the play of his teammates too.
    1653 days ago
    Winning is such a relative thing.

    I like to win, but am not upset when I don't. Years ago, I had a garage full of car show awards and trophys. Funny, how they got dusty and eventually thrown away, yet each gave a rush of excitement at the time of 'winning'. I might have learned a lesson from that. Now I have a rack full of running bling. Different times and goals for me. I like to look at them, but I quickly got to a point that I don't pursue them as actively.

    Now my reward/win is finishing a satisfying run. I don't need the validation of a ribbon or plaque. I feel like I won something every single time I return home after a run.

    On the other hand, I have a professional athlete in my family who is undefeated in his sport - as a professional. Talking to him, anything short of a win is unacceptable.
    He expects to win every time he enters the ring as an MMA fighter.

    1653 days ago
  • DR1939
    Wasn't he lucky to have a coach like that.
    1653 days ago
    Very astute observations! Interesting blog, especially for this adult onset athlete who loves the bling, but is a bit embarrassed by how much she likes the awards!! It's like a guilty pleasure. Could be worse, I suppose. -Marsha
    1653 days ago
    1653 days ago
    I really wanted the weight to fall off in a hurry and had to come to terms with the fact that I wanted to go back to eating the wrong things. It was a 'light bulb moment' for me and now I don't really care how long it takes as long as it happens and when I get to the goal I put as much effort into maintenance.

    Great blog thanks...
    1653 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I spent the weekend eating out at restaurants and have the same up pounds on the scale. So I am with you on dealing with this short term problem..doing the long term it again get it down and maintain.

    Interesting solution for you grandson. Hope it developed his skills.


    Plus..we have to keep our parole officer happy, don't we? LOL.
    1653 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/13/2013 8:27:38 AM
    Your comment about doing it all over again day after day really hit home with me this morning. Despite my short term goal of losing another 10 pounds which I have focused on TOO MUCH, I need to keep my eye on the prize--a lifetime of healthy eating and activity for a healthy life. Ten pounds is not the goal....Living life is!
    1653 days ago
    I love the coaches solution to DGS#5's soccer playing time. It's so fair to all, and it helps him be a better team mate and improve the use/control of his left foot. What a good coach. I'm sure that team is a winner, and I'm not talking scores either.

    I'm competitive too, I think being the eldest of 10 and having #4, my sister, be a brainiac made me look for what I was good at. So I excelled in child care, baking and did okay with cooking too. Later I developed more skills, but those helped me with my five children. BTW I'm the only one of the 10 who had five children.
    I sewed, knitted and learned to crochet. In my younger days I entered my handiwork and baked goods in the county fair. My DD's chocolate cake came in first and mine second, we were in different categories but it gave her a thrill too.
    I think truth be known we all want to win at something-it is good to temper it with fair and good judgement.
    Nice blog-I know you'll drop that Mother's day weight. I have to work on mine too.

    emoticon emoticon

    1653 days ago
    1653 days ago
    I think I love your DGS#5's coach. What a GREAT solution.

    As for competition... for those of us it is "wire in" to, we have to find ways to live with it. I, too, am in for the long-term W... a healthy life.
    1653 days ago
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