That Competitive Spirit

   Wilson (Lite)Trust me when I say I'm about as competitive as they come. I would probably race you to the door just so I could be the first one there. But there is a time and a place for competition, and I've learned how to suppress my competitiveness---to an extent.

I admit that I'm super excitable with my son's sports. But in my defense, who doesn't like winning!?! And yes, I'm a sideline cheerer---but it's all in good fun. I do cheer for the other team when they do well too... What I don't understand is people who are so crazy caught-up in the game that they yell and scream at their kids, and even other's kids, when they make a mistake or the game isn't going the way they think it should.

For instance, my son's baseball team is a 6 and under team... For those not familiar with the way teams work, when I say 6 and under, I mean there's not one kid on the field over the age of six years old. Tonight, a person on the opposing team (we were having a practice game) wanted the kids to run the bases at every single little ball drop. So whenever the runner was going to second, if the second baseman got the ball thrown to him, but it was overthrown by a couple feet, this person was running the kids from first .... to home. And while I agree this is how the game is played, I also recognize the fact that A) this is a practice and B) these kids are learning the game. They're going to make mistakes... they're 6 AND UNDER!!! If this was a high school team, by ALL means, run the kids... and get every run you can!! I'm all for it!

Our coach showed better sportsmanship than the other person by allowing the other team to make some errors without running the kids at every blink of the eye. It's one thing to win the game... it's another thing to sacrifice learning and fun for competition. I played softball from the time I was 5 to the time I was 21 and all those years playing, I always had fun. I remember playing teams like this. And I remember beating teams like this... because eventually the kids are going to stop responding to the angry words this person spews from their mouth... and this person will eventually have to learn how to lose.

This isn't the first interaction I've had with this person and I can tell you that it won't be my last. I just wish they would learn to accept reality and our sons are not professional sports players. They are 6 years old.

Competition is a great thing. The feeling of working as a team to acheive a common goal; it's something great. But there's also something to be said of losing. You have to learn how to lose with dignity. Even though we lose, as long as we did our best, we can never be losers. That's what I want my son to learn... not just that winning is everything. Because someone always loses... even if we win.

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