When coaches teach players to disrespect the game…..we all lose

sportsmanshipSometimes I think I should blog more. Perhaps no one will read it, but a blog is a good place to vent. And, when stories pop up that makes me cringe I pop over to the blog and share my thoughts. Maybe someday I will be better at doing this thing more regularly.

I saw a story today that really bothered me. It’s a story of not one, but two, yes TWO, basketball teams trying to lose a game. When the hell did we start trying to lose? The problem is trying to find an easier road. If you lose a certain game you can get a better postseason bracket than if you win it. One that you feel is “easier”. While I don’t think I have seen the effort to try to lose in person I have seen the effort to make the road easier to get to a state tournament. 

Gone are the days that you accept your alignment and play the games. Gone are the days where coaches teach kids how to work harder than another team. Sure, there are still coaches and athletes out there that work to get better, but why are so many trying to ease the path rather than just beating the competition. It’s almost like we would rather accept the “we aren’t good enough to beat them” idea rather than the idea of “work hard, play hard, win games”.

It’s sad, really.

The worst part is that it seems the lesson this teaches kids is if there is a challenge ahead then find a way around it. Change the rules to benefit you. Why can’t we work hard and overcome said challenges? They aren’t impossible.

Imagine the sense of accomplishment when you overcome a challenge that everyone says you can’t do. That would beat knowing you cheated your way around the challenge right? It’s the problem with the “participation ribbon” model. Everyone can’t win. And you should earn whatever hardware you end up with.

The story linked above sends the wrong message and everyone – coaches, players, families, schools – should be embarrassed. A lot of people were involved and everyone of them should be ashamed with their actions. Here’s to hoping a good lesson is learned from a story like this.

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