I have written several posts in the last few months about the concerns I have with youth sports. I have discussed the risks of a “winning at all costs” mentality, the lack of consistency with discipline, and the poor role modeling done by adults. I encourage you to read the last few posts on my blog about this topic.
I was in my car this morning listening to the local sports radio hosts, and I was unfortunately not surprised to hear that the Jackie Robinson Little League Baseball Team (Chicago, IL) was stripped of its 2014 world title because they recruited players from outside their zip code – a clear violation of Little League rules. The parents and coaches cheated the kids here. Not only does this embarrass the United States, but lets not forget that the POTUS is from Chicago!
This is yet another example of how the “winning at all costs” mentality is starting at such a young age. Where is the uproar? When did our priorities get so screwed up? We are forgetting the role of youth sports, and winning is NOT the primary goal. Yes, you play to win, but you play to learn, you play to be a good teammate, a good athlete and a good son or daughter. You play to develop tools to live a life that is healthy in mind, body and spirit. When you do that, you win in life.
Why does this keep happening in our youth sports programs, our college sports programs, and our professional sports programs? See the common link, everyone? What you teach kids stays with them through their lives. It’s going to take a generation to fix this program, so we better start now.