I like to write about youth sports and what I believe is the ongoing degradation of youth sports. The focus on “winning at all costs” is quite concerning, and we seem to fail to teach our kids about sportsmanship, respect on and off the field, and teamwork, to name a few traits you pick up from the athletic fields. Time and time again, we see teams beat down other teams, as winning and showing “no mercy” seem to rule the day. We see kids blow their arms out or sustain other concerning injuries at very early ages, usually do to lack of rest. I’ll write more on this in future posts.
CNN is highlighting a story about a high school pitcher who struck out all 15 batters he faced – a five inning perfect game and a 10-0 blowout. Why should we celebrate this? There was so much information conspicuously omitted from the story. How many pitches did the boy throw? How many days rest did he have? Why was he left in the game when his team was blowing out the other team? If there was such a skill gap, why would the coach let his team abuse another team in this fashion? Was it really that important to strike out every batter he faced? What did the pitcher gain from this experience? Is this truly what we call the challenge of competition in sport? As someone who believes unequivocally in the work of the Positive Coaching Alliance, I feel this coach, and this team, needs some serious training.
As a former Division I baseball player, I don’t celebrate this feat with the little information provided.