Winning isn’t everything, it is the only Thing
Last night I sat down with 6 other youth Football Coaches and 1 High School Coach/ex Professional football player.
Two I have coached with before. The others I have never met.
I found that the issues I have with youth sports. With sports in general, was resonating in my fellow Coaches ears.
If I may put the experience into my own words. It is the prevailing ethos of:
“Winning isn’t everything, it is the only thing”
And put into the right context I cannot disagree.
However, especially at the Youth level. We indeed carry a larger responsibility to the purity of the game. The purity of Sport. To the children by which we are role models. Ethical and moral caregivers. Father figures. Who knew 😉
One question that I have recently grappled with is that, “is it OK without ethic to win?” You know that win at all costs mentality?… Eat or be eaten thing. And again, I get that in the right context.
Today, a fellow Facebooker and UCLA standout quoted Lombardi:
Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile. ~Vince Lombardi
My response: Leadership if achieved is really nothing without principles. I think this is how our society has got to a win at all cost philosophy-damned the repercussions.
Years ago I found out that I had played ball with who was to become a man that would change music forever. However according to many he had taken a path of commingling with thugs and criminals. When I mentioned my discovery to someone once I knew once this person said , “well he is getting his”.
Like a squirrel getting a nut. Dog eat dog.
However, without the higher ethic that guides then is not success really an empty routine? It really is just a notch on the belt. Just an empty win without texture. Without, glory, without meaning.
At our youth level. Many kids will never cross our paths again. Many only have a season to experience football. Will they leave as a lover of the game? If you are a Coach. Will your player be a better human being having experienced your program?
Or, will they leave angered, ashamed and insulted just because they were less able and less gifted? I learned of this recently as a team was getting ready to play in a National Championship game. And the Coaches talked the parents and kids into staying at the hotel as their team played with their more gifted players. Thinking a win was more likely without a third of the team.
We my friend are extremely off track.
I cannot Hear A Word You are Saying Because Who You are Speaks so Loudly
As a human being, as a Father, and as Coach. I am appalled and sadly not shocked by this incident.
If we go on without ethic and moral clarity then we win nothing.
We are suffering deeply from a real leadership crisis in our Country today. And empty words like Hope and Change or Passionate Conservatism is campaign bullshit.
We the People make our choices.
We flip the finger at the guy who cut us off or we quietly go about our day maybe curiously wondering what could make him or her in such a rush? It really is our choice. Do we love? Or do we demonize anyone not on our team? Or even those on our team?
There are many great men who do help to make our kids better for having known them.
Here are a Couple:
My fellow Coach at El Segundo and Fallen Swat Officer Randy Simmons: