Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Thought I've Heard It All... Guess I Was Wrong!

I'm so pissed right now, I don't know what to do! 

I just got off the phone with a friend who thinks it's o.k. for coaches to lose on purpose in order to get an edge on the field. This year, there was a little league coach who made his team lose in order to be put in the 'losers bracket,' giving them an easier path to the Little League World Series. 


I've been teaching for over 17 years, and thought I've heard and seen it all... unfortunately, life has a way of always proving me wrong. The Little League World Series is incredible for those young kids, pushing them physically, mentally and emotionally. They're taught amazing lessons about competition, pressures that come with competing, and especially about how to react to those pressures. 

By instructing his players to lose, this "coach" has taught his kids that the process of learning, growing and enjoying competition isn't important... winning at all costs and bending any rule that stands in their way is how they should live their lives. This "mentor" fails to understand the incredible opportunity he has to help shape these boys' lives, both on and especially off the baseball field. 

Unfortunately, there are many coaches who'd rather win the trophy (mostly for their own ego), rather than teach their players the valuable life lessons available through their specific sport. 

"Look at me! I sucked at baseball when I was a kid, and always picked last on the playground... so I'm going to prove to you how cool I am now by doing whatever it takes to win this big trophy! What? It's about my players, not about me? No it's not! I'm the coach... I'm the leader... I'm the reason they won! Look at me!"

Where were the parents? How was this "coach" allowed to get away with this, and why wasn't he immediately fired, and never allowed to coach any sport ever again? If you're currently a parent, want to be a parent, know a parent, or have ever seen a parent pushing their child in a stroller... would this be o.k. with you? Would you go along with this "coach's" plan, if it meant making it easier for your child to become a big 'ol winner? 


When my daughter begins competing, you better believe that her #1 priority will always be the process, never the outcome...  unless, of course, her winning means a lot of money for me~ so I can buy a bright yellow Ferrari, with yellow wheels and yellow leather seats!


Laurie said...

2 things....
1. "WHEN" she starts competing??
2. It scares me that there are these types of people leading children... I agree, why was he not immediately fired.

Thanks for all your great posts- have you always been so insightful and I just never appreciated it before =)

Dayne Gingrich said...

LOL! I think you just missed it.

You're probably just focused on my incredible good looks! haha

Colin said...

Good post!

I used to play for a sports team that lost a lot... no matter how much they tried to win!

Thank-fully i'm past that :P

And I agree, it's wrong to lose on purpose! It's a bad life lesson for the kids!

therealbobthought said...

well them coaches like that could turn to politics, hell the would fit in that category without any problems. I know Mr. Bob would Whup that there coaches a..............s

Dr. P. Poorluk said...

Being coached to lose.... I bet there's little effort in that. Think of the game plan they must show up with. One word on the clipboard. Lose.

Erica Cano said...

It is wrong to lose on purpose no questions asked. But maybe this coach was trying to give them a taste of what fame was like, he was being over zealous in his efforts.. But maybe he was just trying to show them what can come if you are truly great, if they had actually made it to the world series with pure hearts. It is the little leagues, so maybe he was just trying to inspire his kids to keep going with the sport. The Little League World Series IS a big thing that is nationally televised that I'm sure ALLLLL the scouts are watching. If his players get tv time, and are seen by scouts, and those players ultimately become great pro players, didn't in some twisted way the coach help them? Even if it was ethically wrong?

I'm not saying what he did was right and I certainly would never condone such an action. But maybe his intentions weren't entirely self-centered or detrimental to the children's long term career.