Thursday, July 16, 2009

When Winning is Everything...

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

Randi Chapnik Myers of Today's Parent recently wrote and published this article entitled "When Winning is Everything", that talks about those children that aren't the most graceful when losing a game/sport/activity. I had the opportunity to speak with Randi before she put this article out. In fact, I was even quoted in the article. It's a great article and certainly worth a read.

We've seen groups try to "deal" with over-competitive children in many different ways. From ensuring everything ends in a tie, to banning competitive activities altogether. I don't think you'll be shocked when I say that I don't feel that either of these options are ideal! How do we expect our children to get better at dealing with competitive situations if we never give them the chance to win/lose? How could they possibly improve their sportsmanship without competitive sport?! How does this help to prepare them for the adolescent and adult world that is chalk-full of competition?

This would be like trying to teach a child how to downhill ski their entire child-life without ever letting them on skis and/or near a ski-hill. Then, when they are "old enough", throwing a pair of skis on them and sending them up on the chair lift and ultimately downhill without any further instruction. How many people in this situation would safely make it downhill?! Discussions and lectures will only take you so far, for such emotionally charged events (like competitive sport) practice truly does make perfect! The more opportunity children have to be a good sport, when both winning and losing, the better they will become and winning/losing gracefully and tactfully.

There is so much more I could say on this topic, but I'll stop here before I go off on a tangent. I'll save more for another day!

Enjoy the article!

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