Sunday, February 14, 2010

Keeping Score

So I'm at Jack's basketball game yesterday. He's in a 10-12 co-ed recreational league.  Last years hyper-competitive league was a bit much for all of us to handle and we thought that something a little more "fun" would be the ticket. Well, it has been, largely. Although I will say that there is a massive difference between a kid who has just turned 10 and a kid who's about to turn 13. There's a "boy" on one of the teams that I swear to God must shave. He's HUGE. Anyway, it's been not only a lot more fun for Jack but also much more fun to watch. And thanks to a super cool coach, the team has improved significantly as the season has progressed. Last week they tied the team with freakin' Larry Byrd, who had previously crushed them. It was actually really exciting......a come from behind tie. Sweet. So this week, they played a team that I believe had also defeated them in the past. Jack's team was just en fuego. To the point where their lead had surpassed 20 points. Cool. Until the scoreboard reads 0-0. HUH? Apparently, they stop showing the score at that point. The score keeper writes it down henceforth. It seems the league doesn't want any little hurt feelings. Seriously? These kids are 10+. As if they aren't aware they're being creamed. Our society has become WAY too protective of feelings. We're not talking about bullying which is completely unacceptable. ALWAYS. We are talking about athletic competition. "Competition" being the key word. These kids are playing a sport. You know, where one team comes out the winner? One winner, one loser? That's kind of the point. To attempt to win. Not to have your feelings spared. What is that telling kids? When things don't go your way just ignore it 'cause it's okay? And that the truth may cause you discomfort but shouldn't? I think this lesson sucks. Not just in athletics but in life. Guess what? You are going to have your feelings, DECIMATED. Over and over and over again. You will lose games in which you left nothing on the floor or field. A girl will rip your still beating heart out of your chest and not just show it to you but stomp on it. You will suffer unfairness and cruelty at the hands of others. Your boss is not going to tell you that it doesn't matter if you're not performing at your job 'cause he's worried about hurting your feelings and the bank is not going to spare you the indignity of having to pay your mortgage because it may cause you emotional distress at times. May as well get used to having your feelings hurt and develop some coping mechanisms. Jack used to get very bummed out when a team he was on would lose. And boyfriend has been on some VERY "Bad News Bear"-like teams. But guess what? He learned to handle it. And that's what makes winning feel so good. He knows what it feels like to lose. In my 42 years I've learned that you're not always tripping through fields of daisies. But that's what makes it so great when things go your way.  Deal with the lows and relish the highs. You've got to be able to handle both. If the score is 36-6, it's 36-6 whether it's on the scoreboard or not. What is, is. The truth will set you free.


  1. Agree 100% Mollie... such a nonsense!
    In Holland, at least when my kids were small, maybe it's changed but I doubt it, I used to HATE their 'sports days'. The RACES were all 'one on one' and everybody's a bloody winner. This was to avoid the usual wee fat kid that can't hop or catch a ball or whatever, never winning anything. But totally denied kids that can move at all from ever getting to win anything. Of course ALL got ribbons and badges and aren't we all great because we all took part! My protests went down well as you can imagine :)
    I think it's good to try and encourage kids that don't move well to do better, but not to bring down those that DO move well. Stupid Dutch!!

  2. You are so right about this Mollie! We are creating a bunch of wimpy-ass whiners these days!