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  • About winning

    I was reading the 10u appeal thread and I have a question that was not about the topic of the thread. So I started a new one.

    When did playing a sport stop be about winning? Whenever I played, it was about winning. Yes, I had fun, win or lose but why can't it be about winning? Isn't that part of the lesson we are trying to teach? "Pursuing victory with honor".

    When I was young, I remember just me and my friend going to the field and pitching to each other trying to get outs. When the ball was hit trying to get to it before my friend scored. Putting "ghost" runners on 2nd. Keeping score and playing our own World Series. It was about winning and having fun. You can play to win and still have fun.

    If you think it is all about having fun and these young players don't want to win. Play one of them in a video game and see how competitive it gets. They will squash you and let you know about it.

    Are you not suppose to want to win every time you step on the field? Is it wrong for the coach to want to win? I am just wondering as a society, when did winning become a 4 letter word?

    If you play sports, there will be a team that wins the game and a team that loses the game. Why not try to be on the winning side of the equation?

    I have never heard a player I coach say that losing was more fun then winning.

  • #2
    Preach it brother.
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

    Comment


    • #3
      I think there is a difference between winning and building winners. The answer lies in how one plays the game. There is also a difference between players winning a game and coaches needing to win a game for themselves. Way too many variables for this discussion IMHO.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by The Uncoach View Post
        I think there is a difference between winning and building winners.
        You can do both

        Originally posted by The Uncoach View Post
        The answer lies in how one plays the game.
        By the rules of the game you are playing.

        Originally posted by The Uncoach View Post
        There is also a difference between players winning a game and coaches needing to win a game for themselves. Way too many variables for this discussion IMHO.
        At what point would a coach ever have to win a game for himself? Do I feel as a coach that I am a part of my teams winning? Absolutely. I am also part of their losing. Again, Absolutely. If I train the players and teach them to play the game. To play against the game. That the game is their opponent, then the winning will come. But make no mistake. Every time my team takes the field they expect to win and so do I. As a coach, is it not my responsibility to, at times, when needed, to try to figure out a way to manufacture a run?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HYP View Post
          You can do both



          By the rules of the game you are playing.



          At what point would a coach ever have to win a game for himself? Do I feel as a coach that I am a part of my teams winning? Absolutely. I am also part of their losing. Again, Absolutely. If I train the players and teach them to play the game. To play against the game. That the game is their opponent, then the winning will come. But make no mistake. Every time my team takes the field they expect to win and so do I. As a coach, is it not my responsibility to, at times, when needed, to try to figure out a way to manufacture a run?
          A young kid hitting a homer is such a big deal, as an adult I can't rip the heart and guts out of a kid and take it away from him. That's more important to me than winning. I always instructed my catcher to look to see if the hitter touched home. If my catcher calls the runner on it, it's heads up baseball.
          Last edited by tg643; 11-13-2012, 01:03 PM.

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          • #6
            HYP, interesting thread. Winning is not something everyone understands. Sure, everyone says that they hate to lose. However, few people are busy winning. I still have nightmares about some of the losses my teams have suffered. I've tried to let those losses go. Yet, in each case, I've always asked myself why I wasn't good enough as a coach to lead my team to victory. Sure, ego is involved BUT for the most part for me, I couldn't stand letting the kids down. I always wanted my players to think that after they played ball for me, that I gave them the best chance to win. Winning becomes a stragedy that both coach and players must buy in to. In todays society, parents must also buy in to what the coach does. I've often wondered where we are headed as a society because we have condemned winning and winners. Instead, lets all get trophies. IMO, life doesn't hand out trophies to those that do not achieve. Instead, life slaps people upside the head and says here is what you have earned. Per my child, I tried to teach her that there is a difference in winners and losers. It is how you carry yourself. It can be found in dedication, commitment, tears, blisters and work ethic. Human nature requires us to take the path of least resistance. Most people I know spend their time giving in to human nature. Winners spend their time battling human nature. Well, I understand that this post is not popular. Still, if is what I believe.
            Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

            I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

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            • #7
              I certainly believe that the team should try and win the game. On the other hand, should winning be the primary focus? In my mind, no. First and foremost should be the development of the kids, providing an environment where they can have fun and learn the game. That's a different focus then on winning. For example, I don't believe in playing only the "stars" at the infield positions and parking the weaker players in the outfield, even though it might increase the chance the team will win the game. Similarly, I try to balance the at-bats as much as possible even though it might increase our chances of winning if the better hitters got more at-bats. Now of course I want the guys I've selected to play the game to play hard and play to win. It's just my choices might not necessarily maximize the chances of winning the game today.
              The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by HYP View Post
                You can do both
                Yes, but many choose one or the other.
                Originally posted by HYP View Post
                By the rules of the game you are playing.
                That's not what I was thinking of when I posted. A portion of cannonball's post come fairly close to what I meant, so I'll crop and paste that part of his post.
                Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
                ...Per my child, I tried to teach her that there is a difference in winners and losers. It is how you carry yourself. It can be found in dedication, commitment, tears, blisters and work ethic. Human nature requires us to take the path of least resistance. Most people I know spend their time giving in to human nature. Winners spend their time battling human nature...
                Originally posted by HYP View Post
                At what point would a coach ever have to win a game for himself?
                When a coach brings in an illegal player or 2 on the roster. I can think of quite a few more.

                Originally posted by HYP View Post
                Do I feel as a coach that I am a part of my teams winning? Absolutely. I am also part of their losing. Again, Absolutely. If I train the players and teach them to play the game. To play against the game. That the game is their opponent, then the winning will come. But make no mistake. Every time my team takes the field they expect to win and so do I. As a coach, is it not my responsibility to, at times, when needed, to try to figure out a way to manufacture a run?
                I wouldn't suggest otherwise.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by HYP View Post
                  I was reading the 10u appeal thread....

                  If you think it is all about having fun and these young players don't want to win. Play one of them in a video game and see how competitive it gets. They will squash you and let you know about it.
                  Are we differentiating between ages? I hope so. Have you ever played a card or board game with a 5 or 6 year old kid? Did you make sure you won? Have you ever raced a 9 year old player back to the dugout? Did you give it your all or did you make it a close race?

                  I'm guessing you held back a little in those type of situations. So we obviously don't want to win every game at all costs. Those games had a different goal than winning, it was spending time with each other in a game or motivating a player to hustle in a fun way with a little foot "race".

                  Would you hold back in a foot race with your 16 year old son? Probably not, the goal there is to show your son his old man still has something left. Your 16 year old would be offended if you let him win anyway because he has already developed a sense of fair play and pride.

                  Now take a Little League U8 team what's more important winning or developing the skills of every player in multiple positions for all players? I can tell you those two goals are at odds with each other!

                  By the time the players are 12, 13, and 14 years old for the most part we are done teaching the basic fundamentals and are refining skills. The players have different expectations of what they want from playing baseball. By this time equal opportunities for all players has taken a back seat to teamwork and testing the team's skills (winning).

                  This past fall season (players were 5, 6, & 7 YO) a team I played had two 7 year old players that were more coordinated than the rest of the players. After playing the 1 required inning in the outfield these two players were moved to 1st base and pitcher. Those two players were then switched between 1st and pitcher for the rest of the game. Was that within the rules? Yes. Did they win? Yes. Was it worth it?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Xraf View Post

                    Would you hold back in a foot race with your 16 year old son? Probably not, the goal there is to show your son his old man still has something left. Your 16 year old would be offended if you let him win anyway because he has already developed a sense of fair play and pride.
                    Let them win at sixteen? How young are your kids? When my kids were sixteen I wouldn't embarrass myself by considering a race. The only time I would have been ahead is the first step if I cheated coming out of the blocks. The rest of the race would have been looking at their back sides.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      UnCoach, you quoted me and then discussed bringing in an illegal player. What was the relationship? I believe in winning not in cheating. I also believe that winning is the result of proper practice, paying attention to detail, instilling work ethic and leading by example. No where would I ever consider cheating. IMO, cheating to win is losing.
                      Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                      I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
                        UnCoach, you quoted me and then discussed bringing in an illegal player. What was the relationship? I believe in winning not in cheating. I also believe that winning is the result of proper practice, paying attention to detail, instilling work ethic and leading by example. No where would I ever consider cheating. IMO, cheating to win is losing.
                        You misread my post, CB. Your quote had nothing to do with the cheating players nor did I use it as such. That was an example of a coach winning a game for himself, which is an answer to a question hyp asked.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Couple thoughts:

                          Originally posted by HYP View Post
                          When did playing a sport stop be about winning? Whenever I played, it was about winning. Yes, I had fun, win or lose but why can't it be about winning? Isn't that part of the lesson we are trying to teach? "Pursuing victory with honor".
                          If we look at winning on a sliding scale 0-no emphasis on winning, 10-complete emphasis on winning, I think we can agree that at age 4 it's probably 0-1 and that other life lessons such as social interaction, empathy, cooperation, and learning are the primary goals.... On the other end of the scale is professional sports where livelyhoods are at stake, and there's always someone waiting to replace you if you falter. So if we can agree that it ranges from 0-10 then we can agree that at the age of ten it's not 10 and it's not 0, so it has to be something in between.

                          Child experts have suggested for years that we are inappropriately shifting our emphasis toward 10 earlier and earlier. This is evident by our, often-discussed diaper ball where parents are bragging about thier child being a world champion at the age of four. Many children subjected to this premature emphasis on winning suffer later in life... Every HS and college coach has had to deal with the "entitled athlete," and/or his/her parent.... I had my share.

                          When I was young, I remember just me and my friend going to the field and pitching to each other trying to get outs. When the ball was hit trying to get to it before my friend scored. Putting "ghost" runners on 2nd. Keeping score and playing our own World Series. It was about winning and having fun. You can play to win and still have fun.
                          Of course, but in your example there's a KEY element missing, that today's players have to contend with - Adults! It's the adults who bring the inappropriateness to the game. Left to their own kids usually figure it out and quit when they should quit.

                          If you think it is all about having fun and these young players don't want to win. Play one of them in a video game and see how competitive it gets. They will squash you and let you know about it.
                          It's about many things when your a child. Not just fun or winning... the problem is finding the balance that makes sense.

                          Are you not suppose to want to win every time you step on the field? Is it wrong for the coach to want to win? I am just wondering as a society, when did winning become a 4 letter word?
                          There are few here that are more competative than me... I never want to lose at anything, and I never taught my players that either.... But asking them "What did we learn?" versus "What was the score." is what's missing in much of the game... IMHO

                          If you play sports, there will be a team that wins the game and a team that loses the game. Why not try to be on the winning side of the equation?
                          Because you don't get to choose if you win or not... You only get to choose how you play. Our instant gratification society expects everyone should win at everything. Many times there are more life lessons in losing than winning.

                          I have never heard a player I coach say that losing was more fun then winning.
                          Well, there are some. The kids that gets to play in a lopsided game will always rather play than win.
                          Last edited by Jake Patterson; 11-13-2012, 06:51 PM.
                          "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                          - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                          Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Uncoach View Post
                            You misread my post, CB. Your quote had nothing to do with the cheating players nor did I use it as such. That was an example of a coach winning a game for himself, which is an answer to a question hyp asked.
                            Uncoach, I did misread your post. I really don't believe that coaches win many games themselves. Rather, I think that coaches coach and try to set up programs that enable players to win games. There is a huge difference between a coach having a team and a program. The thread I started about coaching goes a long way to demonstrating what I believe about coaching.

                            Take care,

                            Darrell
                            Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                            I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              No matter how he categorized the responses, the most important reason youngsters gave for playing sports was the same: to have fun

                              http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/sp...0sports&st=cse

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