Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Playing versus Winning

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Playing versus Winning

    I thought I would start a seperate thread as the Power Tourney thread seems to be wandering away from the OP... (Mostly my fault).

    Over Thanksgiving my family and I talked a great deal about this topic.

    To set this up... I come from a large family of athletes... my dad played, grandfather semi-pro soccer, cousins in college, rookies of the year, HS, All-stars, travel, national tourneys, international tourneys, I played until 38, sons played, nephews played, probably 125 years of combined years of coaching, baseball, softball, basketball, football, soccer, golf, cross country, etc., etc. Grandkids (my kid's generation) range in age between 32-10. My youngest nephew (10 y/o- lives in SC) is by far the best of the bunch when looking at talent at a relative age.

    The discussion started with my 10 y/o nephew's invitation by yet another "former pro" who wants him to play for his travel team. The last few years he has played a bunch of games for a number of rec, tourney, and TB teams, and I feel, he, my sister and his dad fits the profile I often preach against. Some of the children down there are playing 100+ games a year, and they can play year round.

    Long story short... I asked my oldest nephew (a former Big East Champion and NCAA Championships participant) how he felt about the topic and what his long journey taught him... He told me that he has more trophies (Amatuer, college, professional, HS, nationals, Big East, etc.) than he knows what to do with, but what he remembers most, was a coach who did not play him at a specific basketball game because the coach wanted to go undefeated - he was 11. He said, "Uncle Jake, most coaches just don't get it. All I wanted to do was play. I didn't care whether or not we won that game... and the only person today who cares is that is the coach."
    "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.

  • #2
    I wanted an ice cream cone when I was 6, but Mom said she didn't have the money.

    That was a good lesson for me.

    I think we need to recognize that we have significant cultural differences re this topic around the country/world.

    The story you cited above would play out differently in many households. "Yes, and a you learned a valuable life lesson, that you don't get everything you want, and sometimes you have to work harder than the next guy, blah, blah" And these lessons would have begun long before 11 yo.

    Again, I know a few families that would not use this approach. But, that is their choice. We don't all have to be alike. I respect that.
    Last edited by songtitle; 12-02-2012, 11:55 AM.
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

    Comment


    • #3
      It's all about balance. There is also that lesson about earning what you get. I'm sympathetic to a young man in your 11 year old nephew's shoes. Maybe a coach could have slipped him in for a little awhile, maybe not. It's tougher on the parents to sit there and watch everybody celebrating than it is for the kid, usually.

      I still remember all of the coaches who dissed me around that age. But having coached now, I'm slightly more sympathetic to what they did.

      I haven't really coached pre-teen ball but in hs ball here are some classic examples which I'm sure you have experienced:

      1. You keep an an un-athletic kid who loves baseball, explain to him thoroughly where he stands, and the kid still mopes and complains about not playing.

      2. You don't play an ex-all-star much because everybody on the team is a much better freakin' all-star and the team wins big but there is hell to pay because the kid and daddy have cherry-picked some coach's flaw and will "get him" come hell or high water (I hear about this one all the time-hasn't really happened to me much, at least to my face).

      3. Senior comes out for the team. Never played before. You keep him (he might be a decent athlete/player but just doesn't have the experience). You keep a lesser athlete but someone who has been around the program.
      Major Figure

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by omg View Post
        It's all about balance. There is also that lesson about earning what you get. I'm sympathetic to a young man in your 11 year old nephew's shoes. Maybe a coach could have slipped him in for a little awhile, maybe not. It's tougher on the parents to sit there and watch everybody celebrating than it is for the kid, usually.
        In the case of my nephew - he (now 28) he was able to get a free ride to college because of his athletics. He ran professionally after college and was able to get a free MBA out of it... I never saw anyone who worked harder than he.... But I find it interesting that after all that hard work, nearly 20 years in the sport, reaching one of the highest levels in the sport, he remembers that one basketball game.

        I still remember all of the coaches who dissed me around that age. But having coached now, I'm slightly more sympathetic to what they did.
        Athletically I was on the other end. I matured late and was a better ball player at 30 than I was at 20.... I was fortunate in that as a youngster I had great coaches who saw playing as the priority. I don't remember ever sitting a whole game. I attribute them for me developing a life-long love for the game and the passion I had for coaching.

        I haven't really coached pre-teen ball but in hs ball here are some classic examples which I'm sure you have experienced:

        1. You keep an an un-athletic kid who loves baseball, explain to him thoroughly where he stands, and the kid still mopes and complains about not playing.

        2. You don't play an ex-all-star much because everybody on the team is a much better freakin' all-star and the team wins big but there is hell to pay because the kid and daddy have cherry-picked some coach's flaw and will "get him" come hell or high water (I hear about this one all the time-hasn't really happened to me much, at least to my face).

        3. Senior comes out for the team. Never played before. You keep him (he might be a decent athlete/player but just doesn't have the experience). You keep a lesser athlete but someone who has been around the program.
        I see HS as a much different beast, although I still tried to get as many players in the game as I could. I've experienced the scenarios you describe above.
        "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.

        Comment


        • #5
          I apologize for repeating some of the journey of my child but we were troubled because she had a very hard time with losing. She still does. As I have stated before, we set up rules that she could not cry in public. So, after a loss, she would get into the car and then break down. She almost always blamed herself. She understood in the beginning that she played on teams that were just happy to be on a ball diamond. When she pitched and gave up a hit or run, she'd come over and say that she had to be better. Thankfully the guys who coached her teams early on understood her. (I assisted all of those teams but tried to say out of any discussions about my child.) They tried to develop teams that were more competitive. In the end, for my child, winning was more important than just playing.

          I think that there are teams and leagues that specialize in both. It is important for parents to understand their child and know what the best fit for them is. Neither course necessarily means success in the long run. There are too many variables not the least of which would include maturity and player potential for burnout.
          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


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
            In the case of my nephew - he (now 28) he was able to get a free ride to college because of his athletics. He ran professionally after college and was able to get a free MBA out of it... I never saw anyone who worked harder than he.... But I find it interesting that after all that hard work, nearly 20 years in the sport, reaching one of the highest levels in the sport, he remembers that one basketball game.
            Ever think that maybe "that one basketball game" helped make him what he turned out to be? Maybe "that one basketball game", gave him a feeling in the pit of his stomach that he'd never felt before, and never wanted to feel again.

            It's just possible that he went out and put in "all that hard work" in order "to get a free ride to college" and "run professionally", because that coach just didn't put him in to make everyone feel good about themselves.....in fact, he did it in spite of that coach.
            In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

            Comment


            • #7
              I suspect if that most dads of high school varsity stars would support the importance of winning over playing.

              A couple of years later, if there son was a bench player on a college team, they'd probably support the importance of playing over winning.

              (But I would love to see the following post someday from the dad of a position player: "My son was an allstate as a jr. and sr. in HS. It's very likely that he would have been a full-time starter at a decent D3 program. He chose, however, to attend a ranked D-1 school. Now, as he graduates college, having spent a total of 40 innings on the field in the past 4 years, he's says he's much happier--from a baseball standpoint-- having gathered splinters on the bench at a ranked D1 than having played full-time at a solid D3.")
              Last edited by skipper5; 12-02-2012, 02:57 PM.
              Skip

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
                Ever think that maybe "that one basketball game" helped make him what he turned out to be? Maybe "that one basketball game", gave him a feeling in the pit of his stomach that he'd never felt before, and never wanted to feel again.

                It's just possible that he went out and put in "all that hard work" in order "to get a free ride to college" and "run professionally", because that coach just didn't put him in to make everyone feel good about themselves.....in fact, he did it in spite of that coach.
                It's possible.
                "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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Skip,

                  I could actually see that response from some college kids. Some absolutely would rather be on a winning team then play on a losing team. At the age, the concept of team is much better understood, and thus there are some that are just happy to be on a winning team. The question is whether kids in the 7-12 range have this level of maturity, and my overwhelming experience is "No". Most want to play and play well, with the wins and losses not nearly as important as it is to the adults. Five minutes after the game, most kids have forgotten and are enjoying their snack.

                  -JJA
                  The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
                    Ever think that maybe "that one basketball game" helped make him what he turned out to be? Maybe "that one basketball game", gave him a feeling in the pit of his stomach that he'd never felt before, and never wanted to feel again.

                    It's just possible that he went out and put in "all that hard work" in order "to get a free ride to college" and "run professionally", because that coach just didn't put him in to make everyone feel good about themselves.....in fact, he did it in spite of that coach.
                    One of the best things that happened to my son was not making the 12 year old All Stars. Pissed him off and he never wanted to let that happen again. By the end of his senior year him and one of the all star players were still playing from that group of kids. Some of those players were still on the team but they didn't play.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
                      I apologize for repeating some of the journey of my child but we were troubled because she had a very hard time with losing. She still does. As I have stated before, we set up rules that she could not cry in public. So, after a loss, she would get into the car and then break down. She almost always blamed herself. She understood in the beginning that she played on teams that were just happy to be on a ball diamond. When she pitched and gave up a hit or run, she'd come over and say that she had to be better. Thankfully the guys who coached her teams early on understood her. (I assisted all of those teams but tried to say out of any discussions about my child.) They tried to develop teams that were more competitive. In the end, for my child, winning was more important than just playing.

                      I think that there are teams and leagues that specialize in both. It is important for parents to understand their child and know what the best fit for them is. Neither course necessarily means success in the long run. There are too many variables not the least of which would include maturity and player potential for burnout.
                      I tell all parents and players, if you are not ok with the possibility that you may not play one half of one inning. Then we are not the program for you. I will give you 100% in preparing you to play and compete on the field but until I feel you are ready for that challenge. You may not see the field.

                      I have found that honesty is truly the best policy. If the kid can't compete at the level of the team then they have 3 options. Get better, switch to a less competitive team or quit. I am fortunate enough to have teams at different levels, so we can generally find a match.

                      At the high school level, they had better be prepared to not play. The best 9 are on the field 98% of the time.

                      Give me a kid who hates losing any day over a kid who is OK with losing. I can help the kid who hates losing learn how to deal with losing but never get comfortable with losing. The kid who is OK with losing is hard to make competitive.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I just had a conversation with a HS baseball coach tonight who talked about how he'll invite some Seniors to be on the Varsity team if they have good attitudes, but he'll be up front with them and tell them they can get a uniform and can practice, but may not play an inning the whole season. That's HS ball.

                        In t-ball every kid should play every position, and the order should rotate every game.

                        The difficult part are the years in between. I've mentioned before how this has been a struggle for me as a coach. For kids 12U and under, you can't treat it like t-ball, but you can't treat it like a HS team either. Finding that age-appropriate balance is difficult.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by azmatsfan View Post
                          In t-ball every kid should play every position, and the order should rotate every game. The difficult part are the years in between.
                          Agree. .
                          "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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Let's say that your son is a passionate, dedicated, hard-working baseball player with a great attitude.
                            After his frosh year at a solid and well-run (and winning) college program, he's realized that because they're incredibly stacked at his position, his odds of getting PT in the next 3 years--no matter how hard he works--are not looking good. Good attitude, not a whiner, likes his coaches, likes his teammates...but is passionate about PLAYING baseball.

                            He asks for your blessing to transfer to a school where he'll have a great chance to play.
                            Based on the character-building issue alone (other factors aside for a moment), what do you tell your son? "Stick it out, and cheer on your teammates"?
                            Last edited by skipper5; 12-03-2012, 08:37 AM.
                            Skip

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by skipper5 View Post
                              Let's say that your son is a passionate, dedicated, hard-working baseball player with a great attitude.
                              After his frosh year at a solid and well-run (and winning) college program, he's realized that because they're stacked at his position, his odds of getting PT in the next 3 years--no matter how hard he works--are not looking good.
                              He asks for your blessing to transfer to a school where he'll have a much better chance to play.
                              Based on the character-building issue alone (other factors aside for a moment), what do you tell your son? "Stick it out, and cheer on your teammates"?
                              For us, we would way the odds. Why are we at this school? Was it because you thought you could play or because it is giving you the best education? If it was all about baseball, then we probably transfer schools. If playing college baseball is most likely where the journey ends and you are at that particular school because of academics. Then we probably stay at the school and be a good teammate.

                              Comment

                              Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X