Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Thrill of Victory

Pittsburg Steelers linebacker James Harrison once said, ~I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry that I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut up and keep you happy.~ Let me tell you something, I wholeheartedly agree with what James Harrison said.

Without a doubt, in today’s society where putting importance on political correction and not offending anyone nowadays there has been a change when it comes to organized adolescent/youth sports. For it’s most definitely a head scratching situation indeed when kids these days re now receiving simply for absolutely doing nothing or should I say participating in the game itself. Of course, you would think it’s a nice gesture for any child to receive a trophy but to be perfectly honest he or she truly didn’t deserve it. Essentially, kids today are being a sense of entitlement in which they will expect to get one knowing full well they didn’t earn it at all, which ends up having the child not give 100% effort every game being played.

As said before, participation trophies have become the norm to where a certain number of parents instill a “try your best” mentality instead of a “fight to win” type of mentality. Thinking about it further, to play an organized/pro athletic sport you want to have the drive and determination to win in order to become the best at a particular sport/position. In other words, not settling for second, third, or even fourth best to where it in all intense and purposes a bad taste in your mouth. What it primarily comes down to is practice practice practice and ultimately it separates the mediocre players who are satisfied just being there warming the bench to the legendary players who want the ball accrediting part of their success to an outstanding work ethic that was taught to them at an early age.

Personally speaking, I was part of a bowling league back in the day and I had a “I want to win mentality: when it came to not only my individual game score, but in my team score as well. Granted, we didn’t come in first place our first season but we did get a trophy for placing in the top 3. The question is did I or my teammates for that matter whine or cry for not getting first place? No. The reason is we knew we didn’t deserve it at the time and it made me hungrier to attain a shared goal with my teammates who also wanted it as badly as I did. To make a long story short, we had the determination, drive, and sheer focus to bowl our way to a first place trophy to the point where all the hard work and not to mention teamwork paid off because we earned it the right way.

In retrospect, one could very well debate/argue whether or not every kid automatically gets a trophy because they or their parents feel it won’t make little Johnny or little Suzie be left out and/or come out empty handed. Hey, when I grew up back in the day if you were given a trophy for practically doing nothing it was considered an insult. Why? You felt considerably embarrassed in the fact it took the spotlight off the true winners, which is how competitive sports should be. I think it’s a sad state of affairs when the “everybody’s a winner” mentality is overtaking adolescent/youth sports whereby causing the fire in their belly to never be given the opportunity to burn and unfortunately replaced with unmotivated apathy. In the end, all kids should want at fire burning in their belly regarding playing organized sports and strive to always achieve for the thrill of victory instead of settling for just being there, which is in my opinion the agony of defeat.

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