Monday, April 19, 2010

Coach's Pitch, Competition, and Potato Chips

When did sports and competition become unrelated terms?

I'm really not that big on competition. Really. But Hunter's first baseball game last Saturday was, how can I say it, perhaps just a bit over the edge?

I know they're young. But,
  1. There were no outs. No tagging out, striking out, nothing. 
  2. The kids could swing until they hit the ball, first with the coach pitching to them, then if they couldn't do that they would hit it off the T. No strikes or fouls. 
  3. After the last kid from his team had a turn to bat, they would simply switch sides, and whoever bat last just ran all the way home (all the kids on the bases just ran home too).
  4. The game was on a time basis, meaning that one team batted twice and one team batted three times. So, as you can see from the rules above, no one really won or lost.
I know they're just little kids (5-7 year olds), and I know that the point of the game is to have fun, but is it just me or is all this perhaps just taking it a little too far?

Maybe you're reading this, envisioning me as one of those crazy, blood-thirsty mothers who screams at their kids from the sidelines and gets in a boxing match with the referee for a bad call. And I can promise you, nothing is further than the truth. I am probably one of the most mellow, non-competitive people you will meet, especially when it comes to games and sports. I am passionate about some things, but I have always believed that it's just a game and I really don't care much about winning or losing.

But rewind back to my little rant about the thought of this maybe being just a little too far. Am I just naive about organized sports at this age? Please comment and let me know if I'm just crazy. I mean, I used to play soccer when I was his age but we definitely kept track of goals and knew who won or lost the game. Have the times just changed?

Maybe it's just now that I'm raising a boy, I'm a little more aware of this whole "evil competition" philosophy and it kind of bothers me. I have read, in a wide variety of articles and books, how the whole "feminizing" of education is hurting boys. One of the big ways they do that is by removing competition and focusing on "collaboration", "feelings", etc.

I really don't think competition is evil. I mean, isn't the thrill of Yahtzee or the fun of basketball or so many millions of other things from the idea of winning? It's not about putting other people down or having a victory or death mindset. Just some good old fashioned battles of skill, wit, or luck?

And... After all that about Mommy's over-analyzing the philosophy of competition, I will say that Hunter wasn't bothered by a thing, had two great hits (he was actually able to hit the coach's pitch and didn't need the T) and played third base tagging two [non-counting] outs. And was super excited about the potato chips he got after the game.

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ"
Philippians 3:8
Hunter is 5 years, 1 month old


  1. Yeah this bugs me alittle too. At Wesleys daycare they were trying to figure out how to play candyland so everyone wins. I told them they should use it as a way to teach kids to be good winners and good losers. But u guess it's easier to shelter the child.

  2. Yeah, that is a really good way to put it, sheltering the kids. Which I don't think is wise, because then obviously the kids aren't learning about good sportsmanship, like you said. It's too bad. Oh well though, he'll learn about those kinds of things elsewhere I suppose!


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