I was truly horrified when I read the article about the coach who was forced to bench or move his players to a different position because their team was winning by too greater margin. It really made me stop and think about what type of young adults and adults this generation will become.
When I was in high school, which was some time ago now, I had to consider what career I wanted to do and what courses I wanted to study at university. Having been a reasonably elite tennis player I really wanted to stay in the sporting field, ideally as a physiotherapist treating junior sport players and their injuries. At the time you needed to get an extremely high TEE score to be accepted into the university course. I didn’t get anywhere near enough to get into the course so obviously had to choose a different career option. It wasn’t that I didn’t study enough or didn’t want it enough it was simply that I wasn’t smart enough. If we follow the current trend of protecting our children from failure or big losses, how will they handle not getting into the course they really want to. Or will it be a case of reducing the requirements so not to disappoint?
What about when they enter the workforce? Once again, there will be those individuals who have worked harder, studied more, made more sacrifices or are simply better at their jobs. How are they going to deal with the large pay parities that exit between different jobs? Or, is it a case of all roles being paid the same salary so not to disappoint?
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about encouraging kids to play sport and yes a big loss can be demotivating. However big losses can also bring out the guts, grit and character that is needed to survive and be successful in this world. It makes you understand how far you are away from the best players or teams and just how hard you have to work to get there. As a player whether that be in a single sport like tennis or a team sport like rugby or AFL, you always learn more from your losses than your wins.
Why penalise those players or teams who are excelling, whether that be due to their effort, training, sacrifices or simply their DNA and talent? Surely there are other, more effective options available which are going to keep kids in sport but also teach them vital life skills.
Why can’t the teams be graded at the beginning of the season and like for like teams play against each other. I know this is something that is definitely done in the weekly interclub tennis competitions during summer and winter. You can have anywhere from Division 1 down to Division 14. Division 1 are for those skilled, determined and talented players, whilst the lower divisions are more for those who are just starting out.
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Would love to hear your opinions on this matter.