This weekend we had our extremely successful opening week for i9 Sports the local youth sports league of which I am the Program Director. We pride ourselves in being extremely an extremely well run and fun league. We also pride ourselves in communication with parents and families throughout the season.
At our opening weekend, I hold a parent meeting as kids and coaches begin their practices. At the meeting, we go over all the basic details of the league, rules, schedule information, etc. And I also give our league’s stance on trophies and edals, and who “should win” every week and at the end of the season.
By “who should win” I mean the ongoing battle between everyone winning something versus league champions, a battle that’s been ongoing for years.
At i9 Sports, we keep score. Each week, a team wins and a team loses. At the end of the game, a team wins and a team loses. Both teams shake hands with their opponents, and everyone goes on with their day.
No winning team has been given any great advantage in life, and no losing team has been purged from this earth. Bottom line: Winning and losing is important to learn, but shouldn’t be the be all, end all on if a kid has a good tie or not.
As I was explaining this to parents, I also explained what happens at i9 Sports at the end of the season. In our four-team leagues, the top two teams play each other the last game and the winning team gets a trophy while everyone else gets medals. Personally, I feel it’s important to teach these kids to win and lose in an appropriate manner.
As I explained this to parents, I saw a lot of nodding in agreement as I explained this. And, during the meeting, I told each group of parents “If anyone wants more details about this or to discuss it further, please talk to me after the meeting!”
Guess how many grabbed me after to tell me how out of line this was? Zero.
While at the end of the season everyone walks out with something, the team that did a little better throughout the season gets something a bit more. That’s all. Nothing too drastic, nothing harsh. I feel this mindset is something most parents agree with, and I have about 250 families who didn’t feel the need to get more details from me, so they must have agreed too.
My next blog I’m going to talk about our championship week in our spring program and the overtime game that was won by a great touchdown, and the reaction of the kids and parents may surprise you.