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Winning in Youth Sports: Who REALLY cares?

After a championship-winning touchdown, kids and parents reacted very differently. Who REALLY cares about winning championships: kids or parents?

Every season at i9 Sports, we start off the year with a parents meeting to inform parents about various parts of the program. This year, I started telling a story that I thought was pretty telling about who REALLY cares as one team wins, and one team loses.

Last spring, at the i9 Sports Marlborough flag football program, the Pee Wee division (4-6 year olds) were playing for the championship in their last game of the season. The entire game was neck in neck, and it became clear that it would probably go into overtime.

We've never had an overtime game at i9 Sports (we only play OT in the playoffs) so as the game was winding down, I had to brush up on the overtime rules just to make sure I knew the ins and outs before the extra timeframe.

As the game went into overtime, both teams went back and forth a few times and another team started driving down the field (our rules are similar to the NFL rules before this season, where the first team who scores wins). Eventually, a boy who was five or six ran into the end zone for the game winning core.

From where I ws standing, I had the perfect visual of the two groups celebrating the team's win.

The child, who was the "hero" that scored the game-winning TD, handed the ball back to the ref and went over to his coach like nothing happened. At that split second the parents of the kis on the team were jumping up and down and giving each other high fives and cheering about the victory, and the season championship.

Once again:

Child who scored the game-winning TD: no reaction, gives ball back to ref and goes the the coach

Parents: Celebrating the score and the championship

So, next time you think that the kids are the ones who really care about winning, just keep in mind, to them it's probably just a game. To the parents, maybe, it matters a lot more.

Matt Elder is the Program Director of i9 Sports, a local youth sports league that offers programs in the Marlborough and Framingham area. Visit www.i9sports.com today for more details about upcoming programs, including fall and winter basketball. Patch.com readers receive a $15 off discount by using coupon code PVRP-KCRD.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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