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Why Winning is Okay, But Winning at All Costs is Not

In sports, the goal is to win. Plain and simple. Let’s be honest, it is about whether you win or lose, not just how you play the game. But there is a line that many parents and coaches cross when it comes to winning. And that line is the difference between winning and winning at all costs.

Why Winning is Okay

Besides the fact that winning in youth sports is absolutely fun, there are some other reasons that winning is really okay:

  • It gives players a sense of accomplishment
  • It gives them a reward for their hard work
  • It helps teams see what happens when they play together
  • It encourages kids to continue playing sports
  • It gives kids motivation to seek higher goals


Why Winning at all Costs is Not Okay

When winning becomes more important than the people who are playing, then the line has been crossed. Winning at all costs hurts players, parents and coaches because:

  • It places more value on results than on effort
  • It overlooks kids who give 100% even though it’s not as good as another player’s 50%
  • It doesn’t care who gets trampled on or left behind
  • It ignores kids who work hard all season and never miss, and adores kids who show up late and miss way too much just because they’ve got super skills
  • It worships the score board instead of caring about the development of each player
  • It puts the win above the safety of youth players
  • It often pushes good players to think they have to carry the team just for a win and thus develops a selfish attitude in them

Winning at all costs may be a win, but it is never a victory in youth sports. Is your child’s team striving to win, or to win at all costs?


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