Competitive Sports or not?

[deleted account] ( 8 moms have responded )

I want my kids to love playing and moving and working with others, but I want to avoid them feeling that "winning is everything." Have any been able to accomplish this?

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Paula - posted on 06/03/2010

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I started them off playing sports at the YMCA or in a Christian league and they have adjusted to healthy competition well.

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Meredith - posted on 01/31/2011

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I always participated in competitive sports as a kid, and for the most part I really enjoyed it. My parents never cared whether I won and we had conversations about the point of sports being about enjoying the activity itself. My friends who were focused on winning had parents who were focused on winning, and I don't think that's a coincidence.

Jennifer - posted on 01/17/2011

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I am both a coach (20 years) and a mom (8 years), you can defiantly accomplish your goals by reinforcing to your child fair play, and taking to your coach to make sure that they are on the same page as yourself. Most team sports coaches are taught to promote fair play.

Laura - posted on 10/20/2010

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Competition is a part of life. Winning and losing is a part of life. Kids understand this drive from a very early age! Learning how to win graciously in a competition as well as learning how to lose graciously in a competition are very important life skills! Competitive sports, even at an early age, can teach children a lot about fairness, empathy, determination and critical thinking.

Good coaches will encourage their players to do their best while playing the game fairly. Good coaches will use far more positive language and encouragement than critical language. Good coaches will teach the importance of good sportsmanship during competition! And above all, good coaches will want the kids to have fun!

My daughter has played in Little League, first in Coach Pitch Baseball and now in Major League Softball and has developed a love for the game. She has had good coaches, for the most part, and even the ones that weren't so good still taught lessons that can be used in life. The coaches (I've been one!) often have to remind the kids that the game should be fun and not to focus on the winning but on playing well. Afterall, winning is often the result of using one's skills, talents and brains well! Not always, but most of the time. Ultimately this is a decision that the parent(s) need to make with their child--it is not right or wrong. Good luck!

Racheal - posted on 08/19/2010

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yes we have accomplished this! competitive and organized sports helped us teach our 5 yr old how to be a good winner AND a good looser! after the first game he lost we were affraid he would be very mad and be a sore looser, but he wen up to the other team and told them good job and he was proud of them!! needless to say my heart swelled with pride!! no one told him to do that, before we even signed him up we told him its ok to loose not everyone wins all the time and daddy and i will love you the same no matter what... :) it did a wonder of good!

Emma - posted on 08/15/2010

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well its a doubled edged blade, some think that by making kids not competitve it decreases the drive of winning . I think you need to encorporate both things that winning is fun and losing is just a part of life because inthe realworld we do lose :)

Rebecca - posted on 08/07/2010

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I believe children naturally know how to play,move around and use their imaginations on their own. I would discourage competitive sports for young children. Many of them are not physically and emotionally ready for it and it puts undo pressure on them to perform. I think it is much better to simply let children be children. There is plenty of time to grow up.

Kendra - posted on 08/01/2010

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I think any type of sports that you would get your child involved in would help with this. Now days coaches are required to teach children that winning is not everything, or at least not put that in their head. I think it's quite common for children to be competitve in elementary school - it's when you're child become excessively obsessive with winning that you should worry about things.

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