Skip to comments.Beyond Giving Every Kid A Trophy... Playing to Lose! (Vanity)
Posted on 09/21/2012 3:01:27 AM PDT by MacMattico
I feel really bad for my niece. Last year, she made her school's competitive Varsity Volleyball team as a Freshman, plays club, and has already been looked at by college scouts. A sports scholarship would really help her family out.
Here's the thing: she's stuck at this school and they've recently changed their "focus in sports" to one of where everybody gets to play. My niece was an excellent OH (outside hitter), but other kids want to play outside hitter, so she doesn't play that position much anymore. She's very tall and can play middle well, but that's not always fair to the short kids. Last year, in one game, she scored the first 16 points serving. But now they've changed her serve so it's not as hard and more returnable. Needless to say the team hasn't won a game and probably won't. She's not progressing, and this could affect club try outs. The changing of her serve and spike have made her regress in her play, the entire family agrees. It's really a travesty. They are teaching the team how NOT to be competitive; no fall team at her school has a winning record, most have not won a game. But all players play and there are 18 people on the Volleyball team!
How can this school just up and decide in one year competition isn't important and only participation is? The last game I had to ask the coach "Why are people playing in positions they have no clue how to play?" I was told because they wanted to play there, and could learn. WTH? That's what practice is for!
Where she lives you can't play club without playing on your school team first. The club team she played on last year won up and down the East coast, she started, but they've screwed her skills up so much she may not make the team. No one can set properly, it's a mess. Starters from last year have quit. Her parents don't have the money to move or send her to private school. I feel horrible for her, she's worked so hard. My sister doesn't want to say anything to the coach or school for fear of her not playing at all or not getting a recommendation for club.
It's only fair./s
it’s all about self-esteem (after all you don’t want to hurt the kid’s feelings if they can’t play/s)
I expect some time in the future every school will go to a tournament so every kid, and not just the increasing numbers now attending, can have a very happy, state tournament experience. Because that's what's most important, right? Kids who do not have to work as hard to be happy as they did before. That's the lesson today's schools teach kids. No losers. But no real winners either.
While I am sympathetic and share your views on competition, public school sports can be controversial in their funding. HS sports are not the mission of the public school system, and when we allow them to be funded by public dollars - we are at the whims of the bureacrats and do-gooders. Coaches and administrators are public employees.
I say this as a parent of a HS athletes that agreed with my local county that parents should pay a fee for their kids to play sports. There are plenty great coaches, and if our tax dollars are funding sports programs - of course we should speak out if there is shenanigans. However I am not and big advocate of public school sports programs.
It is basically redistribution of wealth at the emotional level.
When I played sports a while back, things seemed a lot more fair. Now the school favors employees kids whether they have a talent or not, cut kids that have real potential, and look the other way when rules are broken. I have a daughter that plays sports but it's tough to even watch the games sometimes, knowing all the “behind the scenes” stuff.
But my poor niece was really, I believe, on the road to a scholarship. Her family doesn't make that much money, I hate that her school is ruining it for her.
(My daughter and my niece go to separate schools.)
If you are willing to educate your kids with other people’s money - this is the result.
In my southern city one school’s varsity football team got angry with my school’s football team for running up the score. The final score was 72-0 but our coaches were putting in second, third, and fourth string players. They even tried changing the players positions so the score wouldnt go higher. Makes me sick because now my school is in trouble with the board for hurting the other teams feelings. If my kid were on the other team I would pull him off. What are they teaching those players? Not to work hard, whine when you dont like a result, etc. We have got to stop being a nation of big babies.
My daughter went to watch her best friend’s JV Varsity game yesterday after school. The team lost because the coach insisted on playing an 8th grader who was no good. When asked, the coach said that everyone should get to play. My daughter’s friend was mad.
I knew this was a trend in the younger grades for sports, but by junior varsity and varsity it should now be about competition. True self esteem results from true accomplishment that one has worked hard for - and high school age players know this. If they played and sucked, their self esteem did not rise.
I am concerned that this trend is hitting the high school mindset. I didn’t think it would. I wish your neice the best.
So there’s a club team that’s so good that it travels far and wide AND her school team that are individually and collectively responsible for changing and screwing up her serve and her game so badly that she might not make the good club team?
Are you sure she’s not just wilting under the pressure of expectations from her family—and they’re all looking for her two teams to blame?
HS sports SHOULD BE about a “team”, not one or two individuals. I sympathise with the niece who has exceptional talent which is not being utilized to its fullest. On the other hand, what is the more important, her athletic skills or her grades? I expect there will be others who take exception to this and I believe EVERYONE should have a chance to participate. Highschool is not the NFL where winning is everything/the only thing. Being a team player is more important in my book. Suck it up!
I've never coached volleyball, but I have coached other sports. I'm wondering if there's a different reason behind the softer serve besides letting the other team return it? Sometimes, a coach will make a player seem to go backwards to improve basic form and essentially relearn the skill the proper way. It looks like the coach is hurting the kid's ability, and the kid inevitably feels that way, but ultimately, the promising player will become better for the back to basics play.
Oops, just noticed that you wrote your niece is a soph and plays JV. Sorry, I’ve got to read more closely.
I was playing chess with some very poor players, beating them easily every time, laughing & having fun winning.
The old man came over & asked to play. He beat me like a drum, every game. This depressed me badly, & he could see it.
He said to me, “You will never get better at chess, or anything, if you compete against inferior players. You must play with people who beat you consistently to improve your game”.
Absolutely right! If you are good, & not losing, you are not learning.
I'm so sorry for your niece, whose talents are being sacrificed for the collective. There are many consequences of socialism/Marxism beyond monetary redistribution. Your niece is experiencing one of them.
I agree that HS should be about teams, life lessons, and building character.
Sure, some of that should be about learning to be your best, competing hard, and taking your knocks graciously when you lose.
But I think the more scholarships that are at stake, the more rabid and irrational parents and families, coaches and team members get about it. Paraprofessional sports teams probably shouldn’t function within high schools or colleges at all.
This is what creates OWS members. You are considered equally good by the desire to join, not ability to play. The game is rigged against those with ability to favor those without ability. Poor outcomes are the fault of others. Competition is watered down or everyone gets a ribbon.
Then you hit the real world. Employers have competition for jobs - you cannot hire all 100 applicants for 1 position. They demand the ability to do the job. Lots of people want to be highly paid surgeons, but they only want and require those with the skills and ability to get the job. Everyone who said “I want to go to medical school and be like the cool doc on ER” don’t get the job and whine. (Granted, there are a lot of people locked out of medical school by the AMA refusing to increase the number of medical school slots.) Now you have entitled whiners who are angry because the real world requires skill of some sort, has competition and it is for things they want like jobs.
You don’t get to the NFL by sitting on the bench when your the best player. Scouts watch. She plays as a team player, but 6 play at a time, not the other 12 that don’t know what they’re doing. Her school has decided the 12 play as much so they lose every game.
Her club team is great. Her school team wants “safe” serves, “safe” spikes and she’s not getting much practice for club time when they can’t even set the ball to her.
This is probably the real problem. I understand the club teams probably do this so they're accused of poaching players from school teams, but if this is going to be the school team trend then they need to reconsider this policy.
Fact is, for the school teams, you gotta play by the school's rules, no matter how asinine they are. With club teams, if a club starts shifting their focus to the point where they're hurting player development, then the good players are going to leave for another club if they can find one). That's the free market.
She’s a sophomore that’s been on V since last year.
This is the result of the entitlement society, pure and simple. As a caveat, I may be reading too much into it, having limited knowledge of the situation.
There are two wrong lessons being taught from this, to both your niece, and the kids who replaced her. The kids who replaced her are taught that it doesn’t matter if they are not as good, or don’t work as hard, that all they need to do is want to play, and they entitled to get a spot that they don’t necessarily deserve. Your niece is being taught that all her hard work and commitment doesn’t count for anything, and that those who don’t is equally eligible for a spot on the team. Big failure on the coach’s side.
My context is from this...I helped coach the local high school’s summer baseball team, and we had the same situation, parents of a kid that didn’t work out at all, couldn’t hit, couldn’t catch and spent his weeks playing xbox and apparently not watching his diet, demanded equal playing time with those kids who worked out many hours 5 days a week. I refused, and the kid left the team. I was clear, that if I saw his effort and attitude improve, and saw the kid at the workouts, he would get his chance to play. The parents decided that it was unfair to expect the kid to work at his game, and that if he didn’t get playing time regardless, they would leave. And they did.
It is not a good lesson for the kids to tell them they are entitled to play just for showing up. Will they be entitled to a paycheck for just showing up at work? This is why we end up with kids who can’t read or write properly, and 50 million on food stamps. The government schools are showing them that they are entitled to graduate, spots on a team etc, and when they get in the real world and are expected to perform to earn, they can’t or won’t.
But they are. And a scholarship can mean the difference between going to a good school or no college at all.
there always are competitive private clubs and teams, even traveling teams
also summer camps and clinics where she can learn or sign up to coach younger kids,which also looks good on a resume
Your family needs to look harder and find one for her
Maye she needs to start a team of younger kids in elementary school to boost up their skills - this is called leadership
Talk to some of the volleyball coaches at the colleges that you say have scouted her for their recommendations
The service academies (here USNA) have summer athleitic programs in all sports and teens come from all over the uSA for them
If your niece is tall, athletic, and anywhere near as good as you thinly she is, no high school coach can screw up her chances for a college scholarship if she plays USAV club ball.
College coaches do not scout High school matches. I ref at big USAV juniors tournaments, and there will be so many college coaches, you can’t walk 10 feet without bumping into one.
“And a scholarship can mean the difference between going to a good school or no college at all.”
Just out of curiosity, what does your niece want to major in at college, and what does she expect to do when she graduates ?
I probably would not have went to school if it were not for sports. Competition is the very essence of life. Any sport teaches kids valuable lessons that some noncompetitive people can never understand.
Anyone in this country can afford college at the level of their competence without an athletic scholarship—even if it is at the community college level.
IMO it’s too bad her family isn’t more mindful of her learning to be a good person through her team experiences than falling into the stereotype of the seeing their kid not getting enough playing time and all of that.
If she’s so good, she shouldn’t be at risk of getting bumped from the club team. And if she isn’t at risk for such, not having a great HS team isn’t a big deal.
I believe I learned more on my high school sports team than all my time in classes, and I’m fine with public schools fielding teams.
But when you get parents (and uncles) frothing at the mouth over playing time, things have got way out of whack. Wouldn’t bother me at all if kids’ sports teams were organized and run separate from the public schools.
Communities are great things, and they are stronger when they come together to provide positive things—even if they are outside of the public school system.
And when you’re a kid, your one certain job is to go to school—I don’t care if you have to find a club sport on your own afterwards.
I think the US is the only country where so much emphasis is put on high school sports.
In most countries, they have Athletic Clubs for youngsters to play. Look at English soccer, the pro teams actually represent Athletic Clubs, which field teams in different sports, they have their own youth teams to develop young players, generally if you want to play sports, you go through the local Athletic Club....perhaps decoupling athletics from education would be the way to go.
If that's the case, the coach really needs to let the player know why this is being done. You may be completely correct but, without the player knowing the reason for these moves, a lot of confusion and animosity is sure to result. (While my coaching experience is extremely limited, I have used the "go backwards a little to go forward better" approach a few times.)
My experience is confusion and animosity result either way. I agree the kid needs to know the reason, but just because you've explained it to him (and his mom) doesn't mean the kid grasps it yet.
All we know from this post is lesser players are being given more time. We don't know that they're not working hard or harder than the niece. Several times I've benched my best players for not showing up at practice. Or showing up and hot dogging it. And naturally their parent (inevitably a single mother) shows up screaming at me for benching her kid. I found if I explained things calmly to her, she understood. And came to back me.
“I probably would not have went to school if it were not for sports”
...and your jockness shines through!
Good point. With an explanation, though, even if the kid and his mom disagree with it, at least they know that there's some reason behind what's going on. While you can't prevent problems, you do have some chance to minimize them.
As a sophomore, she’s not exactly sure but is interested in Civil Engineering, Geology and Architecture.