We read about the winning-at-all-cost attitudes, illegal performance-enhancement practices, and poor (sometimes illicit) behavior of our elite level and professional athletes on a pretty regular basis these days. And major league baseball certainly is not immune to scrutiny, and media emphasis, in these areas as the past has shown them to be a major player in the “loss of perspective” in sports.
However, there are times, probably many, that elite/professional athletes do get it right.
Such is the case with former Ranger, Phillies, and Chicago Cubs outfielder Doug Glanville as he tackles the misplaced emphasis in sports (youth) today with his piece Kid Sports: Is Our Obsession with Winning Making Us Lose the Point? at TIME.com.
Rather than attempt to take the thunder from his article (something not very likely as it is an eloquently written piece) by reiterating his emphasis, let me just quote one short sentence from the article that sums it all up:
“Winning at all costs is costly.” (underline this writer’s emphasis)
I agree wholeheartedly. This “winning-at-all-costs” type attitude is a major undermining factor to the life lessons we expect our youth to learn through their sports experiences. It destroys the whole concept of character and integrity, making it nearly impossible for young athletes to place importance in the right areas.
Rather than winning being the main or ultimate goal per se, it would be better viewed as an outcome of committed, disciplined, hard work. Something that’s a result of following one’s dreams, setting proper priorities to fulfill those dreams, and just trying to be the best one can be for the sheer pleasure and pride that that brings.
Great piece, Doug. Now if we could just get more coaches, parents and athletes (all levels) to jump on that train, things might actually start to improve.