Winners, Losers and Playing to Win: Children's Sports and Parents

The tears on my eldest son's face after his team didn't win in the soccer finals, I will never forget.  It was one of those moments that I had to watch my son learn a life lesson after a string of wins, "You win some, and then you lose some."  I didn't comment on the team's mistakes, the fact that my son was one of the hardest working kids out there, or times where I thought a call or two was a bit fishy.
The point was, he was a child that wanted to play a game that was competitive despite adults saying things like, "It's just a game...their having fun...no big deal."  Those comments mean nothing, there are those of us who know all to well about playing to win.

A loss or a win doesn't matter much to those who are use to losing or average performers, but it means everything to those who are born leaders.  Consider the competition in the classroom, at the job, and even when one is online trying to get a date!  You seek for the opportunity, you meet goals/dreams, and you look for that win!  This is why some make good wages while others make just enough to buy bread, milk, eggs, a bit of cheese, etc. while praying that their pay will cover all the bills.  It's a mindset, a discipline, and a desire to win or best when it comes to competing with others. You want to come out ahead!  There is no wrong in that!  Everyday you get up and get out there to run life's race (whatever that might mean to you) the desire is to complete it while you hope for the win and if you don't do well, you get back out there and shoot for the win the next and the next.  Achievers do this!  Goal-oriented people do it!  Millionaires revel in it!  

Most recently, I witnessed yet another life lesson, this time with my third child.  He had won at track running the 50 and 100 meter yard dash, and received two medals to prove it.  While parents who wanted very much for their children to win dismissed their losses with sighs, laughs, encouraging words, or negative comments about other competitors, I saw something arise in my kid I didn't like a couple days later, and that was pride.  A light bulb went off in my head, taken from the Holy Scriptures, "Pride comes before a fall."  His time was coming, he would be humbled, "You win some and you lose some."

We, parents, build our children up, but life will break them down.  We can hope for the best, make light of sports, tell them how proud we are, and do other things to encourage them, but there will be life lessons and some will be harsh.  I think of my second eldest son who had to sit down this past basketball season.  He injured his back prior to, so he had to spend time recovering.  His basketball shots for the camera were put on hold and his bragging about what basketball shoes he was going to get was no more, he had his old ones to view.

There is a season for all things and sometimes parents must take the time out and ask this question, "Is the game really about the child or about you?"  Sometimes parents are missing out or losing at so much: marriages, employment, money, family relationships, dreams, etc. that they use their kids' sports to distract them from the truth.  Rather than win at a personal competition between self and everything else, they put their children out on the field or court while hoping that their child's winning or besting will ease the pain that they are feeling inside.

I ask you this, "Are you losing at something?  How bad do you want to win?"  Ponder the following, "...the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."  Ecclesiastes 9:11 (KJV).

Nicholl McGuire shares spiritual insight on YouTube channel: nmenterprise7

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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