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  1. #21
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    How old were these kids?

    I firmly believe that by the time they reach school age, kids need to know about winning and losing. School is a competitive environment, even if sports isn't part of the equation. Some kid is going to make the best hand-print turkey in kindergarten, and thinking that the other kids won't notice is inaccurate, to say the least. They notice. Even if the teacher gives the exact same praise to every kid, they all know Johnny's turkey is better than theirs. And you know that? That's life.

    Kids need to recognize that A) a lot of times, whether they work hard or not, someone is going to be better than they are at something, and B) sometimes, whether they work hard or not, they are going to be better than the other kids at something. They need to learn how to handle both situations with equal grace.

    I do think that once kids hit 5 or 6, things like not keeping score, everyone gets the same trophy, etc. need to stop, and they need to learn that you don't get rewarded for simply showing up. There are so many kids getting to high school and even college who think that showing up and doing the work equals an A, regardless of whether it's correct or shows any effort. Companies are balking at hiring younger workers because of their sense of entitlement.

    In any sport, riding or team sport, the coach is the key. Did the winning hockey coach play all the kids? Were some of those "extra" goals scored by kids who don't always get the opportunity to score? Or were they scored on plays the coach was trying out? If so, the other team (and the parents) were being sore losers. OTOH, if coach kept the starters in just to rack up the score, that's poor sportsmanship on the winning team's part.

    As for Susie, again, where is her coach? Are Susie and coach seeing year-end awards dancing before their eyes to the point that they're blinded to reality? Is Susie in the division because she's on a greenie who's not ready to move up and she's really that good that she can make the greenie look better than the rest? If it's just about points and Susie is riding a division below her level in order to just collect ribbons, it's bad sportsmanship and Susie should clearly be in a more challenging division. OTOH, if Susie's coach is working with her on a greenie, or a fear issue (maybe Susie is terrified to jump and coach has her in crossrails to build confidence because she absolutely falls apart at 2'6"), the other riders needs to learn to accept that with grace.

    So, it could go either way. But everyone needs to know how to win and lose in life. Shielding people from that is cruel, because the world is cruel and will teach them in a much less gentle matter at some point.



  2. #22
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    I agree there's definitely a difference between team and individual sports. And, within each, there is a real difference between good sportsmanship and an entitlement complex.

    I played a recreational team sport for a number of years. We were never very well-coached or well-funded (to put it mildly), but it was something we did for fun and put all the time and money we had into it.

    Some of the teams we played made us feel pretty good about getting trounced because it was a clean game, we were able to play our best, and we all learned things while playing and had fun. Sometimes their coach even gave us pointers. Sure, we might mostly play their second- and third-string players or even swap players to even things up, but they were gracious and professional. And then they'd invite us out after the game to socialize, handshakes all around, etc., etc. We kinda looked forward to getting thumped by those teams.

    A few other teams lived and died by scoring points. Period. Heck, I can think of a couple who actually resorted to blatant cheating against a much weaker team just to get the biggest number they could on the score board. In that kind of situation, it's not about beating the other team--it's about celebrating their utter humiliation and behaving like a total jerkwad. Big difference.



  3. #23
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    This age group series was for girls 14-17 years of age, so well past the "little kid" stage



  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogchushu View Post
    I think it's different with team sports. If your team is slaughtering the other guys, you put in players who normally sit on the bench, try new plays you haven't perfected yet, etc. Those things help you in the long run and aren't "holding back".

    That's kind of hard to do with individual sports, including horse sports.
    Have to agree with this method, playing the lower folks instead of only your best. Seen quite few teams who only played their best consistantly. Then when injuries happened, the back-up players had very little experience for meeting hard teams ahead. Kids only get experience by PLAYING opponents. Not the same as splitting a team to play against each other. They never play as hard, not as determined.

    Our team coach for YMCA Soccer ALWAYS rotated the players, whether they were winning or losing. Drove some parents crazy, but the KIDS all got to play half a game, EVERY game. He rotated them in and out during each half. We were not big on scores, just glad all the kids had a good time. There were NO league recognition awards for Best Team, etc. Kids each got a participation trophy. If another team showed up for a match without enough kids, our Coach would loan them players so everyone got to play. Changed the loaners at the half. I thought he was an excellent example of Sportsmanship, kids all got to play for someone at the game.

    Of course this example really did NOT prepare me for HS Soccer! That is regular Football with no pads!! Those guys went out with the killer instinct, going for Region wins! Amazing to see my son and daughter playing like that after the YMCA Leagues, but that is what kind of members a team needs to win at the HS level.

    Kids KNOW when they are being "given" things or not. Most do not appreciate the "kindness" if they are real players. Good or bad, they want the opponent to play their best. This why there are MERCY rules for heavens sake! If the scoring starts going crazy, the game is called when the spread is reached. Even though being "Mercied" is bad, it stops the unending scoring, without unneeded grinding down of the losers. We have Mercy rule for Baseball, Soccer, and probably other sports I an not familiar with. Not all sports, but some. A good rule in my opinion.

    Horses or HS age sports, the kids HAVE to want to win. They will work on improving if they really want it bad enough. No resorting to dirty plays or tricks to succeed, those are adult issues. Winning by your merits does a lot for the inside of a kid, and losing by a hair (WITHOUT WHINING) is what happens in real life. There are a lot of "almosts" in life. YOU know if you gave it your best, some days just belong to others.



  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueColours View Post
    This age group series was for girls 14-17 years of age, so well past the "little kid" stage
    Cue jaw drop on my part. It's one thing if we're talking about 7-year-olds on the TinyTown Tykers. But upper teens? Come on.

    I played lacrosse and soccer for about seven years. Two of those years I played for a team that lost every. Single. Game. We had a mixed bag of people who played like they meant it and people that got demoralized easily when someone was better/faster/stronger. We were told that no matter what happened we needed to go out there and play like we were the winners because the only way to get better is to play. The coach (my mom ) never failed to recognize the good things players did and the improvements everyone made. We never won a game but we still had a lot of fun.

    Then I got cracked in the head with a lacrosse ball two too many times and took up cross-country running so that I didn't have to really use my non-existent depth perception to duck.

    Long story short, the only time I've ever held back in riding is when I filled a class for my sister. I had no interest in the division, wasn't a member of the association, and was the only adult filling a division for juniors. It didn't feel sportsmanlike to go in like I meant it and take points away from two kids who had worked hard and ridden well all season. She didn't ask me to do it. Other than that, my mom raised us to win or lose on our own merits- and watch the winners for lessons for next time.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
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  6. #26
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    Team sports are not like riding at all in this respect.

    It is rare to find a coach and team in a youth league, no matter how competitive, that will allow the score to be run up excessively.

    Sometimes in tournament play, total scores for and against are used to determine seeds for final rounds. In those situations, it is expected that a team will run a high score when they have the chance.

    This is not a situation where the parents speaking out against the scoring are trying to coddle their kids or shield them from reality. They are making valid comments on the lack of sportsmanship of the winning team. It's not good sportsmanship to be openly critical of opposing coaches or officials during a game though, but it is appropriate to politely bring a concern through appropriate channels.

    Real life is not a strict meritocracy either, and it behooves parents to teach their children that real "winning" isn't about crushing the opposition completely when the same result could have been achieved without completely humiliating the other party. You can be "right" in the workplace and still be dead wrong. You better get used to that too. Coddling big egos, compromise, apologizing to people when you did no wrong...you can't function in a modern workplace unless you can do all of that. You can be better in every way than another candidate and the job will go to someone else because of some bizarre notion of fairness on the part of the interviewer.

    Team sports have a lot of analogs to leadership...individual sports are individual. You can afford to put on blinders and only worry about yourself, your score, your win, your loss. It's expected. Team sports are a different animal completely.
    Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior



  7. #27
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    Kind of reminds me of this case a couple of month ago:

    Little league football player got pretty much sidelined because the kid would score every time he got the ball.

    Seems like the coach put the ball in this little fellow's hand every play...

    Now
    there is really no good side to it:
    The kid won't be 10 forever, and eventually he will be up against kids that can hold their own against him

    The team won't get nothing out of it when they only run one game.

    What will they do when the kid gets hurt?

    And that is not even talking about the other teams.

    I think it is poor coaching. Simply as that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  8. #28
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    LSU did the holding back thing this weekend. They were up on Ole Miss 52-3, just steps away from scoring another touchdown (using their #3 quarterback at this point), and with a full 5 minutes left in the game, instead of scoring (TD or field goal), they just took a knee with each snap until it was time to give the ball back to Ole Miss.

    Some say it was showing mercy, some say it was rubbing in the fact that they were so far ahead, they didn't even have to play anymore. Five minutes left in the game is a long time! (Especially since LSU scored a TD in the first 20 seconds.)

    I'm tending towards it was a crappy thing to do to the other team, but not quite sure.



  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by yaya View Post
    LSU did the holding back thing this weekend. They were up on Ole Miss 52-3, just steps away from scoring another touchdown (using their #3 quarterback at this point), and with a full 5 minutes left in the game, instead of scoring (TD or field goal), they just took a knee with each snap until it was time to give the ball back to Ole Miss.

    Some say it was showing mercy, some say it was rubbing in the fact that they were so far ahead, they didn't even have to play anymore. Five minutes left in the game is a long time! (Especially since LSU scored a TD in the first 20 seconds.)

    I'm tending towards it was a crappy thing to do to the other team, but not quite sure.

    LOL, now that must have been some boring game!

    taking that many knees? that's is rubbing it in, too.

    (they should have done that maybe 20 points ago then?)


    Oh, the article on the little football player
    http://www.imperfectparent.com/topic...ng-touchdowns/
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  10. #30
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    I think there is a difference between "winning," "doing your best" and playing "with honor."

    Ideally the three combine, but to me the "with honor" part is the most important.

    There is nothing honorable about wiping the floor unnecessarily with an opponent when you have already won.



  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildBlue View Post
    I agree there's definitely a difference between team and individual sports. And, within each, there is a real difference between good sportsmanship and an entitlement complex.

    I played a recreational team sport for a number of years. We were never very well-coached or well-funded (to put it mildly), but it was something we did for fun and put all the time and money we had into it.

    Some of the teams we played made us feel pretty good about getting trounced because it was a clean game, we were able to play our best, and we all learned things while playing and had fun. Sometimes their coach even gave us pointers. Sure, we might mostly play their second- and third-string players or even swap players to even things up, but they were gracious and professional. And then they'd invite us out after the game to socialize, handshakes all around, etc., etc. We kinda looked forward to getting thumped by those teams.

    A few other teams lived and died by scoring points. Period. Heck, I can think of a couple who actually resorted to blatant cheating against a much weaker team just to get the biggest number they could on the score board. In that kind of situation, it's not about beating the other team--it's about celebrating their utter humiliation and behaving like a total jerkwad. Big difference.
    Big difference is right - as much as I enjoy a big win for our High School team I also enjoy watching the second and third string getting their game on when the time is right, and sometimes they pull off some good plays too.

    Point chasing in equestrian sport is, well, pointless sometimes - such as when you've been winning in a barely filled division - oh goody, First! (out of three).
    I like the statements made by other posters regarding testing one's abilities in different ways by trying something totally different to increase your skill set and overall competence.
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  12. #32
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    In team youth sports, the organizing body should make some attempt at creating even teams. That said, I don't care for telling one group not to continue to compete to save the feelings of another. Kids are tougher than we think. If they lose a game by 20 goals, they will get over it. Too many parents think that any straw in the path of their little darling will scar them for life. Quite the contrary, I believe in toughening kids up for the real world. (Trust me, I'm not mean to my son, but he's not emotionally coddled. People here who know me IRL will attest to his not being miserable.)

    I don't like a team being told they have to turn a game into practice because of a slaughter. I think that being up 25 goals means that the coach should bring in the benchwarmers or try new plays or something but officials shouldn't be telling them not to play.

    My son plays lacrosse and there are rules (as written by the USLAX) stating that at certain levels (usually below 8th grade) the rules change when one team is up by more than 6 goals. The rule change is intended to prevent a bloodbath and force the "better" team to overcome a handicap. That said, if the trailing team gets back into the hunt, that rule changes back. If a game is played under USLAX rules as all coaches and offcials agree before the start you eliminate the need for such silliness.
    My son's team's best game this spring was a loss. There was a tourney coming up and his team had sent his "elite" players who'd be in the tourney to a special training session. Meanwhile the rank and file kids went to play our area's best team. It turns out they they were playing that town's "tournament team." They lost but those kids, including mine, rose to the challenge.


    As for application to horse sports, I feel that intentionally underperforming does a rider and a horse a disservice. Where horses are concerned, you are either training or "untraining." Allowing the horse to "slack off" in the show ring could be teaching a dangerous lesson.

    ETA: When my son was in 1st grade he did a "fun run" at school and came home with a ribbon for "participation" even though h was in that back of the pack. He threw the ribbon out. That summer he ran in a series of races at his camp and was 1st or 2nd each time. His ribbons reflect his placing and those are still hanging on his wall. He was 6 and knew which represented accomplishment
    Last edited by Linny; Nov. 21, 2011 at 02:30 PM.
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  13. #33
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    I also thinking putting in the less experienced players would have been the right thing to do.

    In riding, I have seen cases where someone doesn't want to move up, and so wins over and over and over.

    If it is that the horse is limited to 3'0" and the rider is at the highest level of show, then I am ok with that. I had the misfortune of competing against such a pair in my first Ammy year, but it was ok to compete for 2nd as the winning rider really did deserve it and was a lovely competitor...and the one time I did manage to place over her felt amazing!

    If, on the other hand, it is someone who just doesn't want to move up, and would rather keep winning than be challenged, it can take some of the fun out of it for the rest of the riders...as it isn't someone you want to look up to/learn from that is beating you. For example a dressage pro that takes made horses and bumps them down a couple levels in order to get some high scores.



  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camstock View Post

    For individual sports there are always options. If little Suzy is waxing everybody on her circuit, time to move up to the next level, ride HC, bring on a young horse, or try a new discipline. Good coaching isn't just about winning, it is about expanding skill sets and helping people to become better in all aspects of the game (of life).
    I strongly disagree with this. What if Suzy loves Fluffy and doesn't have any interest in moving up? Maybe Fluffy can't go any higher and Suzy doesn't want a new horse. Maybe Suzy doesn't want to go higher because she lacks the money, drive, or confidence to go higher. Maybe Suzy likes her discipline of choice. Why should Suzy have to get a new horse or new discipline just because she's doing well? As long as she is playing by the rules, who cares? The only exception is if Suzy is staying below her and Fluffy's abilities purely for the ribbons (such as jumping 3ft courses, but showing SS for the ribbons)



  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHT View Post
    I also thinking putting in the less experienced players would have been the right thing to do.
    Even the pro teams do that...

    However, that can be demoralizing, too. Not only is the first string beating the pants off you, but the 3rd string is doing it, too.

    I'm more of the suck it up camp though. As much as I hate to say it, I'm seeing an awful lot of whining and sniveling from the 20-somethings these days. Evidently hard work is not in their vocabulary, generally speaking.



  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMF11 View Post
    Completely agree with Rbow. There is the concept of being gracious in winning, which doesn't get much play in the US. Sportsmanship as a whole is also lacking, and this is a good example.

    Not saying the stronger team shouldn't play hard or well, but it absolutely was an opportunity for the worst players on the best team to get some ice time etc.
    This.
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  17. #37
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    While many of the posts have related this situation back to equestrian competition, I'd ask you to make an effort to be sure that future posts include horse-related topics, since the original post was borderline...

    Thanks, Mod 3



  18. #38
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    Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see anywhere were it was specified the winning coach DIDN'T send the 2nd/3rd stringers in for experience.

    From the sound of the OP it sounds like the winning team actually has structure (normal practice times, roles within the team) wheras the losing team lacks for even the basics. They basically don't come prepared to win. They just show up.

    I agree that the winning coach should have used the win as an opportunity to put in the weaker girls, or if it was allowed, change up positions. But we don't know this DIDN'T happen. Maybe it did and the losing team was just *that bad*

    Why isn't anyone blaming the losing coach for bringing out a team of underprepared girls and setting them up for failure? Happens in the horse world... trainer who has no business being a trainer rolls up with their totally unprepared, terrifyingly overhorsed students that everyone just cringes and prays for.

    I think the losing coach owns the blame in this as well: they brought what sounds like a haphazard, shambles team up against a team with actual structure and a plan. What did they think would happen?

    These girls are plenty old enough to see reality: they are under-prepared, under-coached and under-geared. This is NOT the other team's fault.

    I do not agree with the statement about it's not good sportsmanship. I think good sportsmanship is also respecting your opponent. Please do not dial it back and PITY me. Oh, I'm sorry, you're not nearly as good as me, I'll dial it back so you it doesn't look like you're as bad as you actually are. WTF? Really? THAT's sportsmanship?

    That's a really ugly lesson, imo. Really disturbing. On both sides.
    "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings



  19. #39
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    In the "Subjective" riding sports, a good competitor knows when they have been beaten fair and square. They can sit on the sidelines and watch a hunter round or a dressage test and think "$#@!". That go was better than mine. As much as I hate to admit it, that person was better than me today ...

    And then there is no shame in being second best on that day

    But littleum - I agree with every single one of your points. When you dont come to win, heck - you dont even come for the EXPERIENCE since everything was so thrown together, you are literally showing up and hoping to just survive the competition, thats not "sport". I dont even know what to call it. I know it was said that the losing team couldnt get any ice time - that they hadnt practiced together at all since their last game (which was 2-3 weeks ago). I guess - literally - its like having a horse that you dont ride in between because the arena is always "unavailable" and all of your schooling and practice is done every 2-3 weeks at the showgrounds. And you're hoping by some miracle that you'll be able to beat the people that actually ride at home and practice

    In real life things dont work that way. And I guess if they cant get ice time in between, the same way if a rider cant get arena time in between shows, they seriously need to look at taking up another sport where they have some chance of success or changing their team / coach to someone who can ensure they get the proper practice time in between competitions



  20. #40
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    I fail to see how WINNING is a life skill.

    I came from a competitive high school that excelled in sports and the arts. Problem? I didn't get to participate in anything because I wasn't good enough. I spent two years, in love with theater, assisting with the school play but finally quit when the third year I was again not given a chance to act and I was facing another year of rehearsals stuck in the copy room. Poo on that, I said, I'm going to the barn

    A similar situation happened to a family friend. Her son was 2nd string QB and never got to play the sport he loved because the coach didn't want to risk the teams sucess but playing the 2nd kid.

    To that coach and the director of my school plays, get over yourself, it's high school when kids should be given the opportunity to try new things and decide what excites them. A state championship or a broadway quality play? That's all very much adult ego.

    This is hard to relate to horses. I am not a natural athlete, actor, or horseman, but that didn't mean anyone ever made me feel shame at the barn for not being as good as the other girls. The hard work I put in was appreciated and THAT is where I learned real life skills.

    Kids, athletes, riders should be proud of the work they have put into what they do, not of beating someone's butt because in the real world, when you get a JOB you're probably going to be working with that person and what you are going to be rewarded for is your work ethic and ability to motivate them, not show off that you're better than them (every office has that person and no one likes them.)

    There is no sense or life lesson in beating a dead horse, but I think convincing the horse to get up and try another day is a reasonable goal and that has real life application.

    As a horsey aside, I once was helping a girl with her arabian gelding and went with her to the county 4h show. She ended up showing against the leading AQHA junior english equitation rider at the time. In the hockey example, should one cheer on the champion rider against the 4h kids as a life lesson? Is it wrong to suggest that the accomplished show rider stick to recognized shows to allow the other kids to suceed? Why not have the her assist with schooling days to help the other kids rather than just showing up and collecting all the ribbons? Would this be raising whiny, weak children?



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