I read a great article recently about how every child should have the experience of winning. And, it mentioned that every child should be spared the pain of losing. It was addressing the current thinking that each child should be a winner, whether or not they put forth their best effort, or practiced to become better at whatever they were doing. Essentially, this thinking supports each child receiving a trophy, certificate, or some other reward for showing up.
All Kids Winners?
With fall sports in full swing now, I think this is something to address. We are not all created to be winners. But we are all, however, created to be competitive. We have an inner drive to succeed, to push ourselves to try harder, to overcome obstacles, and a desire to reach our goals. Whether in sports, in business, or in life in general, we all want to be the best that we can be.
What Losing Teaches
But what happens to those qualities when we remove the specter of “losing”? I believe the desire to practice our skills, study our materials, review our presentations, etc. loses its drive; we don’t have the same motivation or goals that the competitive spirit instills in us. When we apply this to our children, they all become the same when everyone is a winner; no great athletic skill stands out. No drive to discover the next medical breakthrough happens. We set them up to be apathetic, uncaring, and may be killing their desire to play sports, which they sorely need today to curb the rampant obesity trend.
Building a Competitive Spirit
We need to change this thinking; restoring the winning, competitive spirit in our children. We can do this by being the good role models who show them how to lose gracefully, win with humility, and support and encourage each other, no matter which team you are on. Social skills play a key role here; offering kids tools to help them get along whether winning or losing.
The writer of the article I mentioned wrote the following, which directs us in a powerful way to help our children learn to be at their best, win or lose. Thank you, Sandi Krakowski. I couldn’t have said it any better.
(C) Cool Kind Kid
The Champions Creed
I take full responsibility for my rising and for my falling.
I don’t beat myself up, nor do I beat up others.
When I make decisions, I live with the results and don’t play a victim.
With the power that is within me, I seek above all things, wisdom and discernment.
I fly high, and sometimes I crash, but the total race is the goal, not just one episode.
I know when to push and I know when to pull back.
I give it my all and I love others even when they don’t.
I am a Champion!
My strongest words are “I did great!” and “I’ll do better next time.”
Step UP! BE more! BE the Champion our world needs today!