It’s interesting to me the dynamics of our sports programs.
In some aspects one might say we’re just not that into it like we used to be. Student-athletes, especially at the high school level, have the option to play sports, or maybe get a part-time job. I remember I definitely wanted a job, and have been working since I was 13 to get the things I want.
While some sports have recruitment issues, others flourish with activity.
Are sports subjective and relative to the approach of one’s mindset as to the purpose they serve? For example, on two different nights there have been confrontations about calls at youth league softball/ baseball games at the Civic Center. At least one parent (I assume it was a parent rather than a stranger arguing about an ump’s call) had to be led off by the police.
I’m not the one to complain to about a call because I go by the “League of their Own” movie philosophy where an ump is heard to reply to a disgruntled player, “Listen, yesterday that was a ball, tomorrow it might be a ball, but today it’s a strike.”
Just so you know, my other favorite quote from that movie is when recruiter Ernie Capsadino tells one of his new prospects, who has obviously never traveled before: “Are you coming? See, how it works is, the train moves, not the station.”
I obviously do not covet winning as the only thing. To me that’s the same as worshiping money. Sure it can buy you things and is useful, but when it replaces higher ideology it becomes something else, something unhealthy. That’s how I feel about playing only to win, you miss out on everything else the sport provides and replace it with the feeling you’re not worthy if you don’t win.
We’re all usually good at something and those little things we’re good at can help everyone. Playing a better ball team can improve your skills if one is of the right mindset.
A quote from Star Trek is a good metaphor which goes “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” The statement was made by chief engineer Montgomery Scott but it can be applied to sports as well. If we’re seeking to get better at something, there’s no shame in losing a ballgame in the process. If we get emotional as parents we go off on a tangent when we don’t agree with a call, we’re signaling all sorts of things to our children. One of them isn’t good sportsmanship.
One thing we know going into every game, one team will win the game and the other lose. Getting better at something is an enlightening experience that happens gradually. I am on the side of the “sports should be fun and character building” not just the black and white of win or lose.