Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Winning is not bullying, no matter what the score.

A parent of a child on the losing side of a Texas football game filed a bullying report against the coach of the winning team last week.  http://tracking.si.com/2013/10/22/tim-buchanan-aledo-bullying-rout/

I know that Sports are full of bullying, and hazing, and all kinds of bad things because the clique that's in power tries to show their worth to the newcomers or whatever other reasons that exist.   However, unless the coach of the winning team was taunting the players of the losing team, then it's not bullying.

Sport is a competition, it's a place where a team is supposed to go out and do their best.  Players are supposed to give it their all.   Yes there are times, lots of times, that one team is so much better than the other team that it reflects in hugely lopsided scores.

I've been on both sides of big losses.  As a kid my parents and sports taught me not to be a sore loser, and that you can learn from losing by studying the winner and improving yourself, and your team.  I've also played on and coached some very talented teams and we won games by a lot.

Aledo won 91 - 0.  Winning is not bullying, but losing and complaining that the winner is bullying IS whining.  The parent of the losing kid should be ashamed.  I hope his kids are ashamed for him.  Sports are not about making sure everyone has a chance to win, it's about trying your best.  Losing gracefully is sportsmanship.  

To the parent of the losing team that complained, you have a choice to solve the misguided perception that losing is being bullied.  You can pull apologize and encourage your kid and the entire team to improve, you can lobby to have the rules changed to include a slaughter rule in football like little league has in baseball, you can lobby your school system to cancel all sports, or you can pull your own kid out of sports.

Ultimately I want my kids to play sports and do their best every time no matter what the score.  I hope they have the opportunity to be on both sides of lopsided games so that they can learn how to win and lose with grace, something this parent clearly still needs to learn.