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Winning at All Costs

Coaches of recreational, select and travel teams can all be statistically certain of one thing - they are not coaching any future professional players. With that possibility out of the way, coaches can then ask, Will the lessons I teach make sense when my players go on to be lawyers, bankers, accountants, police officers and other people who make up my community?

Coaches should try to determine the impact of their lessons on the adult professions that kids are more likely to have. For example:

Do I Want to See this Behavior: In this Profession?
Gets by with penalty not seen by others. Accountant
Yells at officials until calls start going the desired way. Lawyer
Physically intimidates other team with plays not caught by officials. Police Officer
Plays selfishly, doesn't use teammates but sometimes scores. Doctor
Steps aside to watch other players compete in tough games. Fireman
Takes credit for win even if own effort was substandard. CEO
Blames everyone when things go wrong. Politician
Doesn't prepare, but hopes team carries the day. Soldier
Screams to show disapproval. Parent

Youth games are not adult competitions and the goals are quite different. Each time coaches fail to ensure that competitions are played fairly with larger goals than winning at stake, they teach lessons that can have unintended consequences in their players' adult lives. If coaches want to live in a great community in the future, they will lay the groundwork with every young person they influence today.

Saturday, July 05, 2003