Saturday, April 25, 2009

Our children must be taught to compete

I shook my head when I saw a recent episode of HBO's Real Sports which contended that public schools were eliminating competitive sports like dodge ball in favor of activities that made every child feel good. I decided to look into the matter. Unfortunately, I found that more and more of America's public schools are moving away from any sort of competitive sports to activities that make all children feel good.

Frankly, I feel especially enabled to speak on such matters. As a young kid, I was goofy. There is no way around it. I was not gifted in sports in anyway. It was not until high school that I found some sports luck with my beloved game of basketball, but that was after going for a time named a "zero," my point total In college, I fared a bit better in intramural competition. I went on to help coach young folks to championships.

But, as a middle school kid, was I a great athlete? No, not my any measure. In my middle school years, I felt bad about how poorly I performed. That actually led me to practice the sport of basketball everyday. I shot hoops, I lifted weights, and I read about the game's greats. Such experience made me a better student of the game of basketball, and me a fair player in later life and a championship coach. Such experience gave me lessons about life itself.

Of course, I always hold a weak spot for the goofy or awkward kid who keeps trying to be better. But, eliminating the reality of the competition that is life from that kid does not help him or her. Today's kids should have the value of the experience I had. I knew I could not cut it, so I endeavored to cut it. It was the feeling of being a "loser" that motivated me to achieve. It was one of the greatest feelings I have ever had to develop to the point where I hit the championship shot and I helped coach the championship team.

The notion by educrats to create programs that produce no losers and no winners actually robs the losers of a chance to improve. Chances are such a notion is foreign to the educrat. But, there are important lessons of life to be learned by those who win and lose at so called childhood games. Some of those who are destined childhood winners end up in jail. Some of those childhood losers end up motivated to the point in which they achieve at life in ways unimangiable. That, frankly, is life. People learn from losing and improve.

The educrats now want to rob of us that. Instead, they propose a notion that no one loses and everyone wins. The educrats go on and on about how every child matters and such. Fair enough. But, when a child enters the real world, where he or she must compete against China and the rest of the world, no one will care how much that child cares about his or her self esteem. The world will compete. It will reward those who can compete.

There are real competitions out there for our children. Competitions that mean more than any dodge ball game result or basketball game with no score kept. The rest of the world is playing for keeps and competing. We are cheating our children if we allow them to grow up believing that everyone wins and that there is no real competition out there.


  1. kinda blows a hole in your idea that their shouldn't be competition for the money going to the schools. Doesn't it?

  2. Not really. The proposal on the table from Governor Rich, I mean Sanford, does not provide for competition. Instead it has the government subsidize people who can already afford to send their kids to private schools.

    The right battle for the hearts and minds of South Carolina's future is not fighting to give government subsidies to middle to upper class folks. It is fighting the tough fight over curriculum. It is not sexy, and no sugar daddy will pay operatives to do it. But, that is where a real leader would take things.