My daughter plays for her high school volleyball team. A couple of weeks ago they played in a weekend long tournament. While we were at one venue with her team, the varsity were playing elsewhere and apparently things did not go well.
This is all grapevine stuff but apparently, girls started yelling at other girls they deemed weren't playing well enough. Then parents got into it.
This got me thinking about how we view playing sports here in America (I'm limiting this to America because I have no clue how other countries view sports). We seem to put way too much emphasis on winning at too young an age. I'm not one of those people that thinks we shouldn't keep score. If the game's rules say to keep score, keep score. But, when teammates are yelling at each other because they're losing, something's wrong.
I wish we could get people to focus more on doing your best. If you've been watching the Olympics the last few weeks, you've seen what I'm talking about. How many of all the athletes competing at the Olympics will get a medal? Only some very small percentage. All those people 'losing', though, are thrilled if they've hit some personal best in their event. You hear it from them over and over again.
I'm not advocating not trying to win. I just think that if everyone on a team tries to play their best and that's their focus, they will win and when they don't, they can go home knowing they did their best and maybe learned something to make them better next game.
Those of us doing or training for triathlons live this every day. I used to be one of those guys that would bitch because I made a perfect pass in soccer and someone less skilled flubbed the shot. I like to think I've grown beyond that kind of behavior.
I'm trying to compete in a sport now where I will probably never win, even in my age group. But I know if I've done the training I can be happy with an all-out effort and hopefully learn something new about myself or my sport. I believe that making that the goal in all sports will make us better sportsmen and women and happier athletes and make the actual wins that much sweeter.