Since Nike is apparently filled with a bucket of buttholes who want to perpetuate this fallacy and continue the trend towards a culture of entitled jerks as our next generation of athletes, the onus as usual falls on us to sort through the piles of drivel our kids are subjected to and create lessons out of them.
I have two teenage sons who are athletes. One is attending college this fall on a lacrosse scholarship. The other with the same aspirations.
They enjoy winning. A LOT. After all they were raised by me, a woman whose friends refuse to come over for game night ever again. There is a strong competitive nature in our house. Winning is awesome, it makes us feel good, but it doesn’t take care of anything, let alone everything.
Athletes should be defined by the way they treat others. By their hard work and perseverance. They should understand that it’s the respect they show others that show us who they are. They are defined by the way they treat those in need. They are defined by the way they handle defeat. They are defined by the way they win but NOT by winning.
Sports are there to teach young men and women how to be better off the field. How to be part of a team. How to lose with dignity. How to win with class. How to fall and get back up. With grace. Not with a “nanny nanny boo boo stick your head in doo doo” attitude.
Winning takes care of everything? No. It doesn’t. It’s like using a fragrance to spruce up the bathroom your son just bombed. It doesn’t take away the stench, it just adds a little jasmine to it.
Take this opportunity to remind your girls and boys what being an athlete truly means. Because no one wants to raise a kid who believes that winning takes care of everything.