Finding God's Winning Spirit

Sports Revival (Part Two)

April 29, 2014 | Greg Smith | Sports


Yeah, when it comes to sports the tail is wagging the dog. The sports thing has gotten too big and has us by the throat. It is not only the violence and the parent/child obsession with sports on a daily basis (part one) that tells us that we are lost – it goes much deeper than that. Who are we putting our children with and what is the message we are sending when it comes to athletics?

The fact is that many of these young obsessed athletes are spending the majority of their time with coaches not parents. Who are these people? Are they the adults that we want to be teaching our children the values of life? What life lessons are they willing to, or capable of, teaching our children in the first place?  My concern is that parents select these individuals based on competitive sports success and not on their character. In essence we are creating another generation that is obsessed with winning no matter the cost.

In many cases these coaches are great mentors and individuals with hearts of gold. Unfortunately we put tremendous pressure on these individuals to win and hire them, fire them and pay them accordingly. The culture in which they work does not encourage the philosophy of "let everyone play" or "it's not if you win or lose but rather how you play the game that counts".  Coaches who are genuinely concerned about the moral and personal development of a child better win or he or she will not be employed.

Good coaches, bad coaches, good role models or bad role models these coaches are vitally important when it comes to putting sports in perspective. In high school or college if we hire coaches that win at any cost we are sending a clear message to our children – win, win, win no matter what it requires of you – or takes out of you!

Many coaches will tell you that the politics in sports is the most difficult aspect of their job. The pressure put on them to play the right kid or to succumb to the threats of powerful parents biding for playing time for Jimmy or Jane, no matter how skilled, kills team spirit and creates the dreaded double standard. I have heard from parents who say that the some kids will never see the field of play, not because of lack of ability, but rather from politics.  This turns many young athletes away from sports all together.

Politics is not the only reason some kids will not get the chance to play sports. In this country, especially in big high schools, the athletic bar or the skill level required to play has been raised to the point where many young men and women will not qualify. The good old days of trying to find enough kids to field a team or having to play both ways on the football team are over. We now have too many kids, to few teams and a limited number of slots. Nothing could be further from the philosophy of sports than having a child who does not have the opportunity to play a game!

Sports is out of control.

The real twisted dynamic here that perverts sports is greed. Like most everything in the world it comes down to money. Success in sports has become synonymous with fame, fortune and the good life. Coaches will make good money if they win, athletes will become millionaires and mom and dad will reap the benefits of a celebrity in the family. The game is no longer played for the joy of playing but rather has become a means to an end (an end that will probably never come but then again fantasy never really make sense). We in this country we are so deeply embedded in this fantasy that it will take nothing short of revival to resurrect sports.

It is clear to me that the original purpose of sports was about recreation, exercise and simple play.  We have changed all that and have lost the pure joy of playing to play.  It is the difference between a Roman child throwing a ball with his father and the father taking his son to the coliseum to watch gladiators kill one another. You think this is a little dramatic?  Have you seen some of the fans at any championship game? We need a sports revival.

Well I have railed enough and hope I have made my point that when it comes to sports we are over the top and headed in the wrong direction. What is the answer you say? My suggestions will come in part 3.



End part 2

Excellent point, I am agreed. "God save the sport"
Posted by Tomas Bolaño on
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