A Few Reasons to Play Sports That Have Nothing to do with Winning and Losing

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With so many mixed messages from adults, there is little wonder that kids grow up so confused about so many things. Sports is a perfect example of one of our favorite mixed messages: “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. It’s how you play the game.” That was said to players by great coaches exactly never times. What coaches want from their players is a win. A coach’s job depends on wins and championships.

In the backyard, the focus is on fun and entertainment, at least, it starts out that way. Then, someone says, “Let’s play for points”. The moment a system of measurement enters the game, it is about more than fun. The higher up you go from Little League to Pro, it most certainly matters whether you win or lose.

That is why it is vital that parents get in front of this competitive urge before it becomes the only context for sporting activities. There are other motivations with equally high evolutionary value. If winning was the only reason to play the game, then there would be no reason for the vast majority of people to ever play. While winning is a not unpleasant outcome, here are a few other reasons to put on the big, padded glove:

Playing Is Inclusive 

There was a time when sports was treated like an elitist activity for physically talented, male children of a certain race. Thankfully, now, we know better. Sports is for everyone. One of the best things about it is that it provides group activity for the least physically talented, most shy and awkward among us. Few are too uncoordinated to find some sport they can enjoy. People in wheelchairs find sporting outlets suitable for their condition.

Baseball used to be one of those exclusive sports. Now look at it. We have a variety of leagues and variations on the game. Softball is a more accessible variant requiring slightly different equipment. There was a time when there was less need for variety in equipment such as gloves.