Sunday, February 19

Getting Sporty - Winning isn't always everything

Now that school has resumed, life is beginning to return what would commonly be known as a type of normal.  Routines are slowly being established and a groove is in the process of being formed and slotted into.  Naturally part of that groove needs to have a place for sport.

Looking back at my own childhood my level of sport participation was probably considered average.  It was an optional extra but there if I wanted it.  My parents never denied me a right to participate in extra curricular activities.  They happily transported me where I needed to be when needed.  

One could even say they were encouraging and supportive of not just mine but my brother's endeavours.  However what they were not was forceful or demanded.  In fact if anything they may have been a little too lax.  You see for as happily as they let us participate they let us drop out.  Which I kinda look back on now and wish they didn't.  

Only I won't dwell on it any more as I have already shared how I feel on the subject in my las link up with The Sporty Mummy.  Besides it is a slight digression from where today's post was going.  Today's post is supposed to be about gracious losers.

One of the things I love most about playing a sport, particularly a team one is the opportunity it provides to teach that winning isn't always everything.  As long as you know that you gave it your all then that is all that matters.  When Miss L first started playing basketball her team was one of primarily new players.  They were also a little younger than the rest of the competition.

As such there were many a time when the team was quite convincingly overpowered.   Each and every game (well almost anyway). They still went out there each and every week, keen and eager to give it a go. I was in total admiration of how these young girls handled a loss and when I say loss I am talking a monumental type of loss. The kind where mercy rules come into play.  

To the credit of the team and coach never once were the girls bothered.  They just got out there and tried even harder the following week.  Never once was there a complaint or off word about being on the losing team.  They may have finished at the bottom of the ladder that year but since then they have just gone from strength to strength.

When the shoe was on the other foot and Miss L's team became dominant they were just as gracious.  In fact on occasion when it looked inevitable they would win I have seen them go out of their way to ensure weaker team players had the opportunity to score.  Truly heart warming stuff and a prime example of why playing a team sport is a valuable part of growing up.

This weekend sees week two of competition, it is still a grading round.  Miss L is playing in two teams at the moment.  In in her age group and one the group up.  She will be moving there next year so it is nice exposure for her.  Though I think she was a little overwhelmed by the size of some of them last week.  When the hockey season starts she will more than likely not play the second game so often.

It is too early to say how her grade will go.  It looks like it could be a very well balanced competition.  Her team has a number of strong and experienced players as well as a few newbies that would actually benefit from a lower division but there are not enough players.

Going by the slaughterings they have experienced so far in the other team however I think it will be another character and skill building year.  Which is triumph in itself, just not the kind that comes with a medal or trophy at the end of the year.  Anything is possible though and given the fight and determination I saw on the court yesterday there is certainly the chance of a miracle win.

This post links Youth Sports Weekend hosted by the lovely Nicole over at


  1. Great post Rhi! I really enjoyed reading it! Sometimes the emphasis of sport is on the final result. Your post has shown that valuable life lessons can be learnt regardless of the final result. You must be so proud of your daughter!

    1. Yes it just warms my heart to see them play especially when they try so incredibly hard despite the odds not being in their favour. I was talking to a mother from another team the other week who did nothing but complain about her child's team always losing. It was a team full of new girls playing against older established teams, when I pointed this out to her she told me not to make excuses and that she was looking at moving her child to a winning team. Talk about sports gone wrong.


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