These topics about the importance of winning are not meant to be all inclusive. Each of the topics is touched on only briefly. Hopefully, these concepts stimulate discussions of the importance of winning in youth sports that avoid cliches and stereotypes. Cliches such as, "It's all for the kids"' while well-meaning, fail to address many of the actual issues in youth sports and, thus, prevent us from designing effective programs. Effective youth sports programs establish the young athletes' needs as priority without ignoring the many motivations of parents, coaches, and officials who make these programs work.
Part of your coaches' education program should involve a direct discussion of the importance of winning to a successful program. This important topic traditionally has been filled with cliches. At one extreme is the belief that winning is unimportant in youth sports; at the other extreme is the belief that winning is the only thing. A healthy perspective is probably somewhere between these two beliefs. The importance of winning has been considered by virtually every adult involved in youth sports. Unfortunately, glib cliches may interfere with a thoughtful consideration of the problem. Clearly, there can be too much emphasis on winning; however, those who advocate the position that winning is not important often miss the point that without an attempt to win the contest, the activity is no longer sport. The essence of sport is striving to win; without that attempt, the activity is of a different nature. For example, if two athletes of dramatically different skill levels are playing tennis, often the superior athlete will begin to teach the less skilled athlete. While admirable, teaching is not sport. Two individuals on a golf course who are more interested in being together as friends change the situation from competitive sport to a social interaction. Coaches should realize that while winning is an essential part of sport, youth sports has many other, complementary goals. A key point is to acknowledge that while winning is an important part of sport, it must be kept in perspective with the other valuable aspects of youth sports such as social development, fun, fitness, etc.
Other people my age have been taught that winning isn’t everything and that it is all about having fun. Well, they lied. If you are only going through life to have fun, you won’t have a purpose and you won’t achieve your goals. Winning is the goal of every game and people would not play a game without a goal.
Star athletes are heavily recruited and receive valuable full-ride scholarships to prestigious schools. But what about the remaining 430,000 student athletes who are not household names? The fact is, athletic scholarships benefit students at all levels; including those attending smaller schools. Many programs focus on the impact of athletics on the student rather than the student on their sport. application states: "Foot Locker wants to celebrate YOU- not necessarily because you scored the winning touchdown or goal- but because sports have helped you grow into a strong leader at school and in your community."