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Can winning doesn't matter be carried too far?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2014 11:18 am
Background - my daughter is on this national basketball team. The team has very athletic and talented girls. They are good, but undisclipined as a team - they are young of course. The coach has the girls playing up frequently - meaning they play older girls. Big difference in that at her age physically they grow so much in a year. His thought is it will them develop more playing stronger competition.

No problem in general but the last 4 or 5 tournaments (which would be 12 or more games) have all been against older girls. They won maybe 3 or 4 games which isn't bad considering, however, they have only played 3 tournaments with girls their own age. So they have lost ALOT. The coach also does not play to win - he subs in almost equally which I don't have a huge problem as they are still young even though they are supposed to be at a level to compete nationally.

This team is not so good that they win all the time against girls their age. Most tournaments are set up so you have them play against teams at their age and skill level so typically they are competitive with others where they have won several and lost a few games when playing girls their own age. It isn't that they are so super great, they need to play up to have some level competition.

My daughter is very competitive - she likes to win - and although I have explained coming so close in games against older girls shows how strong you are. Losing so much appears to be wearing on her - she is getting down on it. She seems tired of losing. Not sure how to keep encouraging her other than pointing out in a few weeks they compete in a national tournament and this will help get her ready for it.

What are you thoughts? Is not trying to win at all ok? It seems this coach is so focused on just developing skills and not on how to compete (which to me is part of the game) - he does not play stragetically. Is it ok to not have winning at all a part of your game?
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Type: Question • Score: 10 • Views: 2,256 • Replies: 27
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Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2014 11:25 am
@Linkat,
These days, the trend of winning at all costs or intense competitiveness is too much pressure for such young children especially in those formative years (5th or 6th grade). Aged 10 and 11, boys haven't developed physically..so learning basics, leaning form..learning teamwork is more important. There'll be many later years in their teens ... where the competitive focus can naturally develop. That's why I like T-ball for pre-adolescent boys.

However, putting no focus at all on winning is IMHO an over-reaction and a detriment.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2014 11:27 am
@Linkat,
Huh. If all the coach wants to do is develop their skills, then why play another team at all? Why not just play split squads, and get better at kicking, etc.?

Playing another team means points. It means records and stats. Learning to lose gracefully is a part of growing up - we don't get everything we want, even if we try really hard. We sometimes don't get what we want even if we are better, or we deserve it, or the other people have more. That's reality.

Also, if losses don't matter, then why should wins? I wonder if this is some idea of making it so that the kids don't feel bad. I'm not saying they should be suicidal over losses or anything, but can't feeling a little bad about a loss spur someone onto practice more and otherwise try harder?

I dunno; I'm rambling here. But it does seem strange.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2014 11:44 am
@Linkat,
We have a similar situation with my daughter's soccer team. The coaches, all certified and many from Europe, want the girls to learn ball control so they insist on playing the ball back. As a result, the girls are rarely on the opponent's side of the field and the defense is always under pressure. Our team is not the "A" team. That team is very frustrated since the players are very good but never score. Our team won a few games on strong defense and the occasional good shot; the A team lost every time. The coaches actually told the parents on the other team "You all think like Americans - want to win all the time. We are teaching them to be great when they are 15 and 16." Let's hope they play that long. Winning is not everything, but losing is nothing.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2014 12:10 pm
It is odd - because this is supposed to be like an A team - a district 1 national team that pulls from various towns for the top performers. I think you need to learn how to win and how to lose both. The purpose of a competition is to win. That does not mean you win at all costs and there is value to learning to lose.

Her travel team was very good - now granted travel since you all need to be from the same town, is typically not as strong as this other team she is on. But her travel team won - ALOT. To the point they were undefeated. The coach had a good balance whereas when his team was up alot, he played the "weaker"players - all the girls had a degree of talent so I hate calling them weaker and he sat his strong players - I think that is one reason the team as a whole was so strong as he developed them all while at the same time won.

Then I thought the opposite this ain't so good -- her winning all the time she will not know how to lose. But then they competed in some tournaments where the competion was stronger so they lost a bit - which as some one said here - you need to learn to lose with grace and in my opinion you learn alot from losing - what do you need to do to improve, how to you say ok and congrats and be happy for the other team. Stuff like that.

But this is just plain weird to me - it is a team that has potential, but the killer try to win attitude isn't really there. I wouldn't say it is with all of them some of the girls you can see that competive drive and others not so much.

I'm not overall worried as she is so young. I just let her know she is developing some great skills - which she is - and to focus on that. And also to point out at her age it really doesn't matter how much and that you win or not, it is more to get better. However, if she really wants to continue to compete in this sport when she gets older (approaching high school) she would need to play for a team that their objective is to win (not over all means of course), but if you want to compete at an elite level - you do need to show your team can win.

I just think it is going to the extreme the other way around. The way they function, it is almost that a camp focusing on skills would be as beneficial rather than traveling around to various tournaments.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2014 12:19 pm
@engineer,
How do American-born and trained soccer players compare to those who were trained as children in Europe?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2014 12:49 pm
The United States Women's National Soccer Team is the world's current powerhouse among women's national teams. From Whikipedia:

Quote:
The United States women's national soccer team, often referred to as USWNT, represents the United States of America in international association football competitions. It is controlled by United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF (the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football). The U.S. team won the first ever Women's World Cup in 1991, and has since been a superpower in women's soccer. It is currently ranked first in the world by the FIFA Women's World Rankings. The team has also won the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, four Olympic women's gold medals (1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012) and nine Algarve Cups (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013).


So the appropriate question, it would seem to me, is how were these women trained? Were they trained as is described above according to an alleged European model?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2014 01:30 pm
This page from U.S. Soccer-dot-com describes, largely through the use of videos, the training curriculum which they reocmmend. I don't have that close an interest in this topic, so i've not taken the time to watch the videos. Others, however, might find it of interest.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2014 01:38 pm
@Setanta,

Setanta wrote:

So the appropriate question, it would seem to me, is how were these women trained? Were they trained as is described above according to an alleged European model?


If we were betting real money, I would bet they were not trained to lose.
PUNKEY
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2014 03:56 pm
She's in the right place at the right time. The coach is concentrating on skills, so that later - when winning is important - they will be capable of doing just that.

Consider this her training year and get through it as per the coach's philosophy.

Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2014 04:04 pm
@PUNKEY,
I get that completely. Just convincing her without her getting frustrated over the losses. She will say things like damn its my fault - if I just got that 3 pointer that rimmed in and out.

On the flip side - I see her getting much more aggressive - she doesn't want to lose and she plays harder and more aggessively than she used to. It is fun to see their improvements and try pointing that out as well.

That 6th grade team killed you before and look now you were right there all the time. Stuff like that to encourage her. I just don't want her to get down on herself or to get discouraged.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2014 09:46 pm
Good to concertrate on her personal growth/skills instead of the teams final score.

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2014 03:31 am
@roger,
No, nor do I think they were trained on some airy-fairy plan to build up their skills without regard to whether they win or lose.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2014 04:49 am
@PUNKEY,
That is easier said than done.

Ever see kids responses when they play a game say that a score is not kept? They are always saying at the end that they won or give some sort of score they kept in their head.

Whether you keep score or not, kids tend to try to find a way that there is some one that has won.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2014 06:47 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

The United States Women's National Soccer Team is the world's current powerhouse among women's national teams. So the appropriate question, it would seem to me, is how were these women trained? Were they trained as is described above according to an alleged European model?


I went and looked at wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_women's_national_soccer_team#Head_coaches

in 2007 they switched to European/British coaches - Pia Sundhage of Sweden seems to have been a particularly winning coach for them
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2014 07:37 am
@ehBeth,
The question is not whether or not the coaches are European, but whether or not this is a European method. Engineer specifically wrote that the alleged European method has nothing to do with winning:

engineer wrote:
Our team won a few games on strong defense and the occasional good shot; the A team lost every time. The coaches actually told the parents on the other team "You all think like Americans - want to win all the time. We are teaching them to be great when they are 15 and 16." Let's hope they play that long. Winning is not everything, but losing is nothing.


So who coached the United States Women's National Soccer Team is not the issue, the issue is what their training method was. Did these coaches to whom you refer tell the women of hte USWNST that they "think like Americans" and "want to win all the time," as though that were a bad thing?
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2014 07:51 am
Quote:
Linkat said: My daughter is very competitive - she likes to win - and although I have explained coming so close in games against older girls shows how strong you are. Losing so much appears to be wearing on her - she is getting down on it. She seems tired of losing

The coach himself sounds like a loser, so you and other parents should GET MAD and complain to his bosses to get him fired on the grounds that his bad vibes are having a negative effect on the team.
In fact he's almost abusing the team by deliberately letting them keep getting beat, maybe he's some kind of perverted sadistic control-freak, and the sooner he's gone the better or the kids will grow up thinking they're born losers.

"If you hang around with losers you become a loser"- Donald Trump
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2014 10:01 am
@Romeo Fabulini,
Get him fired - aint gonna happen he runs the program.

Now he is very good at instructing - we know him from my older daughter playing in the program - her team wasn't as strong and they had a different coach.

We do plan on leaving the program at some point (most likely next spring) - but we want to make sure we go somewhere else where it fits her style of coaching.

In the mean time, we know she gets good instruction and she is young enough that winning tournaments is meaningless as I explained to her - not the desire and competitive spirit to win, but it isn't going matter at her age to be a state champion. (she gotten that title already with other competitions so you can see she is very competitive).

It is important though if you really want to take it to a higher level -- ie eventually play college ball in D1 or D2 - to win. It does in the sense that colleges are not looking at ok teams - they look at the good teams as they usually have the better players. But she is young where development now is more important.

I just don't want to dash her competitive spirit.
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2014 06:12 pm
Quote:
Linkat said: I just don't want to dash her competitive spirit.

The coach is doing that, so stop making excuses and GET MAD at him like I said, and raise some kind of hell, otherwise we might get mad at YOU for letting him mess up your precious daughter.
It's your DUTY as a parent to get her out of his clutches, or we might start thinking you don't care about her..Wink
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2014 09:48 am
@Romeo Fabulini,
Well the season is almost over - she does love the girls on her team - and my thought is next spring there is a good chance her travel coach will start a team - he is a really good coach. If he doesn't my husband said he might have to step up and coach.

There is another organization even closer to us - they usually has very competitive teams that rank pretty high. They had tryouts for her age group but I think due to the younger age (tend not to have as many kids that age) and the timing of the tryouts (not a good time/day to have them) and the fact they did not have a coach in place yet, they decided against having a team at that age. So hubby said if travel coach doesn't step up - he will.
0 Replies
 
 

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