Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Superb piece from NPR Ed on Winning in Children's Sport

I wanted to share this excellent piece from my favourite radio and podcast station NPR on winning in childrens' sport. Having been at the forefront of driving a change in the way childrens' sport is provided across a number of sports and come up against some pretty vitriolic responses from some quarters of the population I totally get where this is coming from and it almost exactly sums up my stance on the topic.

In my experience competition for children seems to bring out the worst in adults (take a look at the comments for some pointed examples!) and the discussion becomes extremely polarised.  One side taking any suggestion that we need to change our approach to winning and losing as the thin end of the wedge in a path towards a pink and fluffy, nobody is a loser, nanny state and the other side demonising winning and tarring it with the same brush as racism and fascism!

The big takeway from the peice for me is that winning is not bad and any idea that we should remove winning and losing from children's sport is itself rediculous and symptomatic of the 'black and white' way in which we tend to live our lives at the moment.

The science behind the piece articulates this nicely and maps the way children percieve themselves in the world as they grow and develop cognitively and highlights how we should use competition as a mechanism for their development and growth by deemphisising the outcome of sports and focusses on improvement within them.

I hope you like it

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