Anyone who knows me knows that I am not exactly a sports enthusiast. But a Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker (that's NFL for those as clueless as me) may have just racked up a fan in this mama.
When James Harrison's boys came home toting trophies, the dad wasn't impressed and insisted on returning them.
Yes, as is the custom these days, it seems the trophies were awarded to the boys simply for showing up and taking part. And that didn't wash with a professional athlete, who earns a living competing.
In Harrison's books, kids don't learn or improve their game when rewarded just for participating.
"... I'm not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best...'cause sometimes your best is not enough," he continued. "That should drive you to want to do better...not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy."
It doesn't sound pretty, but you know what? He's bang on.
After all, there are only three podiums and three medals for each Olympic event. If we want to impart a lesson to our kids - in life as in sport - it's to work hard and do your best.
But the hard knocks school also states that this sometimes won't be enough to get you the dream house/job/love, so you might as well take pride in knowing you gave it your all. And no, you don't get a trophy for that.
My son is only six. Still, when I win a game, I don't pretend that we both won. I want to send a clear message that there can only be one winner, and that regardless of whether you win or lose, you should do so with your head held high.
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