Saturday, June 8, 2013

Integrity In Sports

When I signed Anastasia up for softball, I did so with a few things in mind. One, she's a kid, she has never played before and I want her to have FUN with it, to develop a love for the game. Two, I wanted her to gain focus, discipline, learn to win, learn to lose, and to do it all with integrity. Three, I wanted her to make new friends and step outside her comfort zone. All of these are important, but reason two is THE most important one to me.

We have played this team twice (that I can remember). Twice they've beat us. They may have won, but our team was the REAL winner, because we maintained our integrity while they cheated and got away with it. When you are running bases, you can't run outside the baseline. No, you don't have to run ON the line, but you have to stay pretty close to it. The last time we played this team, their players were running out near the dugout or near the pitcher. They SHOULD have been out, but the ump didn't call it. The coach, KNOWING their player was breaking the rules, SHOULD have spoken up, as I know our coach would have. As I would have if I were coach. But he didn't. 

This morning, we played them again. Again, they broke that rule, but they ALSO had a player fling her bat back once she hit the ball and the bat hit our catcher. We immediately spoke up, but nothing was done because the ump didn't see it. A mother from the other team started arguing that the kid didn't do that. If she didn't, then why was our catcher crying and rubbing her arm? 

Yes, they are kids. But they need to learn right from wrong, they need to learn that cheating isn't the way to win. I don't feel that the other coach is teaching these kids that. These girls get out there and give it their all. Some of the girls play for another league as well. They started out having to go to school all day, then head to the field. It can be tiring. But the look on their faces when they win makes it worth it.

If you coach or plan to coach, keep this in mind. Winning with integrity is the best way to do it. And losing with integrity is a win in my book.

3 comments:

  1. There are always teams that don't play by the rules or that are poor sports. We went through that for years.

    We decided that when those instances came up, they'd be our dinner discussion. We talked it out as a family and I think my kids are better sports for not just seeing what you should do, but also by learning from seeing others do what you shouldn't do.

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  2. My biggest pet peeve about sports are the parents. There are some kids who just truly do not want to be there. They don't do well then get yelled at/humiliated by their crazy parents. I've heard parents call their kids lazy and an embarrassment. The worst of it? This is tee-ball!
    The little league I used to play for when I was younger didn't stand for that kind of behavior. Umps saw everything. Things were called that even us players didn't see. If a parent got involved (altercationally), they were warned to be quiet or they had to leave the field. I had an ump call a game because one girl kept throwing the bat and the coach would yell at the ump to leave her alone. It wasn't on my team and we were handed the win. We need more umps like that.

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  3. I really like this post. I usually have 4 kids in a sport at once, all year round, and we see all kinds of things. Integrity is something there isn't enough of.

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So....what did you think? And are you THAT Sarah Michelle?