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Losing Is Good For You


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As children return to school this fall and sign up for a new year’s worth of extracurricular activities, parents should keep one question in mind. Whether your kid loves Little League or gymnastics, ask the program organizers this: “Which kids get awards?” If the answer is, “Everybody gets a trophy,” find another program.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/opinion/losing-is-good-for-you.html?_r=0

 

 

 

I'm sure it wouldn't take much to find an equally persuasive counter-article, but this was the one I read and I thought I'd post it anyway. A few of the comments are really interesting as well.

 

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My son is in AYSO, under 6 league.  They don't keep score (officially) and nobody wins or loses.

 

However my son knows if they won or lost the game.  He knows how many goals were scored.  He talks about the team they beat soundly, versus when they lost.

 

Not pulling the wool over his eyes.  He's intent on putting points on the board anyhow, even if the grownups try to pretend like the kids don't have a clue.

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I don't get the big deal.  I remember participation trophies in soccer as a kid and participation ribbons in cross country.  The competitive kids like me who tried to win didn't care about the participation trophies, only the big trophies mattered. The terrible kids who were probably forced there by their parents got something at least /shrug.

 

When children make mistakes, our job should not be to spin those losses into decorated victories.

 

Participation trophies are not decorated victories, they are scarlet letters of mediocrity, that's what 8 year old me took away from it anyway. 

 

 

Not keeping score is a completely different issue though.  I would never sign my kids up for that crap.

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I hate losing in sports/games. If I'm bad it and I don't have a decent chance of winning, I rather not play.  I am a terrible sore loser...

 

"I think you have to try and fail, because failure gets you closer to what you're good at."

Louis C. K.

 

:)

 

Seriously, though, it is healthy to hate losing.  And, it is entirely rational to not play -- or at least resist -- if you don't think you have a decent chance of winning.  It seems to me that it is one of the reasons guys like Buffett and Munger got where they are -- 1 foot hurdles and all that.

 

I think Buffett once said (or repeated): "How do you beat Michael Jordan?...Play him in something other than basketball."

 

But, in a world of ever increasing specialization, it does make sense to me that one wants to know as soon as possible what they're not good at if only to get closer to something they are good at. 

 

Then again, all the good stories start with: "I never gave up...".

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I hate losing in sports/games. If I'm bad it and I don't have a decent chance of winning, I rather not play.  I am a terrible sore loser...

 

"I think you have to try and fail, because failure gets you closer to what you're good at."

Louis C. K.

 

:)

 

Seriously, though, it is healthy to hate losing.  And, it is entirely rational to not play -- or at least resist -- if you don't think you have a decent chance of winning.  It seems to me that it is one of the reasons guys like Buffett and Munger got where they are -- 1 foot hurdles and all that.

 

I think Buffett once said (or repeated): "How do you beat Michael Jordan?...Play him in something other than basketball."

 

But, in a world of ever increasing specialization, it does make sense to me that one wants to know as soon as possible what they're not good at if only to get closer to something they are good at. 

 

Then again, all the good stories start with: "I never gave up...".

 

:D Thanks. Making me feel better about myself.

 

Yes, I pick and choose my battles.  ;D ;D

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You guys are missing the point.  It's all about the team.  If not, for very winner, there are a bunch of losers.  Most good that happens in life is accomplished through the team, work group, supporting actors, family and other affiliations through teamwork, including the use of many skills and gifts complementing the skills of others.  :)

 

 

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I think it depends on the situation.  I used to feel the way that some do who posted above, but changed my views somewhat with kids.  I think it depends on their ages and the overall skill level.  In a beginners league like t-ball for example, I don't see a problem with something like a participation trophy.  No score is kept and couldn't be anyway with how the game is played.  So I don't see a problem celebrating finishing the season with a trophy that just tells a kid that his hard work is recognized.  I think too as kids get older they certainly are aware that a participation trophy isn't really an award, but perhaps it can be viewed in a different way.  Not as a trophy per se, but as a memento of the season.  Just something to remember that when you were 8 you were on the Sharks or something.

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I think Buffett once said (or repeated): "How do you beat Michael Jordan?...Play him in something other than basketball."

 

Or cheat ;)

 

Or examine yourself to understand why you feel the need to beat Michael Jordan in the first place.

 

If you're kid isn't enjoying something, because he isn't good at it, maybe instead of ruining it for the other kids who are it would be better to encourage him to try something else.  I tried basketball in middle school and didn't last even a season.  I was horrible (maybe because I was shorter than most of the other kids).  So I stuck to baseball which I was at least okay.  In highschool I gave up sports all together and focused my time on music, something to which I was much better than average at.  I didn't demand my parents get rid of scoring in my town so that I could be happy doing something that I wasn't good at. Instead I found something that I could do.  This whole get rid of scoring, which is fundamental to the sport, is like saying "if my kid can't have fun doing this particular activity then no one can".  Making sure that your little prince or princess is happy in everything that they decide to do isn't the focus of all of humanity.  In fact it isn't even good for your kids to do this. If you make it easy for them to do things which they suck at, they may never find out what they are good at.

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Oh and btw, this cannot be left out of this topic of course:

 

"The only way not to lose is not to play." - War Games

 

I love that quote!  It explains why the suicide rate is so high and I suspect that raising a generation of self entitled little brats who, not only have no experience losing, but think that it isn't okay to lose, can only raise it.

 

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Oh and btw, this cannot be left out of this topic of course:

 

"The only way not to lose is not to play." - War Games

 

I love that quote!  It explains why the suicide rate is so high and I suspect that raising a generation of self entitled little brats who, not only have no experience losing, but think that it isn't okay to lose, can only raise it.

 

Joshua

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Oh and btw, this cannot be left out of this topic of course:

 

"The only way not to lose is not to play." - War Games

 

I love that quote!  It explains why the suicide rate is so high and I suspect that raising a generation of self entitled little brats who, not only have no experience losing, but think that it isn't okay to lose, can only raise it.

 

Joshua

 

Greetings, Professor Falken

 

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Oh and btw, this cannot be left out of this topic of course:

 

"The only way not to lose is not to play." - War Games

 

I love that quote!  It explains why the suicide rate is so high and I suspect that raising a generation of self entitled little brats who, not only have no experience losing, but think that it isn't okay to lose, can only raise it.

 

Joshua

 

Greetings, Professor Falken

 

Would you like to play a game?

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Oh and btw, this cannot be left out of this topic of course:

 

"The only way not to lose is not to play." - War Games

 

I love that quote!  It explains why the suicide rate is so high and I suspect that raising a generation of self entitled little brats who, not only have no experience losing, but think that it isn't okay to lose, can only raise it.

 

Joshua

 

Greetings, Professor Falken

 

Would you like to play a game?

 

How about a nice game of chess?

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saw this quote which I thought this thread would appreciate.

 

When a man is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something; he has been put on his wits...he has gained facts, learned his ignorance, is cured of the insanity of conceit, has got moderation and real skill.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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If we're trading quotes George Carlin (most people don't sufficiently appreciate his genius IMHO) has a few relevant quotes for this thread:

 

"If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten."

 

"It's never 'just a game' when you're winning."

 

"People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think."

 

"Most people with low self-esteem have earned it."

 

"Just think, right now as you read this, some guy somewhere is getting ready to hang himself."

 

And of course the most important:

 

"It's important in life if you don't give a shit. It can help you a lot."

 

 

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If we're trading quotes George Carlin (most people don't sufficiently appreciate his genius IMHO) has a few relevant quotes for this thread:

 

"If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten."

 

"It's never 'just a game' when you're winning."

 

"People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think."

 

"Most people with low self-esteem have earned it."

 

"Just think, right now as you read this, some guy somewhere is getting ready to hang himself."

 

And of course the most important:

 

"It's important in life if you don't give a shit. It can help you a lot."

 

+1

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And of course the most important:

 

"It's important in life if you don't give a shit. It can help you a lot."

 

Not giving a shit has helped me. It sometimes works against you as well however. As in anything a balance is important. And everyone is in constant search of equilibrium :)

 

Wow this thread turned philosophical

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