Winning is a huge deal in our household. We don't mess around with it. Even when we play boardgames, WE ALL KNOW THE OBJECTIVE - it's to WIN.
On game night, it goes down in our household. It gets super competitive. There’s trash talking from everyone. Crying, quitting, gloating, yelling, taunting, and much more.
But there’s one thing that’s super clear: the objective is TO WIN.
Our kids know the importance of winning. That’s right - winning. You know, the thing that seems taboo in today’s society. Everyone wants to talk about “the fun” and “the journey” but people forget about the objective.
The Kids Know the Score - Let’s Not Insult Their Intelligence
I’ve coached many sports with little kids and the one thing that remains constant is they want to know the score.
As adults, we try to play it off as if the score doesn't matter but the kids aren’t dumb. They keep track.
So why do we pretend like we don’t care about winning to ourselves and to the kids? Why don’t we outline the objective of playing.
I know why.
Adults Devalue Winning
Because we’re afraid to tell kids that there will be winners and losers. *GASPS GALORE*
How dare us tell kids that they could be losers. That they could end up losing badly and will need to improve their skills and abilities in certain areas.
We’re scared to tell them the importance of winning because most adults don’t value winning, don’t know how to win and have devalued winning.
When I began coaching kids, I made winning the number one objective as to why we played the sport. It’s my version of The Decision.
Most people scoff at the idea of speaking about winning as the objective to playing. Most people are losers.
Yup. I took it there. You will have fun playing the game. You already know that or you wouldn’t set out to play the game. So you’re not playing for the fun of the game, you’re playing to win.
As a coach, I always made it clear that the objection was TO WIN. And guess what, I haven't had a problem with my intentions since (The Decision). It’s because kids don’t want you to bullshit them.
Trey played basketball at the local park district in Illinois in 2017. His team was terrible and went 0-6 for the season. We would constantly ask him,
Us: “Did you at least have fun?”
Trey: “Yea, … I guess. But we sucked. BADLY.
Fast forward to September 2018, and he played on a team that I coached. The 2018 team went 6-0. He was elated. The same question was asked but he had a different response:
Us: “Did you have fun this season?”
Trey: “Yes!!! We were amazing! We went undefeated!! This season was the best season EVER!!
These were not words that we put into his mouth. This is coming straight from Trey on how he felt about both seasons.
You see, the lack of winning in his first season of basketball weighed on him tremendously. Regardless of what I’d say about “the fun of the game,” he wanted to fucking win.
THAT’S MY BOY!
When you grow up just wanting to have fun, that’s what you do. Have fun. You don’t know anything other than “having fun.”
That’s until life gets real and it’s time to start winning on purpose. It’s challenging to turn it on because you’ve been lied to all your life about how it’s about the fun with no focus on what the objective is to be:
Get away from the losers and surround yourself with winners. They don’t win by accident. They just know what the objective is.