Here is a quote from an article recently published in our local paper regarding cutting competitive team sports in the Middle Schools.
they (those on the school board who want the cuts) believe it is developmentally inappropriate for middle school students to be subjected to cuts if they lack the skills to make the team. In contrast, intramural activities are all inclusive, allowing everyone to participate without loss of self-esteem.
Thank God we have at least some parents and students in our county with their heads screwed on correctly…To their credit; of many concerned parents and students were quoted as saying . . .
teams foster a sense of school spirit. They develop skills so that students can compete at the high school level and perhaps help them get into college and win scholarships. Teams foster a work ethic that can result in better grades, build character and make students stronger for having to deal with not making the team and inspire working harder to achieve their goals.
Without such opportunities some students would never reach their true potential and might get into trouble.
The school board members voting to cut the sports programs also hinted at fiscal responsibility and transferring the cost and liability of such programs to the private sector. However, they failed to state how much transferring to a private sector intramural program would cost or what the potential savings would be.
They also stated:
intramural programs better support the middle school philosophy that is inviting, safe, inclusive and supportive of all
I can not tell you how much this article pisses me off. There is something seriously wrong with society. I don’t know when or where or even exactly how this all started; but many years ago it manifested itself into trophies for everyone and a sense of entitlement in students.
Note to recent graduates:
You are not entitled to a job. You are not entitled to a high paying job. In fact, if you have learned anything at all just about the only thing you are entitled to is Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Notice, you are not entitled to be happy.
Just to pursue it.
Work hard, appreciate what you earn, learn and get out of life. Which includes your successes and failures.
Eleanor Roosevelt said Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product.
And since I seem to be stuck on quotes, here is one from Vince Lombardi which is appropriate to all those wise registered voters with their heads screwed on straight about sports keeping kids out of trouble…
A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall.
Organized, competitive sports build character and develop skills in all students which are necessary becoming civilized, well rounded and strong members of society.
I see too many students now-a-days who do not know how to handle failure. They do not know how to handle stress; or how to work together to achieve a common goal, or to understand that often one has to sacrifice, or at least risk, something in order to win the battle.
Not everyone can, or will, win all the time, nor will everyone lose all the time either.
How one handles defeat, challenges, and obstacles is one of the keys towards learning how to succeed.
Vince Lombardi also said Leaders are made, not born and that hard work is the price to be paid in order to achieve the goal of being a leader.
It is my firm belief that competitive sports play an integral part in the development of successful, well rounded members of society.
Again, happiness, although often felt and appreciated from achieving or even striving for a goal, is often a by-product.
Recently, my family, like many others across the county, attended at least one graduation ceremony. Graduation is a symbolic achievement often marked by the passage in life from student, or athlete, to entry into the real world.
The question is, how many will be ready? How many will feel entitled? How many will have a goal, other than to be happy?
Remember, happiness is not a goal.
With all the commencement speeches that will be and have been said, not many will say it better than this one. Perhaps you have seen it.
My hope is that everyone will. Though not directly related to sports, it says what I have been trying to knock into peoples heads for a long time; far better and much more entertainingly than I ever could.