My son made a travel lacrosse team this summer, and undoubtedly, it was a higher level of coaching and competition than the rec team he plays with during the spring.
Naturally, the premium experience he encountered came at a premium!
Then, we entered our first of four tournaments, and we got slaughtered, losing five games in a row.
A large number of parents were infuriated, and it dawned on me, they weren’t paying for their kids to participate in a high-quality experience, they were paying to win games.
This response revealed the inherent fragility and selfishness of the human ego, which defines itself by winning/losing and shifted the attention from the kids who needed to learn how to lose graciously and made the loss about itself.
During a heart to heart with the coach, he said: “I refuse to make this about the parents, it’s about the kids, and teaching them how to develop their athleticism, confidence, and self-esteem.
Clearly, he wasn’t attached to the loss the same way some of the parents were, and his son played on the same team!
This, of course, isn’t anyone’s fault, nor is anyone a bad parent for being upset; it’s cultural conditioning and most likely a painful reminder of their own experiences with failure.
“Life is about losing everything, gracefully.” Mia Farrow