Saturday, October 1, 2011

Are We Teaching Our Kids To Be Wimps? Part 2

In my last post, I went on a bit of a rant about how we are not helping kids when we reward mediocrity and punish success. And wouldn't you know it, I saw this story yesterday that is a shining example of just how screwed up we are in America (and especially in the public school system). Here's the video:

Boy Banned From Scoring Touchdowns

So, what is the school teaching the kids by enacting this rule? One, it teaches the kids who aren't as good as Demias that in life, instead of practicing and getting better, the government should punish the ones who are excelling so that we "level the playing field." This rule punishes excellence and rewards mediocrity.

And what does it say to Demias? It says, hey kid, you're doing too good. You shouldn't succeed so much. For a lot of kids, this would be a big de-motivator. In an effort to get more playing time (which is why kids play sports to begin with), many kids would get the message and lower themselves to mediocrity to please the powers that be. Luckily, Demias isn't listening. He knows that next year he can score as much as he wants, which will probably be a lot.

Sports teach kids a lot about life, and a lot about our wonderful free market system. It says (when it's not tampered with by bureaucrats) "practice hard, play well, and your efforts will be rewarded", and "don't put any effort in, don't try hard, and you will lose, and losing stinks." But instead, when the government run schools get involved, we see that the message is now, "Everyone be mediocre, that way no one's feelings get hurt." What a horrible message to send to this generation of kids.


  1. Great post! I agree, it is SUCH a horrible message to send to kids. What is even more horrible, in my opinion, is that parents are still sending their kids to these liberalized government-run schools.

  2. Missy,
    I agree that government run schools are bad (in general), and getting worse every day (there are some good ones, though). On the other hand there are a lot of parents who simply don't have the resources/opportunity to send their children to private school or to home school. The problem isn't necessarily public schools (they used to be quite good), but it's just the way the system has morphed into a very liberal place which does more to socialize kids than it does to teach them how to be productive citizens.

  3. This kid knows what it takes to succeed. Instead of shutting him down, he should be used as a shining example of what the other kids need to do to get better.

    Many who are involved in sports see only success when you are on top. Kids should be competing with how they were yesterday. If they are improving, they should be celebrated.

    This is what handicapping is for. I know they use it in golf and trap shooting. Create a scoring advantage for the underdog, so that whoever puts in their best personal effort can win. Football doesn't have handicapping, but they do have different leagues. Demias might benefit from playing in an older league. This one doesn't seem to have anything more to teach him.

    One more way to put it. Some teams dominate lesser teams, and in a gesture for the lesser team to save face, the dominant team doesn't play as hard. If every other team paled to them, then they would probably have more fun playing in a tougher league. In professional sports, the player trading policies and revenue sharing helps equalize the teams. This makes for a more exciting game.

    All that said, I do agree that the way this was handled rewards mediocrity.

  4. Peter,
    I think putting him in a more elite league is a great idea, but playing for an older team that would equal his skill would probably put him with guys who are so large it would probably hurt him.

    I do disagree with the general idea that when kids play teams that are a lot better they give up. I think that happens more now simply because we've put this idea out there that we should "level the playing field" for kids.

    I've played a lot of different sports, and in general I played much better and tried a lot harder when we played a better team. It raises the bar.