Anyone buying this or is it just crap? You decide for yourself (and your kids)


4 Responses to “Anyone buying this or is it just crap? You decide for yourself (and your kids)”

  1. October 8, 2009 at 9:07 AM

    Copyright 2009 The Mobile Press Register Inc.
    All Rights Reserved
    Mobile Register (Alabama)

    September 24, 2009 Thursday
    02 EDITION

    SECTION: C; Pg. 05

    HEADLINE: Something to be learned from losing


    Early in the 1996 season, defending AHSAA Class 3A football champion Cordova lost a game to snap a 17-game winning streak.

    A few days later, while working at the nearby newspaper, I drew the assignment of previewing the next game and talking to the Cordova folks about losing for the first time in such a long time. And I’ll never forget the money quote.

    “I ain’t ever learned a durn thing from losing,” one of the coaches told me.

    That 13-year-old memory bubbled to the surface this week after receiving a handful of e-mails and phone calls bemoaning disappointing starts by area football teams. Yes, anyone who’s paying attention understands that several teams on both sides of Mobile Bay – including Robertsdale, Bryant, Mary Montgomery, Baker, Satsuma and Daphne – have struggled in the season’s opening month.

    But that doesn’t mean those coaches should be chased out of town with pitchforks and torches. Everybody wants to win, but aren’t there lessons to be learned from losing?

    Some folks believe adversity builds character. Not true. Adversity simply reveals character.

    This week, more than 400 schools across the state will play football, and half will walk away with a loss. One team’s success is another’s failure. One team sees Little Johnny run through the opposition for 300 yards and four touchdowns, and the other sees missed tackles, busted assignments and lethargic play.

    That’s why athletics teaches about life.

    Everyone will face adversity at some point, whether it’s losing a job or mourning a lost loved one. Nobody cares how many times we get knocked down. What matters is how often we get back up.

    One caller this week blew me away while complaining about a particular school’s prolonged losing, lamenting “bad coaching” and saying that losing football games will ultimately ruin the players’ lives. That’s too melodramatic for me.

    High school sports should teach youngsters more than blocking and tackling and how to hit a curveball. Athletics should – and this is how it works in the best programs, regardless of winning and losing – teach the value of hard work and teamwork and sacrificing personal success to achieve a collective goal.

    Sometimes, that’s winning a state championship. Other times, it’s having a winning season. And sometimes, it’s nothing more than representing your school with dignity, regardless of what the scoreboard says.

    Sometimes, the guy on the other side is just bigger, stronger and more talented. He’s just better. Winning is a goal, but it’s not the only goal.

    It takes guts to look an opponent in the eye, shake hands and say, “Good game” – even if it’s a ritual, not heartfelt praise – after losing under the Friday night lights.

    Iconic NFL coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.”

    He was wrong. Losing gives us an opportunity to re-evaluate what we’re doing, analyze what went wrong and plot a course on how to improve.

    Losing with class is always better than winning with conceit.

    Contact Josh Bean at:


    His column appears on Thursdays in the Press-Register.

  2. 2 Will
    October 8, 2009 at 10:54 AM

    A few things regarding Vince Lombardi and his comments:
    Vince Lombardi was not wrong. Don’t misinterpret his comment. His comment was directed at adults that play a game for a living. Their only job is to win. Even if the guy on the other side of the ball is bigger, stronger and more talented, their job is to find a way to beat him. They will not learn any lessons from losing.

    His comment was intended to address their internal attitude about winning and losing, not their visible actions after winning or losing. For example, if they don’t really care about winning, or, conversely, if losing doesn’t bother them because they get paid regardless of the outcome, then yes, they are losers!! That was the crux of his comment and it holds true today in professional sports.

    There is waaaaay to much emphasis on winning at the high school level and below. Much of this is self induced by coaches, parents, etc. I believe Vince’s comment can be applied in youth sports, albeit in a deeper, less obvious sense. The application of the comment lies in how kids approach everything in life, not in the outcome of each endeavor. Winning, in this sense, is about effort, commitment, sacrifice, and one’s willingness to achieve a goal. The true lessons to be learned lie in the ongoing evaluation and scrutiny of the process that has been implemented in pursuit of a given task. The fact that the score says you lost does not diminish the effort, just as a win should not serve to validate it. People in so many areas of life, (sports, business, investing, etc.) place more emphasis on the outcome and not enough emphasis on the process that achieved that outcome. This invariable leads to incorrect or poor decision making over the longer term.

  3. 3 eric
    October 9, 2009 at 8:15 AM

    Well said will. everyone on this blog who coaches should print your response and review it before and after every game they play.

  4. October 9, 2009 at 8:51 AM

    I really like that as well. Too many literalists out there who think that just because a successful coach says something, that it pertains to everyone.

    Besides, anyone quoted as saying, “I ain’t ever learned a durn thing from losing,” probably “ain’t” never learned a “durn thing” during his 5 year scholastic career either so I’m not quite sure how effective a coach that person might be.

    As a coach, I think the best quote from the article is, “Some folks believe adversity builds character. Not true. Adversity simply reveals character.”

    Having said that…the life lessons hidden deep within an athletic career are subtle at best, at least to the kids. Too many coaches try to connect the dots and tell the kids that this will help them later in life. A mistake in my mind. I suggest the kids simply get the lesson for what it is at that point in time. The kids rarely if ever have the ability to effective make that connection between present time and “later in life” so when a coach insists on pushing the lesson a little too far, that coach will lose the kids and there goes the lesson as well.

    Anyone else?

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