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Life Lessons

Just Having Fun

A New York Times article just a few days ago offers a glimpse into why kids play sports. The simple answer: to have fun.

This might shock some people, especially considering some of yesterday’s news. New Jersey’s top-ranked boys basketball team is facing expulsion over illegal practices, and a 13-year-old boy has committed to play football at the University of Southern California.

Anyone who thinks those stories reflect a lack of perspective can take some comfort in the story in The Times. Peter Barston, a sophomore at a prep school in Connecticut, has been touring his area, taking a survey of why kids play.

It turns out that amid all the coaching intensity, all the parental angst and all the sports tutors, kids are just trying to have a bit of fun and be with their friends. According to the survey, winning did not register as a priority.

I recently did a talk on team-building, and began by asking the coaches what they would love to have as their signature. In other words, how would someone complete this sentence if they happened to be passing the gym or the field: “There’s coach so-and-so. He’s (blank).”

All of the coaches gave good answers, but only one said he wanted to be known as a coach whose program is fun. In view of Peter Barston’s survey, more coaches should think that way!


One comment for “Just Having Fun”

  1. Amen Bro!

    Posted by FUNcoach | February 10, 2010, 8:37 am

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