Cheating to win

Posted Thursday, July 18th, 2013. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

I just returned from my older son’s football game. Unfortunately our team does not have as many players as many of our competitors. The team we played, for instance, seemed to have 30 boys on the bench while we had 6 or 8 players. This has presented a problem in past. Tonight we lost 35-18. I am okay with losing when the game played is done so with integrity and talent. Unfortunately this didn’t happen.

As we sat watching the other teams’ kids do one cheap shot after the other (and yes the refs called some penalties) what really shook me was that the parents of this team were supporting this behaviour. The worst offender were the coaches who didn’t seem to care how the tackle happened or making sure they retrieved the ball. Their only objective was to push through and score AT ALL COSTS. I was disgusted and appalled that a parent would condone this behaviour.

Some people might be saying to themselves, this is sports get over it, cheap shots are part of the game. My response is, “Really?”. Is teaching our kids to create a ‘win’ at all costs what we really want to teach them? Is this not the behaviour that led to such ponzi schemes as Madoff and others? Or companies that ‘smudged’ their returns so that their position showed better on the stock exchange or to the shareholders? This is the behaviour that led us down the path of greed and manipulation.

Am I making too much of my son’s football game? I don’t think so. Teaching our kids to go against the rules, defy the law, do whatever you need to at all cost to come first is teaching them that you need to manipulate and cheat to win. You can be number one or the best in your field or industry without having to resort to this behaviour.

Do I think it is going to change any time soon? Likely not. Competition is a part of life and one you will likely find yourself: competing for a job, competing for a trophy, competing for top position in your field. You will likely also experience disappointment. That is also part of life. I really hope that when you are faced with this situation you do your best. This way you can walk away with your head held high. When I look at the price that cyclist Lance Armstrong paid I ask, “Was it worth it?”. He is an example of winning at all costs. He may not be able to ever do the one thing he loves most in the world: competing as a cyclist on the world stage.

I am all for a win, even learning from a loss, however not at the cost of your integrity. Maybe I am wrong however I feel the only person you truly want to compete against is yourself for a better time or a better finish.

Kids are impressionable so think about what you are passing on to them. Lead by example and walk the walk.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend.

All my love,


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2 Responses to “Cheating to win”

  1. lower back pain on July 22nd, 2013 9:33 am

    I’d have to consult you here. Which is not something I usually perform! I enjoy reading through a post that will make people feel. Also, many thanks for allowing me personally to comment!

  2. Sandra on July 26th, 2013 9:08 am

    Thank you for your response!


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