TimeOut with Tambo: Scoreboard doesn’t determine winners and losers

I have been blessed. I have been able to spend a large portion of my life attending high school sporting events. Big-time venues have scoreboards with huge television screens and plenty of scoreboards so that one can see the score from any seat in the stadium.

However, my favorite sporting events are not the ones at billion-dollar stadiums. I enjoy a high school athletic event more than any professional event.

Youth and high school games don’t always have electronic, computer driven, multi-purpose scoreboards. My grandsons often play games at parks where there are no scoreboards at all.

One doesn’t have to see a scoreboard to know who the winners and losers are. Oftentimes the actual score doesn’t accurately tell who are the real winners and losers. Just watch the game. Watch the players. Watch the coaches. Watch their body language. Watch the spectators, parents, boosters, and supporters. They not only give an accurate indication of who the winners and losers are, they are often the reason the participants are winners and losers.

Watch the game. If both teams are playing the game the way it is supposed to be played, then there are no losers. If both teams hustle on and off the field, diamond, court, mat, or rink and try their best, dive for passes, hit balls, lose balls and appear to be having fun competing, then both teams have winners in their line-ups.

Watch the coaches. If the coaches are coaching their players and correcting them when they make errors or mistakes and instructing them on how to correct those errors, then they are doing their jobs. If they are spending more time and effort yelling at the officials and complaining about the officials’ calls, then they are not doing their jobs, probably because they can’t do their jobs. If they are complaining about the actions or mistakes of their players instead of correcting those errors, then they are not there for their players. They are there for themselves.

Watch the body language. If the body language of the players and coaches is positive, then they are having fun and they are winners. If players on either or both teams loaf, go less than full speed, complain excessively about the officiating and the coaches, and their body language indicates that they wish that they were somewhere else, they are not winners. If the players and coaches spend more energy throwing equipment and tantrums than they do playing the game, then they are losers. If the coaches’ body language shows frustration because his or her players are not doing what they were told to do, then the coach is a loser.

A coach doesn’t tell players what to do. A coach coaches athletes what to do by explaining the proper technique and giving as many repetitions in practice that it takes to learn and perform a skill.

Watch the spectators, parents, boosters, and supporters. If they support their team and their son or daughter in a positive manner during and after the game, then they are winners and the student/athletes are getting a positive message. If they spend more time jeering the other team than they do cheering, then they are losers and the athletes they are supporting will get the wrong message and will end up being losers like them.

If after the game they make excuses and complain about the officials, the coach, and the playing conditions, then they are sending the wrong message. If they are more concerned about the score than they are about how well their team played, then no scoreboard is necessary. Fans play an important part in whether a team is a winner or a loser.

Every player, coach, and fan gets frustrated at one time or another. But when it is the norm and not the exception, then that is the sign of a loser. Every coach, player, and fan gets upset with an official’s call. Officials make mistakes just like coaches and players only usually not as many. But when every game is lost because of an official’s call or all of the refs are against us, then real reason for losing is not the officials. When a player makes a mistake or error, then that is just a part of the game. When an official makes a mistake it, too, is a part of the game, not a conspiracy. Deal with it.

When a player shows poor sportsmanship once, then that is the player’s and his/her parents’ fault. When a player shows poor sportsmanship more than once, then that is the coach’s fault. Players will do what the coach lets them do and coaches them to do. If after a loss the coach only tells the athletes what they did wrong, then the coach is a loser. If after a loss the coach tells the athletes what they did well and what they can do to improve and how to eliminate errors and mistakes, then the coach is a winner and so is his/her team.

Every coach gets frustrated. Bad coaches are always frustrated because they can’t coach. Ditto with players. Fans who are always upset usually don’t understand the game.

Just for fun, go to a game or athletic competition that you don’t have an emotional interest in. Watch the teams, see who is having fun, playing hard and smiling when they come off the field, court, or diamond. They are the winners. Look into the stands and see if the spectators are clapping and encouraging. They are the winners.

Losers can become winners as easily as winners can become losers. It doesn’t take a scoreboard to tell the difference.

mistakes just like coaches and players only usually not as many. But when every game is lost because of an official’s call or all of the refs are against us, then real reason for losing is not the officials. When a player makes a mistake or error, then that is just a part of the game. When an official makes a mistake it, too, is a part of the game, not a conspiracy. Deal with it.

When a player shows poor sportsmanship once, then that is the player’s and his/her parents’ fault. When a player shows poor sportsmanship more than once, then that is the coach’s fault. Players will do what the coach lets them do and coaches them to do. If after a loss the coach only tells the athletes what they did wrong, then the coach is a loser. If after a loss the coach tells the athletes what they did well and what they can do to improve and how to eliminate errors and mistakes, then the coach is a winner and so is his/her team.

Every coach gets frustrated. Bad coaches are always frustrated because they can’t coach. Ditto with players. Fans who are always upset usually don’t understand the game.

Just for fun, go to a game or athletic competition that you don’t have an emotional interest in. Watch the teams, see who is having fun, playing hard and smiling when they come off the field, court, or diamond. They are the winners. Look into the stands and see if the spectators are clapping and encouraging. They are the winners.

Losers can become winners as easily as winners can become losers. It doesn’t take a scoreboard to tell the difference.

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Mar 8 2012. Filed under Columnists, Columns, Timeout with Tambo. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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