You can’t blame the kids; they don’t schedule games or recruit players.
When youth sports is presented with all these bells and whistles, it becomes a slippery slope for many adults who are lured into thinking that winning a high profile tournament means something more grand for 12-year-old kids or for themselves. What it means is this: After these kids have been treated like superstars for a few weeks, reality sets in that they really aren’t superstars and must go back to being a normal 12 year old.
Sure, adults can help kids find perspective by teaching them to have humility and gratitude for the great opportunity they were given. But when adults cheat to make it all happen, their words become empty and meaningless. No matter what the adults tell these kids now, they have basically delivered a lie.
It’s easy to be in denial about cheating for a while, but as time passes, the truth remains.
The kids are always the ones who pay the price. Unfortunately, as they grow older, kids who have been victims of adult cheating in sports will have to decide if they really won that championship fair and square or if they had an unfair advantage because of the self-centered actions of adults. I’m sure kids would rather value the memory of coaches and parents who played by the rules and taught them to have strong character, and that real winning is knowing you did your best and played the game honestly, whatever the outcome.
Kids understand youth sports perfectly, but many adults do not.
Along with developing skill and physical fitness, youth sports presents one of the best opportunities in today’s society to teach kids the lessons of life while doing something they enjoy. This is best accomplished when parents and coaches lead by example. Kids have a tendency to follow the example of adults, good or bad. Actions speak louder than words! When kids grow up and follow an adult’s bad example, it becomes clear that winning that championship as a 12-year-old kid didn’t really mean much after all.