_Summerland_ and Society (was Re: Yet Another Enforced Absence)

Robyn Starkey rohina at shaw.ca
Thu Feb 27 15:32:34 EST 2003

>I wouldn't think so.  It's just like any other sport.  (I'm not a baseball
>fan either; the one time I saw the Rangers play, I had Dr. Pepper spilled
>all over my lap, and it sort of ruined the enjoyment.)  But I played soccer
>as a kid, with my dad as the coach, and he chose not to allow those problems
>to enter our games.  Everyone played equal times--even the not-so-good
>players--we had to behave respectfully to the other team, and he insisted
>that we focus on playing well regardless of winning. Which isn't to say that
>we didn't try to win, and we were a pretty good team.  And yes, we weren't a
>professional team, so there's that difference as well.  The point is that
>all of those flaws come about because players and coaches are more concerned
>with winning than anything else.  You can play even competitive sports
>without getting overly caught up in that--it's just very difficult and
>usually not worth the trade-off when you get to the levels where you can
>make money from playing.  On the one hand, bags of money; on the other, your
>personal honor.  I wonder how often the choice goes in favor of the cash.

Probably not as often as the cynical might think. My husband could easily 
have been a professional soccer player (on a national team at junior 
level), but he didn't have the temperament for it. He hates the way people 
focus on winning at the expense of personal honour and playing by the 
rules. He still plays and coaches, but chooses to do it at lower levels 
because parental pressure and focus on winning that happen as soon as kids 
get any good makes him sick.

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