You might think to yourself, “Doesn’t being involved in a youth sports league require a kid to be extremely competitive?” However, there’s a big difference between the type of competition you typically see in youth sports versus our idea of healthy competition. We believe the focus has been shifted away from kids to boosting the self-esteem of their parents and the win/loss record of their coaches.
Toniel, an i9 Sports Mom, shared a great story on our Facebook page about how playing i9 Sports T-ball actually helped her six-year-old son Cash control his extremely competitive behavior.
“Kindergarten was a struggle. And one of the biggest issues we faced was his extreme competitiveness. I know a lot of kids his age are [competitive] to some degree, but it was intense enough to hinder his academics because he was more worried about if someone else was going to finish their workbook page first. He couldn't focus. And when he didn't know an answer it would most often end in tears. My husband and I were baffled and probably read every article written on the issue, but nothing seemed to work. A friend suggested he get into sports! Duh, why didn't I think of that? (Probably because I was scared he'd melt down on first base) but I knew it was exactly what he needed.”
Our Pee Wee sports curriculum is designed to help children learn the skills of the sport while teaching them about values like sportsmanship and integrity. Winning and losing with dignity is an important part of growing up, but we don’t let the score become more important than kids having fun on the field.
At every game and practice, we teach and celebrate good sportsmanship.
Toniel believes that the weekly sportsmanship medal was a great incentive for her son each week and helped him recognize that winning isn’t always the most important thing.
“On the way to the game, there was always a lot of talk about who might get the sportsmanship medal that day,” she said.
“I'm proud to say, he has grown bounds and leaps. And I think he's going to have a great 1st grade year.”
By the end of a Pee Wee season, we want children to understand the basics of being part of a team and the principles of good sportsmanship. But most importantly, we want the experience to be kid-centered and fun.
“Watching the practice and game each Saturday was so much fun. The coaches had such great energy and the kids were having a blast, parents cheering, lots of excitement!” said Toniel. “We looked forward to each Saturday!”