It's a hot, windy day here in the Texas Panhandle. High is expected be in the low 90's and already at noon, the wind is gusting upwards of fifty miles an hour.
I hate the wind -- always pushing -- shoving -- never relenting. It's brutal on my nerves. The hard and longer it blows, the worse my mood gets. So I apologize for my surly demeanor which is sure to shine through in today's rant.
The Pre-K soccer team I'm coaching won again last night to improve our unofficial record to 5-2. I say unofficial because there is no official score kept. Yes, that bugs me. In my way of thinking, there is much to learn by keeping score. Kids need to learn how to win, or lose gracefully, whatever the case may be.
Sure, at their age, the most important thing is for them to have fun and hopefully learn a few basics of the game while they're at it. I'm not advocating turning the games into high-pressure, win-at-all cost affairs. I rotate all my players equally and make no special effort to win by playing the better athletes more, but the kids ask me a thousand times during each game what the score is. My in-game stock answer is, "It's tied, so you better play hard."
Guess what most of them say, "No it's not. We have four or five or six goals and they only have ..."
The kids know. The kids care. The kids like to be rewarded for their effort and work just like everyone else.
So why dance around the truth just for the sake of not declaring a loser? No one wins all the time. Not in sports, not in life, and if you don't learn that fact until adulthood the truth is going to smack you right between the eyes. I'm proud to say every last kid on my team has improved during the season. They are now passing the ball, following the rules, and smiling all the while. There has been the occasional tear after a bump or bruise but their excitement and joy quickly overrides the injury. Again, it is good to learn that sometimes you have to pick yourself up off the ground and keep going .
I played a lot of sports in my day, and by no means did I win every time. But you know what? They still kept score. And as far as I can tell the experience didn't ruin my self-esteem.
Learning to deal with failure is a must of you are a writer seeking publication. Or an author with work already out there waiting for the cruel hand of critics. Sure, there are plenty of writers who refuse to submit queries, then there are some who blame the short-sighted agents and editors for not recognizing their brilliance. My guess is they grew up not keeping score.
So what do you think? To keep score or not? Weigh in and tell my why I'm wrong, or right. Call me an imbecile only fit to coach the Bad News Bears. But tell me something, because that's how I keep score on this blog.
And be sure and check out Christine Eldin's blog starting Saturday, as she kicks of author's week. there will be contests and book giveaways, and discussions with several talented authors so stop by and participate if you can.