Competitiveness is something I was born with as sports were a big part of my life growing up. My brother and I lived at the gym watching my Dad coach, play old men’s basketball, or at a diamond watching slow pitch.  It was at a young age that I realized losing was one of the worst feelings in the world.  My earliest memory is being in gym class trying to out race all the boys. No matter how hard I tried, I never came in first.  Each time I lost I felt so angry.
My Dad was normally coaching my brother and I no matter what sport it was.  Most people thought he was harder on us than the rest of the team and they were right!  My brother and I knew it was just because he wanted to push us and wanted us to get better.  We had a few rides home that weren’t so fun but if he knew we were giving it our all that’s what really mattered.    
I believe that growing up around sports is a big part of who I am today.  Being a good loser takes maturity and practice.  It also teaches us to bounce back from disappointment.  Being a winner is something I will always strive for. 
I miss the good old days of track and field in elementary where we had to earn our ribbons.  I think it’s a valuable lesson for children to be able to participate in events and work for the reward.  Not everyone gets a participation ribbon in the game of life.  It’s ok for the child to feel a loss or a win.  They need to know these emotions and recognize early that it’s ok.  Some kids will practice more to achieve greater things while some may simply move on to something they will excel at.  I know as a parent I want to always teach my kid to work hard, practice hard, respect the game and other players.  It’s something that will serve them well no matter what they do.
By: Brittani Barber


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