Monday, June 2, 2014

Controlling The Soft Touch

It's been going on for a long time, there is nothing new to report. The "trophies given to everyone" concept  has been an educational model for 20+ years, and we are seeing the effects of it today.'s still being used.

This text recently went out from one elementary school in Michigan :

The purpose of the day is for our school to get together for an enjoyable two hours of activities and provide an opportunity for students, teachers and parents to interact cooperatively. Since we believe that all of our children are winners, the need for athletic ability and the competitive “urge to win” will be kept to a minimum. The real reward will be the enjoyment and good feelings of participation.

In a perfect world, I will buy this. I will.

I do understand that ball games are just ball games. I get it.  Fellowship and socialization are part of the big picture here. There is no denying it.... but we do not live in Utopia.

Here's what really bothers me about it. I am critical of the fact they are trying to take the competitive spirit out of people. They are not teaching it any longer. As a result, kids will be far easier to control as they age.

Lets just take the drive and motivation out of them now, so they won't know about it later.

Folks, I believe the fellowship is important. You won't be successful in life if you don't have it. But trying to do your best and learning to compete is also important. Trying to extract every ounce of effort for a win is the essence of athletics. The motivation to play games has to be playing your best to win....while not humiliating the competition. It is a character builder, when it is taught and managed right.

Teamwork, perseverance, planning, execution of that planning, all are by products of any sport. The rewards are immediate, you cannot learn without all elements.

The products of this "everyone wins" groupthink will be nothing less than softness, and it will be measured by the level of ambivalence and indifference that the next generation internalizes. The new social more will be defined as just getting together, exercising, and having fun....nothing else.What this will produce is the multiplication of passive people, beta males, and metrosexuals. 

If this is the case, shouldn't we just get rid of it all and save the money? Shouldn't we just do calisthenics for an hour or two a day and forget about going through the motions?

PT formation at 0630, lattes at 0800. The leader will then address us all at 0900 to let us know what we should all be doing on that particular day.


  1. I find that competition in an SAT vocabulary game really motivates my students to study the word lists. Before I started using these competitive vocabulary-cards games, the students were simply not making much effort to learn the words. The result when students take the actual SAT's? Scores about 750 in Critical Reading.

    Competition is indeed a motivator.

  2. That's a perfect example as to why competition is important in free market economies. People work harder and the result is better products and services. Those who do not improve to beat the next guy, go out of business.

  3. Competition is only a motivator when kids feel success is a good thing. That's pretty much been beaten out of them in one way or the other.

    I HATE this new "everybody's a winner" thing. How does that help us create great workers? Corporate climbers who excel and do good things for society? for fathers to get the best for their families?
    Do you know that MANY schools don't keep score anymore? You're up for 10 minutes, then the other team's up for 10 minutes.
    Are we raising soldiers? People who will keep us safe?
    We're toast