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I have grown up in the sports and coaching world my whole life. Sports have always been a huge part of my life and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to become a coach when I got older. I have now been coaching and teaching for three years.

Do you know what’s the biggest problem I have seen in this short amount of time with kids? Their sense of entitlement. Kids feel that just because they are out for that sport and show up to practice that they should automatically be given some sort of reward. How about the reward is refining your skills and getting better? Why do they have to be given a t-shirt or medal just for showing up to something?

I have noticed a problem with upperclassmen feeling that they are entitled to a starting spot or more playing time than underclassmen just because of their age. I am the kind of coach that plays the kids who deserve the spot and who are the best fit for the spot. Regardless of age. Age does not and should not matter when it comes to who gets the playing time on the court. Why is it that kids are feeling this way more so now than in the past? Maybe I just notice it more as a coach because of some of the issues I have to deal with, but I never remember any of my teammates complaining about not getting a starting spot just because they were a senior.

The biggest problem I have noticed with adults? That every kid is a winner. In what world is this even remotely true? Does everyone that applies for a job get the job just because they applied? No. We are giving kids a false idea of what it’s like to be in the real world. It would be nice if everything in the world was fair and everyone got the same opportunities and chances as everyone else, but that isn’t how it works. Some people are more qualified for the job or position than others.

A lot of schools try to avoid having sports competitions or handing out medals within their school in elementary because not every kid gets one. I’m sorry, but why should every kid get one just because they were there? It takes away from the kids getting medals for first, second, third, etc. because they deserved it. By trying to reward every single kid for showing up to things it takes away from their sense of competition. They get to junior high and high school sports and don’t have much competitiveness in themselves because they never had to compete to be the best.

We need to have kids and teammates that accept their roles and are supportive of their peers and their team. We need kids that are willing to work hard to better themselves and the team. Not just the team. We have got to start changing the mindset that so many kids are growing up with. We need to show them you have to put in the time and effort to get to the top, because not everyone is given an equal opportunity in everything.

 

* I realize not everyone cares about sports and does not feel the same as I do about this topic. Please remember this is just my opinion, take it as you wish.

Erica Turner

I recently married my husband, Tyler, on May 30. We live in Western Nebraska and have two energetic dogs, Bugs (German Shorthair) and Jax (Chocolate Lab). I am the 5th and 6th grade English teacher at Perkins County Elementary and am getting ready to start my first year as head coach for the Perkins County High School volleyball team. I stay busy helping on the farm (well, more like driving the guys from field to field), playing in women's golf league, and just being outside.

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