Youth sports has changed dramatically over the last couple of decades. Being competitive and striving to be a winner was encouraged in the past and now seems to be frowned upon in terms of competing to come out on top with every child getting a trophy for simply participating.
It comes as no surprise that Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers isn’t a fan of the things are done in youth sports today. Bryant believes being competitive at a young age is healthy and encourages kids to play team sports rather than sit in front of a television or computer.
Bryant said the following about being competitive and how it should be encouraged in an interview with ESPN:
“We have to promote to them that it’s OK to be competitive. I think we’ve gone in the completely opposite direction of saying, ‘Everybody is a winner, you come in 10th place and you still get a trophy.’ I think it’s more fun when kids actually compete and they understand who finished 1-2-3. If I’m third, the person that’s first is probably going to be talking trash and it’s going to motivate me to be No. 1. But it’s all in a very good-hearted way.”
Along with Bryant chiming in on the advantages of competition in youth team sports, former president Bill Clinton, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp and a few Olympians also gave their opinions on the subject.
An interesting topic to say the least as things continue to change for children competing or simply going through the motions in team sports.
The full interview of Bryant, Kemp, Clinton and others will air on Feb. 9 on ESPN2.
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