Scoring is the walk of life

August 23, 2017

Try telling the winners of the 2016 under-12 Shepparton Soccer Association competition that scores should not be kept in junior soccer.

I have written about this a few times and those who know me, know I like to win.

I have white line fever and whether it is soccer, football, mixed netball or darts, I fancy my chances of getting the job done.

Winning has been instilled in me from a young age, and I am thankful for it.

My whole life is about winning and if I lose I take it as a learning experience.

On Thursday last week, I wrote an article in The News about Football Federation Victoria and its plans for next year.

Soccer’s structure from an under-12 level and younger is under national review, with the recommendation of no ladder or results to be recorded from next year.

In addition, FFV is also looking to modify the game, with juniors to play on smaller pitches with fewer numbers in an attempt to develop awareness, skills and decision-making — which I agree with.

In Europe, a majority of the countries are developing their juniors to become elite with the ball at their feet, but to take away the scoring aspect is an absolute farce.

If the plan to scrap scoring eventuated, it would replicate the mercy rule the Riddell District Football League introduced earlier this year, which focuses on the development rather than the results.

Children who make the jump from the MiniRoos will potentially play on a half-size pitch, increasing attacking and defending moments, more touches on the ball and more goals in FFV competitions.

However, the goals theoretically will not count with FFV hoping to scrap them altogether.

The governing body’s belief, which is stated in the Community Club Forum Under 12 Football 2018 & Beyond, is that the recommendation is based so players will focus on playing the game without worrying about results, ensuring coaches and parents can create the right learning environment.

In my opinion, that sentence is utter nonsense from FFV.

How can a child not worry about results when during the game, deep down within their little hearts and minds, they will be thinking about the score?

‘‘Are we winning? What is the score? Are we up or down?’’, therefore not allowing the children to focus on the ‘‘right learning environment’’.

We are developing into a nanny state, we are overprotective of our children and in life, sometimes you either win or you lose.

If this comes to fruition, how are we going to teach children about resilience?

From a young age resilience is instilled in us and if we want something enough we can get it, and if we take the winning mentality away from children then we will forever become second best.

These days children are wrapped in so much cotton wool; they are given medals for taking part in sport rather than winning, play modified party games so no-one loses and read books that have been changed so as not to offend them.

The result is a generation of kids who can not cope with the demands of daily life.

If kids can not handle the pressure of winning or losing, then they do not deserve the privilege of playing competitive team sports.

They should get given a Fitbit and be rewarded for each and every step they manage to make.

This seems to be the modern way, reward regardless of effort or achievement.

One of the most important lessons kids get out of belonging in a competitive competition is that there is going to be a winner and there is going to be a loser — and sooner or later you will be on both sides of that fence.

No-one likes losing, but it’s important to know what it feels like to be on the losing side because sometimes, even if you give it your all, the other guy is going to finish ahead of you.

It might stink but that is just how life works sometimes.

It is important that kids learn there is nothing wrong with losing either.

Losing actually helps you get better, if you let it — so keep the scores and give meaning to every game.

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