Message from the Author

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Gerry Crowley

Most children love to participate in some form of activity. That activity can be some form of ball game, or a checker game. It can be individual or team oriented. It can be singing in the choir or dancing. It can be as a participant or a spectator and it can be a boy or a girl. Age makes no difference and their reason is always the same---"because it's fun".

We have all seen kids playing amongst themselves such games as road hockey, basketball, or maybe just playing with marbles and we have all seen these activities without any adults involved.

Without any adults involved? How is that possible? Adults make it better for them. Adults can add organization, make up rules, bring in officials, and divide them up into teams so there can be a winning side. Right away things are better. Or are they? It should work but all too often, there is a problem.

If we make it better why then, are there ejection's from games, forfeits, verbal abuse and in severe situations, physical confrontations. When the kids are playing amongst themselves there seldom is a problem and if a problem does develop, kids will quickly resolve it. Yet when adults are involved, and a problem comes up, the results often escalate to a point that there is no fun for anyone. This happens in every sport, every age group and with boys or girls teams. Having heard a thousand stories one thing has become very clear---the problem is always of the same root cause. One can argue all they want but all is said and done, the real problem can be traced to a focus on winning at all costs.

So what is 'Winning Without Winning?'

This is a book that connects with this problem head on and with gentle philosophy, creates an awareness that has caused many coaches to change the way they coach. Teachers reading 'Winning Without Winning' have changed the way they teach and the attitude of many parents became more positive.

Children need to play and to have fun. Studies have shown that they learn more and perform better when they enjoy what they are doing. There is so much our children can learn from organized sports, not the least of which should be to feel good about their own personal accomplishments and their contributions to the team as a whole. As parents, coaches, and officials it is our job to set examples. We need to become aware of what winning really is, to understand how to make all children feel like winners---for the sake of the children. And are they not those for whom we toil?

Applying what I have learned to coaching children is not magic.

It's attitude. And it works!

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