Win or Lose?

Interview with young child reveals how they view a winner or loser. Competitive sports are a massive part of most children’s upbringing. Most of today’s children engage in a large number of extra-curricular sporting activities, including both team sports and individual. I decided to question what winning and losing really means to a child in today’s society.

The child was an eleven-year-old female. I watched and observed her match in the freezing cold air of November, which lasted an elongated one and a half hours. After a tiring match full of feistiness and effort, her team won an impressive score of 13-7.

Afterwards, in an interview, I asked her what it means to be a winner or loser, and she responded, “When I think about winning, I think about medals and standing on a podium; I don’t think about the personal growth or stepping stones, I just think about how everyone else sees and labels my win.” This shows that she only thinks about the outside perception, so I asked her about her inner principals.

“It’s a lot better to be honorable than just to win,” she said, justifying this with: “the other team is exactly like me so I should play fair.” When asked about the importance of her wins and losses, the child paused before answering, “If we lose sometimes I do feel sad if I feel like the referee was biased or unfair. If we lose and they won by fair play, that’s okay and I understand.”

This led me to enquire how important teamwork is to her. She replied, “it means to me that I try and help and advise my team by understanding them… it’s important to different people’s techniques…” As a captain, she declared, “even though support is important, it’s mainly the advice and knowing their weak spots to make the best of them.” She wishes to use everyone to their advantage and know them well enough to use these particular strengths.

Lastly, I decided to try and find out her school’s perception on competitiveness and if it influences her. She frowned and hesitated before answering that her preparatory teacher told her she is “only in it to have fun, not to win it. This gave me much less energy and made me care less. I think the school should be better with competitiveness.” The school makes her feel less interested in playing, but she chooses to rely on her own competitive streak to fuel the matches.

In conclusion, I understand from my findings that today’s children desire to be as competitive as possible. They have a passion for winning. The interviewee accepts people’s flaws and weaknesses, but chooses to focus on their strengths in order to win. However, even the younger children understand the importance of honorable matches and fair play. My interviewee and her team felt satisfied only if it was a fair win.

Isabella Beling