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Youth sports: Competition is a part of the game




Re: “Is development, inclusion and fun still at the heart of youth sports?” [May 24, Opinion]:

Natalie Hummel overlooks the reality that all sports are competitive. She refers to “competitive year-round sports programs” as though they offer the only access to youth sports. But they are not. Think of pickup basketball. There are levels of skill in every sport, the common denominator of which is competition.

The failure to make the high school team doesn’t mean that young athletes never play baseball, football or basketball. At every level athletes learn cooperation, teamwork, the path to self-improvement, and self-evaluation. But competition is a reality which will promote rigor and be meaningful to all who wish to be the best they can be.

The rejection of merit in the interest of inclusion or equity in sports most clearly is demonstrated to be irrelevant, best exemplified in college and professional sports, where merit is found in performance, sportsmanship and teamwork, all fine qualities in any serious career aspirations. Which gets us to the development of aspirations enabled by youth sports.

Robert Swegle, Bellevue

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