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PREP VOICES : ON CAMPUS : Q: How much emphasis should be placed on winning at the high school level?

March 23, 1994|Voices was complied by Prep Sports Editor Bob Rohwer

"It may be politically incorrect to encourage competitive sports and emphasize winning because it is insensitive to the feelings of the loser. Wrong! To compete and try to win is to risk losing. That's healthy. We must teach our young people that it is necessary and worthwhile to risk failure to make an attempt at success. An excellent lesson of competitive sports is that if you lose today, you go back, strengthen your weaknesses, and try to win tomorrow."

Joel Bruce

Santa Ana

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"The obsession with winning is at the core of what's wrong with the world today. People don't see the relationship between competitiveness and the violence which pervades this society from top to bottom.

"In the world of sports, we're not interested in playing or even watching a game just because we love the game, except for a few great (athletes). How many times have you seen someone switch the channel or leave the stadium because the score was 87-57 with three minutes to play. We don't care about the game anymore, just who wins.

"In life we have Watergates and Whitewaters and gang-bangers and jealous husbands and wives killing each other for the same reasons: They want to win at all costs, or because they're humiliated by losing. We see life as a struggle to be won or lost.

"Winning is not the only thing, just the final result. What we need to do is begin to look at life and sports like music. You don't listen to a symphony or a single song just to hear the last note. In fact, the last note is no more important than any of the others."

Waayl Salih

Rancho Santa Margarita

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"What's wrong with winning? Winning at all costs is not right (i.e. illegal recruiting, ineligible players). Winning because you have a good program, good athletes, fine coaching and a winning tradition is right. No one likes to lose, period. Losing is not good.

"My son plays on a winning high school football team, with a winning tradition, with good coaching and good athletes. We enjoy winning. I am proud that we are winners rather than losers."

James Santoro

Yorba Linda

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"The original Olympic Games ground to a shuddering halt due to the introduction of professionalism. Does the victory of our 'Dream Team' professionals at Barcelona ring a warning bell?"

Joe McGuigan

Laguna Beach

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"There are certain conditions as to how much emphasis should be put on winning. Coaches who have teams that are young and inexperienced should use practice and game time to teach fundamentals that are necessary to win games. It should not be a time for scolding and pushing kids into something that may not be tangible at the time. Constructive criticism is the key.

"On the other hand, coaches who have teams with talent, experience and the desire to win should be able to push their kids to the next level of play."

Scott Enrico

Assistant football coach

Sunny Hills

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"Yes, winning is everything. But only if winning is defined in a much larger sense, both on and off the court or the field. The definition of winner must include the development of balance and perspective as well as humility, camaraderie, loyalty, respect for self and others and grace under pressure. Yes, it's lots of fun to take first place. But the real winner does his or her best at all times. More narrowly defining the term winner --to refer only to the guy with the most points--makes us all losers. The obsession with getting ahead, no matter what the cost, weakens that sense of cohesion that is the essence of community."

Karen Evarts

Newport Beach

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"Winning is the key to success and will be the foundation of many things yet to come. It is important to our society to be the best you can be. We all must pitch in to make winning the No. 1 priority for the kids' sake."

Abhishek Jain

Esperanza freshman

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"Vince Lombardi's quote should be changed to, 'Striving to win isn't everything, it's the only thing.' That should be the most important objective of participation. Winning will be a result of striving to win. The problem we have is that too many people are focused on winning as opposed to the efforts to get there."

Allan Pollack

Santa Ana

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"Winning is everything, but what is winning? In my mind, winning is mentally and physically being ready for the game and giving it all you've got."

Jade Jamison

Marina junior

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"Many coaches and athletes say they are just playing sports for a good time, but it's a totally different story when game time comes around. They are not out there to have fun with their opponents, they are out there to win .

"Without this love of winning, sports lose their pizazz and attraction, and athletes lose interest. The bottom line is that without the will to win, sports are nothing."

Jeff Hui

Esperanza freshman

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