Having participated in Lewiston sports at both a recreational and competitive level, the philosophy was to teach the fundamentals of team sports — how to compete and to win or lose graciously. The primary goal: Have fun and compete to win.

That philosophy has changed dramatically. Today’s primary goal: Everybody makes the team, everybody plays, no emphasis on completion and winning. Everyone plays, regardless of ability.

While great during the elementary school years, middle school and high school kids need to learn that there are winners and losers, not everyone makes the team, playing time is earned, and defeat helps build character. Children need to work hard to succeed in their chosen sport(s).

Lewiston can learn a great deal from the Lewiston cheering program’s success. Participants are pushed to their individual limits, expected to influence the team positively, and to win. They lose with grace and return with a burning desire to win.

Student athletes’ expectations are: students first and athletes second. Choosing players based on ability is how school teams should be formed, rather than friends or “everyone makes it.”

Community organizations have the “everybody plays” programs. Athletes graduate without learning the real-world experience that competition helps with survival in today’s world.

Lewiston’s proposed budget cuts could eliminate sports teams at all levels, resulting in fewer spots for student athletes to secure. With a continued relaxed competition level, the once competitive Lewiston sports programs will continue to “water down” and/or athletes will move to different towns to compete.

Paul Rubin, Lewiston

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: