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In response to last week’s letter regarding the volleyball coaches and team, I feel that the author of the letter expressed a sentiment that unfortunately reflects a sad turn that our society has taken in the last few decades. It seems that we have decided that in order to spare hurt feelings we should give all children and adolescents the impression that everyone is a winner and that they should be rewarded for their efforts, no matter the outcome. While this is a pretty way to view things, it in no way reflects the real world.
In the real world you will not be successful at everything you try, and so you try something new. You will fail and not be rewarded, as only success is rewarded. As a former teacher I have seen the pressure put on teachers to reward those who fail and those who don’t even try by buttering up report cards or parent reports or assigning passing grades to students who haven’t earned it. What this causes is children who grow into adults believing that they do not need to work hard and that everything they do should be met with applause and rewards. It also severely diminishes the efforts of those who work hard and are successful. Not every player can be varsity, and not everyone can be a star athlete. When we start requiring all players have equal playing time and be assigned varsity purely because they’ve been playing for many years we lose the essence of sports and competition. Obviously, Mrs. Mergelman is doing something right, as her team made it to state. So I say congratulations Rangely Panther volleyball. Keep up the good work!