Youth sports should not be win-at-all-costs

To the editor:

When did winning an 11-year-old Little League game become a win-at-all-cost sport? What lesson are we teaching our children? Is it really about the kids or is a coach more worried about his wins vs. losses record? So many questions come to mind after watching a child be intentionally walked in two consecutive Little League games totaling nine consecutive walks. Even walking this child as the leadoff hitter, first inning, nobody on, 0-0 ball game.

For the coach issuing the intentional walks: what message are you sending to your team? Do you lack confidence in your pitcher? Is your team not good enough to handle fielding the ball? Is that the message you want to send to your kids? We can only win if we don’t let this child play?

For the child that received the nine consecutive walks at age 11 what message has been sent? Is a coach that afraid of losing a game they take the game away from a good player like it is no big deal? And believe me when I tell you, there is no glory in being intentionally walked. Every chance this child had to help his team was taken away for the other coach’s sole desire to win.

I believe this coach taught his kids to win at all costs and that is not the message Little League players should be receiving. This chain of events was not a benefit to the batter, pitcher or any young player trying to learn the game. The message is “don’t work hard to become a very good hitter, because when it matters the opposing coach won’t let you have an at-bat anyways.”

Stephanie Kendrick