Sport is based around passion, and people want to win and they want to achieve success and they want to do as well as they possibly can and sport needs people to be that way. If people didn’t care, then nobody would be invested in sport and sport wouldn’t matter. So it’s good that athletes are passionate, they want to do everything they possibly can to be successful. But, that does not extend as far as cheating and people do cheat because that passion gets out of control. And what you need to have, I believe, is passion that involves being proud of the way that you do it and so you can be passionate about wanting to be the best that you possibly can, but also passionate about doing that in a way that is ethical and moral and that you’re proud of.
And those passions can align to create a really healthy relationship with sport and with wanting to achieve high success. And I think that the reason people cheat is because their passion to succeed is not lined up with their ownership over their own results and their desire to do it a way that they’re proud of. I think that everybody in the youth sports community can really prioritize the positive aspects of being an athlete. And that includes being proud of the process and being involved in making sure that athletes are educated about what they’re doing and are wanting to be the best that they can be personally and not so focused on outcome goals, especially at a really young age.
Because if you can teach an athlete to work hard and to show the relationship between dedication and success, then that athlete is going to be self motivated but also, going to take pride in doing it the way that they know is right, as opposed to pushing an athlete to achieve success early, regardless of the cost. I think it’s really important to differentiate positive desire to succeed from an all-encompassing need to achieve results.