It has become commonplace in the last handful of years for parents to encourage that no score should be kept in games played by their young ones. It is often suggested that the damaging effect the little ones would be subjected too is simply too great. That the young psyche too fragile to handle the hurt that comes in dealing with a 1-0 soccer game.
I would urge those parents who feel that way to read up on the Carroll Academy Lady Jags basketball team.
Carroll Academy is an Adolescent Intensive Day Treatment Program operated by the Carroll County Juvenile Court in Huntingdon Tennessee.
Kids who attend Carroll Academy are at risk youth typically attending as a custody prevention agency. They serve five counties, and order students to the program for six months or until they complete their behavioral plan. Each student is transported to and from the program each day as ordered by that court for the purpose of behavior modification and intervention.
Most of these kids come from very troubled pasts and unimaginable living conditions. This particular area of Tennessee where these kids come from has an unemployment rate near 15 percent, while 20 percent of the students live below the poverty line. One of the girls was discovered living in a garbage dumpster, she said that she was abandoned by her mother when she was only 8 years old.
Of the nine girls who were allowed to play on the basketball team last season, zero had ever previously participated in team sports.
The Lady Jags have lost 213 consecutive games.
The modern day parent of an aspiring athlete would have wanted to run the coach out of town. The modern day parent would demand more playing time for their child.
These 9 girls were just happy to be on the team, or any team for that matter.
One of the girls was asked about a 91-4 loss that she and her team "suffered" through. Her response, "We didn't suffer. I'm just glad to be part of a team. This is like a family, I've never had a real family before."
Kids are amazing. You don't realize what they will pick up on, and when they will pick up on it. They are resilient, they are tough and typically they will thrive when they are challenged.