SOLC 21 of 31: 50/50

My son started wrestling in 1st grade. The recreational league that he was part of was a 50/50 league. This meant that the all of the wrestlers were expected to win 50% of their matches and lose 50% of their matches. If they did better than that, they changed who they wrestled. If they did worse than that, they changed who they wrestled. The league was set up to support both success and learning from loss.

This year, my son started his freshman year of HS and for the first 3 matches was put in the varsity lineup. His first 3 matches all ended the same way: with him being pinned in the 1st period. This is not surprising. As a freshman (even with 8 years of wrestling behind him), HS wrestling is a different level of competition. With each loss, he has emerged disappointed, but motivated. He knows he has a lot to learn still. But years of being in a 50/50 league have prepared him for both the wins and the losses.

I often tell him, “the best part of being on a team, is being ON the team.” Having been on all kinds of teams (T-ball, basketball, baseball, cross country and spring track) since he was 4, he knows and understands this. When I look back on my own days on my HS and college fencing teams, it is truly the team-ness that I remember, not so much about the wins and losses. As team captain of both of those teams years ago, it was the way we were there for one another, celebrated success and supported each other’s defeat that made being on the team memorable.

So no matter how this season turns out for him, 50/50, 0/100 or anything in between. I hope that he relishes just being part of a team.

3 Comments

  1. March 21, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    You are so smart in focusing on the TEAM rather than the WIN. Not all parents share this perspective and I think it’s why so many drop out of sports.

  2. chuizar said,

    March 21, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    What an interesting concept, 50/50 league. I love that it teaches both gracious winning and loosing, something we can all benefit from.

  3. March 21, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    I have never heard of a 50/50 league but I love the concept and your son feeling motivated when he loses end up being a win. This made me think of my own hs memories and sports. Being on a team helped me become who I am today.


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