Before I entered the coaching world I used to believe that winning wasn't everything. Now I believe that winning really is everything, for the moment. Winning is not important, really. But, while you are competing, winning is very important. Noncompetitive people may find that distasteful and puzzling or just misinterpret it to refer to physical competition only. But I think winning should be important for them too, in life. Competition is natural and a part of life and we can't separate ourselves from it. .
My wife pretends not to understand competitive people, but she tells me that she is a great teacher. As a good teacher, she deals with kids and standardized test. She and the other teachers are very competitive when facing these opponents. Winning is everything for those moments, while this competition goes on. She wants the respect of others and her hard work rewarded.
The issue of competition goes to the essence of the human condition. It is part of our evolution. Should we abandon competition, and with it, the struggle to succeed, just because we haven't figured out how, as a society, to always do it right? We couldn't quit if we wanted to. We just need to continue to work to find the best balance. .
How I resolve the balance between winning and individual development is to just recognize the need to strike a balance and that's what gets me off to a good start. At junior varsity level high school football, the emphasis is always heavily on developing the individual. This doesn't mean that winning is not an issue; it's just not all that important. At the high school or varsity levels, the balance is more even. It should never get further than that, but the reality that I will face if I move up to major collegiate play is that coaches who lose don't last. Let's face it; if you tell people that winning is no big deal, they may nod, but they are not really buying it. They know about winning.