Everyone likes to win. Winning is fun. There is nothing wrong with winning. However, contrary to the thinking of UCLA’s football coach “Red” Sanders, winning is definitely not “the only thing,” especially when it comes to horseshoes. Because horseshoes is based heavily on individual accomplishment, success is found in more than winning. Success is achieving a goal of improvement. Success is a kid pitching their first ringer. Success is a kid pitching their first double ringer. Success is beating your own previous best. With a ringer percent average used as a means of identifying one’s skill level, improving that average ringer percent becomes a major focus as youth work to improve over their time in the youth league as well as afterward.
As a coach, it is critical to discuss the value of succeeding with the youth early in your clinic. This perspective will help all youth begin to start competing with themselves, not only against one another. They will find that there are strong feelings of accomplishment and victory in succeeding, indeed, a sense of “winning ” as they triumph in their own successes.