University of Louisville’s head women’s basketball coach, Jeff Walz, recently ripped into the participation trophy mentality of Millennials, and a video of his epic rant is going viral online.
In a video posted to YouTube by Elite Basketball Training, Walz explained his take on the problem and why he thinks kids should learn how to lose during a press conference following a recent loss to Maryland.
“You gotta have a will,” Waltz said.
“ … Right now the generation of kids that are coming through everybody gets a damn trophy, okay. You finish last, you come home with a trophy. Are you kidding me? What’s that teaching kids? It’s okay to lose,” he said.
“And unfortunately, it’s our society. It’s what we’re building for and it’s not just in basketball, it’s in life. Everybody thinks they should get a job. Everybody thinks they should get a good job. No, that’s not how it works, but unfortunately that’s what we’re preparing for,” Walz continued.
“Because you finish fifth, you walk home with this nice trophy and parents are all excited? No. Not to be too blunt, but you’re a loser. Like we’re losers. We got beat. We lost. There is no trophy for us. But unfortunately the ways these kids are brought up today, there is a trophy. Because nobody wants anybody to have hurt feelings. Nobody wants to get their feelings hurt,” he said.
“Unfortunately, in the real world – and I don’t know how it is with your all’s jobs – but with mine if you lose enough you get fired. And that’s just the way it is. I’m trying to explain to our kids like hey, I’m trying to prepare you for the real world, because when you go to get a job there’s competition. And what are you going to do to stand out? Unfortunately, we’re not preparing these kids, before they get to us at least, to be ready for that.”
Walz explained that when he played basketball, winners took the trophy and the glory and the loser went home. Consolation brackets for losers didn’t exist.
“When you play three or four … games in one day and you lose three of them and win the last one and everyone goes home happy. You’re one in three,” Walz said. “I know it’s a long time ago, but … days we played when you lost you went home. There was no friendship bracket. Oh, let’s go on the left side to the friendship games so everybody can play two more games. No, you went home. You went home a loser and you worked at it if you wanted to be good.”
The video received well over 38,000 views in the four days since it was posted to YouTube. It’s also been shared nearly 4,000 times on Facebook.
Of course, the vast majority of folks on Facebook commended Walz for highlighting the issue.
“My oldest son, 9, plays baseball. We had him in a league that gave participation trophies. This year we moved him to one that doesn’t and when the season ended and he didn’t get one he asked me why and I told him they didn’t win it all and only winners got a trophy,” Patrick Gordon posted. “He says to me in the infinite wisdom that children often have ‘well, you know dad that makes more sense.’ Kids get it.”
“That’s what’s wrong with these crybabies today,” John Beauford added. “They all expect to be rewarded.”
“These kids have been coddled,” Connie Kiser wrote. “If you want to win, play harder and do the best you can. That’s how people get ahead. Teach kids to have some initiative. We’ve got spoiled brats who have no idea how to work and don’t want to work because it’s all been handed to them.”