We typically think of a bully as someone who unjustly mistreats weaker people.  Most of us have encountered a bully somewhere along life’s pathway.  I realized two groups of bullies in today’s society that may be obscure.  First, bullies in community sports.  These are teams of bullies who are very good at their chosen sport, but they claim they are a weak team and get in a weak grouping or league.  They get on the field or court and thrash their opponent with ease and delight.  These bullies have a pathetically low self-esteem and are willing to lie in order to crush weaker teams to make themselves look big. Second, online video gamers do the same thing when they become expert in a particular game.  They hang out in online games, so they can kill weak players just as they respawn over and over again.  There are other realms of bully activity outside the school playground and many never grow out of this bully behavior.

In both these examples we see people who have no self-respect, no sense of fairness, and no true respect for competition.  In sports one gets better through competition, overcoming a challenging, even better opponent.  A bully is a coward which is often demonstrated when the weaker person fights back. Bullies want to win at any cost and purely for selfish reasons.  They don’t know that true victory means giving ones best performance, irrespective of the score.  A true competitor strives to improve and perform their best, not merely win.  To play poorly and win is repugnant to a true athlete.  The bully can’t compete with equals, because they are cowards and true losers.  Imagine a professional golfer going out to a local course and beating amateur occasional golfers.  They would be considered a deviant and the worst sort of person.

The answer is not as some sissy parents do by structuring leagues where no score is kept or giving every player the same trophy.  This eliminates competition, which is not the problem.  Competition is good, and thrives where opponents are well matched.  The old adage is right, “It is not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game that counts.”  Those who outlaw bullying are control freak nannies who likely know nothing about competitive endeavor.  All they do is counterintuitive to building character through athletic challenge.  Teach your children to love a challenge, don’t try to protect them from losing, but urge them to compete, do their best, and always strive to overcome.  Don’t fret over a bully, avoid them like the plague and punch back, if necessary.

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