Vince Lombardi is quoted as saying, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” However, according to his son, what he really said is “Winning isn’t everything, trying to win is.” I personally like the second statement better. You can’t always win and that’s a difficult concept for children to learn. Participating in sports has many advantages but it’s important to understand “stages of competition” when teaching children a sport.

At age 4, children like to cooperate.
At ages 5 & 6, children learn competition.
At ages 7 & 8, children compare their abilities with others’.
At age 12, children start to associate losing with personal failure.

Source: Child Centered Coaching by Dr. Steven Bavolek