Is Second Place the First Loser?
As usual, the championship and runner-up teams lined up on the base lines to receive their plaques. As our team was about to receive our runner-up plaque, I heard a person say very loudly for all to hear that second place is for the first loser. I am usually very quiet and respectful, but in this case, I responded that our players did not deserve that comment. They played hard, and I was very shocked and dismayed that anyone would publicly dampen the moment of joy for our players. They just played six games in two days and are only 8 years old!
I now see the beauty in finishing second, as many teams never receive a plaque or trophy for their efforts. The goal of sports should be to teach good sportsmanship. Children and adults like to be recognized for their efforts, regardless of outcome. The coaches, umpires, parents of players, fans and others volunteer their time to promote a spirit of good will and enjoyment so all can enjoy. As for the young players, by promoting a fun environment for them to enjoy, they might grow up to be future volunteers and donors for many organizations. We need to make baseball and any activity fun for children. The future of philanthropy depends on it.
As I left the field, one of my players gave me a hug and thanked me for coaching him to a runner-up plaque. He was happy and was planning to play laser tag with his teammates. I can see a future in development for that second baseman. The only loser in the second place finish was anyone that would think that winning was all or nothing.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.