Koa Sports

Competitive Balance

Good afternoon, and happy Monday. The big game everyone in America was watching — oh yes the Super Bowl! Well, this year’s version of the NFL Championship didn’t prove to be too special, (and neither did the commercials), however this was my favorite one. But I digress; the focus of this article is to discuss competitive balance in sports.

The two BEST teams of 2013, one with the best defense and their opponent with the best offense, 5 time league MVP and future Hall of Fame quarterback, squared off yesterday. “On paper” (Vegas had the point spread at less than 3 points) this should have been a close game, but it wasn’t even a contest, and we all know the result!

In youth sports we see blow outs, close games, fun games, boring games, and even what seems to be the unobtainable utopian sports experience. That is when your son or daughter has an incredibly motivating coach, the players are gelling as a team, ample playing time is received, and the competition is a tick bigger, faster, stronger, and better than them. At the end of the season the team is around .500, plays all close games (all within a few runs, points, or goals) and all members of the team improve and play a role in each game!

As CEO of Koa Sports, this is the experience that I hope happens each season, however, I know it is not a reality on a micro level. We have the ‘controllables’ — showing up to each event on time, listening to the coach, and working your hardest. After that, there are too many variables to predict what happens next. Sometimes we play teams too big, too fast, or too weak and there’s a lop-sided score. Often times there are athletes who are not interested in improving and simply do not put the work in. There are other instances when the coach can’t get the most out of their players, and the team just isn’t gelling. I have been on teams that dominated, teams that got crushed, teams that gelled, and teams as dysfunctional as any Bravo reality show.

The bottom line is, the Denver Broncos were as prepared as possible last night. The players knew all their assignments and the coaches game planned to call the plays for all possible situations. What looked to be an even match up, turned out to be a blow out, and a boring game to watch (unless you are a Seattle fan). I challenge you, the next time you are watching a youth sporting event, to think about Super Bowl XLVIII and remember, not every game can provide the utopian sports experience.