The importance of keeping score

This blog post by Bill Lewis brings up something that has been on my mind for a while:

One thing that I have learned from LIFE Leadership that is proving to be a difficult paradigm shift for me is the importance of keeping score.
Growing up I tended to hate sports because of the scoreboard.The reason I hated the scoreboard was because I saw a lot of poor sportsmanship, lack of character, superficiality, and lack of integrity, which to me seemed to stem from people putting too much importance on “a game,” which has very little big picture importance in my view.

I understand and can relate to how so many people get so upset about the outcome of some sporting event – I have done the same thing.  But because I saw this as being overly concerned with something that ultimately doesn’t matter, I have tried to distance myself from sports and sporting events, to the point that I know very little about the ins and outs of most sports.

My point in all of this is to point out that because of the superficial ire that results from a sports scoreboard, I have not had the experience of learning how to keep score on myself in things that really do matter.  The important lessons learned in sports are not about how successful we are at putting a ball through a hoop, or across a goal line.  The important lessons are about keeping track of our failures and successes and learning to improve.  Using the process of planning, executing the plan, checking the results, and making adjustments to get better results.  Just because the accomplishment itself, in sports, is really not all that important, the processes of learning from failures, pushing through discomfort to achieve better results are valuable lessons that anybody can learn from the field of sports.  Sports provides a really good way for youth to go through this process with something that doesn’t matter in the long term, so that they can apply to things that do.