November 1, 2018


In life like in sports, there is one word that can absolutely ruin a relationship, cause you to lose money and maybe even your life, literally or figuratively, that word is deception. We know from scripture that deceiving God, even when it cost the life of Ananias and his wife Sapphira. They lied about the proceeds from the sale of their property when they donated to the first-century church. What is so powerful about this story is that they could have kept whatever amount they wanted, instead, they lied with the intent to deceive.  It was the deception or attempt thereof that was so key.

What about in athletics? Do coaches and parents deceive their players? Even if it comes from a good place is it okay. To me, it is never okay, period.  Sometimes this deception is born out of confirmation bias meaning the coach tries to confirm what they believe or see, so all decisions are made through that lens.  For example, a parent coach or a coach that has an affinity towards a player for whatever reason will make decisions from their biases to support what they already believe.

It happens in the professional ranks all the time.  Maybe at first, it is to give the bigger name player the time she or he needs to develop, but then over time, it becomes a justification for why that player was picked in the first place, so that player benefits from biases.

In youth sports, it happens for the same reason unless it is a parent who is a coach.

The worst form of deception in sports has to do with the parent deceiving their kid into thinking they are something they are not.  We may not see the deception, but we see it play out when the parent takes the kid to a team just because they were told they would play a certain position. When in high-level youth sports that promote a potential college scholarship, a parent is deceiving their kid when they support and help their kid run away from competition.

Deception is a strong word and may not land right for some so here are different words with the same meaning, hopefully, none of these fit you as a person or a parent of a youth athlete.

deceit · deceitfulness · duplicity · double-dealing · fraud · fraudulence · cheating · trickery · duping · hoodwinking · chicanery · underhandedness · deviousness · slyness · cunning · craft · craftiness · wiliness · artfulness · guile · dissimulation · dissembling · bluff · bluffing · lying · pretense · artifice · treachery · crookedness · monkey business · funny business · hanky-panky · jiggery-pokery · kidology · monkeyshines · codology · management · knavery · trick · stratagem · device · ruse · scheme · dodge · maneuver · contrivance · machination · subterfuge · cheat · swindle · confidence trick · sham · fraud · pretense · imposture · hoax · fake · misrepresentation · blind · wile · artifice · Trojan horse · con · con trick · setup · game · scam · sting · gyp · leg-pull · flimflam · wheeze · bunco · grift · lurk · rort · schlenter · flanker · shift · fetch · rig



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