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Two recent newspaper articles seem to give some answers to questions raised in several of my recent posts.

A couple of months ago I wondered about how to respond to my 4 1/2 year old grandson when he asked me if it was OK to lose at a game. A number of you wrote thoughtfully, either in the Comment section of the post, A Question From a 4 1/2 Year Old, or in an email to me.

Thanks to tips from readers HS and BT, I draw your attention to this article, Losing Is Good for You by Ashely Merryman. While the article focuses on the ‘folly’ of giving trophies to every one who participates in a game, a sport, it also speaks to the larger issue of praise, over praise, and what that does to kids. This issue has deservedly received a good deal of attention recently, and I find I am guilty of erring in this regard too.

The second article, A Season of Tough Lessons for the Nats, by Thomas Boswell, addresses not only the Nats but also all those of you (90+%) who predicted last year’s National League darlings would continue and perhaps do even better this year.

As is often the case in a Boswell article, he seems to nail not only the specific issue he is addressing, in this case, why the Nats failed to live up to expectations, but also has some good advice that goes beyond just the Nats and baseball in general.