There are those who say athletics shouldn't be about winning or losing.
They say having fun, honing individual skills and learning to work within a team concept are more important.
They're right, of course. But only to a point.
Wins and losses are part of the picture. If they weren't, athletes would not be competing. They would just be playing.
No scores or statistics would be kept, nor would team records be tabulated.
According to Marquette Electricians Midget AAA hockey officials, the team's record each season isn't important. How many players the club moves on to higher levels of hockey is what the program is all about.
Outgoing coach Mike Dagenais and the club's hierarchy has done a good job of that over the years.
During his four seasons with the Electricians - Dagenais has resigned in order to move to Rochester, Minn., to be with his fiance - he has moved at least three Electricians each season onto a higher-level team.
That's commendable. At the same time, he posted an 80-138-30 record with just one winning season, that being 34-23-10 in 2008-09.
The Electricians have beefed up their schedule the last few years to include teams with high talent levels in order to better prepare their players for future play.
But at the same time, excitement locally about the Electricians program has dropped off. There's no longer the same buzz about the team the Electricians once commanded.
That's because - right or wrong - fans follow a winner.
Fans like to get on the bandwagon of a winning team.
From 2001-07, the Electricians posted a .500 record or better. In two seasons, from 2003-05, the team went 96-36-13.
The competition may have been weaker, but fans attending Electricians games at Lakeview Arena knew the possibility of the team winning that day was great.
That was undoubtedly more enjoyable than the 2009-10 campaign, in which the team went 10-47-4.
That said, new Electricians coach Mark Nebel would like to strike a balance this coming season.
He knows how important it is to prepare the Electricians for futures without the club. But he also knows wins help nurture enthusiasm for the team.
More wins might also attract better recruits. Players usually want to skate for a winning team.
It's a vicious cycle. More wins bring top recruits, top recruits usually bring more victories.
The team did a good job with 11 members on its 20-man opening-day roster this past season being from the Upper Peninsula. That always results in some local support for the team.
But it would be nice for the Electricians to win more games than they lose this coming season.
Nebel is committed to that end result.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His e-mail address is email@example.com.