In our situation, my 9-year-old son would put the same level of "must-win-or-else" passion into a simple game of ping pong against me in the basement, as he put into the championship baseball game with his Minor League team. He'd be so upset by a missed ball, short forehand or poor serve that it would ruin his night, end the game or at the very least make him pout, cry, or show anger depending on the age. It ended up not being that fun to play games or sports with him when every loss had such drama. Talking to him helped a little. But sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, as I well know from working at 6abc!
So I came up with my original INTENSITY WHEEL that you can print out and fill in the blanks with your child's activities. For my athletic and artistic son, it's been very helpful in actually showing him when he's overdoing his competitive spirit and becoming self-defeating. It doesn't always work, especially when a child is a type-A, driven competitor. But every new idea helps. So try this and maybe it will help you and your child.
Here's to loving parents who do their very best!!