The Value of Competition for Your Athlete

The concept of competition has been around for a very long time. In fact early man had to compete against the elements, other species and each other just to survive. I believe the desire and need to compete is found within our DNA and rather than try to suppress it, as some in our 21st Century society would do, I believe we should be encouraging it!

Our kids learn so much from participating in youth sports, not the least of which is competition. When my daughter started playing youth soccer at five years old her mom and I really didn't know how she would react to being in a competitive environment. She was a fairly quiet kid who did not exhibit any aggressive tendencies. Of course soccer is a fantastic first sport for any youngster as they naturally love to run around and chase a ball.

In my daughter's case she displayed an aggressiveness and a drive I had never seen before. Something inside of her clicked and the competitive switch was turned on. She would race down the field and seemingly score at will. What motivated her effort and her success? I believe deep down inside her she loved how she felt when she played hard and competed the best she could. And, yes, scoring goals was definitely a positive reinforcement and reward for her effort.

Your athlete should embrace the art of competition without focusing on the results. At the end of any sporting event we applaud both teams for their effort regardless of the score. It's the mere act of competing which makes us stronger physically and emotionally. Your athlete will learn so much about him or her self by simply stepping into the athletic arena and giving it his or her all. The results are just the icing on the cake.

To the many parents who withhold their kids from athletic competition I believe they are doing a tremendous disservice to their children. Again, I believe it is our nature to compete and the desire to compete is a survival mechanism. To rob a child of that makes no sense to me.

Competition teaches your athlete to persevere through adversity, to play with pain and discomfort, to push him or herself beyond old limits, to become mentally tough, to respect the opponent, and to appreciate the accomplishments that hard work and preparation brings. Do these sound like good life lessons for your athlete to learn? The value of competition is immeasurable and one I hope you encourage your athlete to embrace 100%.

To learn more about how to build a consistent peak performer top coaches put at the top of their list visit us at Winner's Edge Softball.

John's new book, How She Thinks is How She Plays, is now available! Read a sample chapter.

Subscribe to free weekly Softball Smarts Tips for fresh mental skills insights, strategies and tools to make her the best she can be.

Check out our new Facebook home page and be sure to "Like Us."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Learn more about the 21 mental performance killers that may be holding your athlete back.