Some, over the years, have said competition is a bad thing because little Johnny or Suzy get their feelings hurt. The instance given is the game Musical Chairs; all of the kids are running around then one doesn’t make it to a chair and “loses,” there is only one “winner.” What a sad way to look at such a fun game and what sheer contempt for something that is naturally created inside us.
Let’s go back to the game of Musical Chairs. Suzy just lost. What has she been taught at home? That “winning is everything!” or to join with the other kids and have FUN? Or have her parents left it up for her to learn that other kids can be real creeps and she just has to get over it? Actually, the last one, hopefully paired with the first one would be a good way to teach lessons about her upcoming life and how she may have to deal with adults who never learned how to be good people.
All of this comes down to: Competition is GOOD! But winning is not about getting first place! First place is great, but that’s all there is once you’ve achieved it at that moment and you have to do it all over again. Winning is about doing your personal best with what you have to work with (time, resources and education) and the feeling of pride that comes from doing your best.
Best Practices– This is what competitions should encourage, learning the what and how of the competitors and everyone becoming better.
Getting to practice every day = you’ve already won. You don’t need anyone else to compare you to another. When you want appropriate feedback which is what a competition can provide, then go, compete, it’s a good thing.
Once you place your emphasis on only winning, you’ve already lost.