Competition

  • HotCoach

    Posts: 247

    Mar 03, 2009 10:16 PM GMT
    What value does "Competition" have?

    Does "competition" make anyone a better person?

    And why do we encourage our youth to engage in "competitive" sports under the direction of adults? Why not let kids just play free from adult intervention? How many adults, particularly fathers, live vicariously throught their children"s sports exploits? How many fathers, and mothers, compete with other parents over their children ability to "win" that is "beat" other kids?
    This goes along with my question about what does it mean to be "fit" . How about getting "fit" for the pure joy of being "fit". Teach fitness rather than games in school, especially high school.
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    Mar 03, 2009 11:30 PM GMT
    Uhhh...didn't the self esteem monster have his way with competition?

    Now everybody wins.

    Yay.
  • kinetic

    Posts: 1125

    Mar 03, 2009 11:44 PM GMT
    It seems that competition has long been an American ideal.

  • jgymnast733

    Posts: 1783

    Mar 03, 2009 11:45 PM GMT
    I understand where your coming from hot coach, but competing gave me a sense of victory and brotherhood with my team..I'v always been involved in competition in one form or another and personally i think it's givin me the edge in every endevour i partake in..Yes even now as an adult, i compete for the corner office and an honorable mention at the holiday party,which i'v recieved by the way..I know some parents go too far but i'v always enjoyed competition because i always accomplish what i set out to do...
    You either sink or swim in this world..as harsh as that sounds..
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    Mar 03, 2009 11:45 PM GMT
    I'm big on my motto of "Life is one big competition"....Cant sit on the sidelines or you wont get anywhere.
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    Mar 03, 2009 11:52 PM GMT
    I totally believe in competition. It's not for everyone, of course. There are "competitions" where everyone gets a trophy. Those events are designed to encourage people who have little chance with the big boys (you know, like the Special Olympics).

    I think failure avoidance is the worst thing to instill in children. Learn how to improve, succeed, and learn how to fail gracefully. In my competitions, I've failed at a greater rate than I've succeeded. The failures give me perspective.
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    Mar 04, 2009 12:39 AM GMT
    Competition is the downfall of mankind.

    Democrats vs. Republicans
    Homo's vs. Hetro's
    My team vs. your team
    Good vs. Evil
    Religion vs. Atheist
    Me vs. you
    and on and on and on...

    and for what? So you can feel better about yourself? So you can bond with each other over the losing/winning side?

    Give me a good teamwork environment any day. One where people actually help one another and not try to tear each other apart. I'll bond with people over that and feel better about it.

    We as a people love to feel superior. We just love to demean those we don't view on 'our side'. From politics to religion to sports it comes down to one thing. Competition. If we didn't have it. If we didn't feel we needed it. If it wasn't even a concept just imagine what the world would be like.

    Competition is for the unevolved. It's for those that just don't get that the only person you need to be competing against is yourself. Any other is just pointless.
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    Mar 04, 2009 12:43 AM GMT
    growingbig saidCompetition is the downfall of mankind.

    Democrats vs. Republicans
    Homo's vs. Hetro's
    My team vs. your team
    Good vs. Evil
    Religion vs. Atheist
    Me vs. you
    and on and on and on...

    and for what? So you can feel better about yourself? So you can bond with each other over the losing/winning side?

    Give me a good teamwork environment any day. One where people actually help one another and not try to tear each other apart. I'll bond with people over that and feel better about it.

    We as a people love to feel superior. We just love to demean those we don't view on 'our side'. From politics to religion to sports it comes down to one thing. Competition. If we didn't have it. If we didn't feel we needed it. If it wasn't even a concept just imagine what the world would be like.

    Competition is for the unevolved. It's for those that just don't get that the only person you need to be competing against is yourself. Any other is just pointless.



    agreed 110%
    competition is important in the evolutionary process, obviously. or in getting a job- such that the most qualified obtains the position, for the sake of everyone else. but barring those circumstances, what's the point? some feel great, others have to wrestle with inferiority complexes the rest of their lives. i'd rather focus on the commonalities than the differences- we all have our own strengths.
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    Mar 04, 2009 1:06 AM GMT
    Competition is fun. Assuming you are neither a pussy (oh woe is me, I lost!!) nor an asshole (Omg I a so amazingly awesome, i won!!!!!) about it, it's a means to improve yourself at a significantly faster rate, and while getting a lot more enjoyment out of the process. It provides motivation to learn skills and develop abilities, and to at a minimum keep up with the curve.

    I usually find that competition makes me become 'addicted' to things where I am significantly behind, especially when a very steep learning curve is involved. It makes climbing that curve a lot more fun and a lot faster.
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    Mar 04, 2009 1:09 AM GMT
    growingbig saidCompetition is the downfall of mankind.

    Democrats vs. Republicans
    Homo's vs. Hetro's
    My team vs. your team
    Good vs. Evil
    Religion vs. Atheist
    Me vs. you
    and on and on and on...

    and for what? So you can feel better about yourself? So you can bond with each other over the losing/winning side?

    Give me a good teamwork environment any day. One where people actually help one another and not try to tear each other apart. I'll bond with people over that and feel better about it.

    We as a people love to feel superior. We just love to demean those we don't view on 'our side'. From politics to religion to sports it comes down to one thing. Competition. If we didn't have it. If we didn't feel we needed it. If it wasn't even a concept just imagine what the world would be like.

    Competition is for the unevolved. It's for those that just don't get that the only person you need to be competing against is yourself. Any other is just pointless.


    I agree... and I don't. You can have healthy competition.

    Diving with Olympians and National Champions, on a team with so many outstanding divers... we would always have competition. Who can do this better, who can do that better. However, the point wasn't only about learning to win... it was about getting better and learning through competition.

    Competition isn't the downfall of mankind. Mankind is the downfall of mankind. Depends on what kind of people are involved in the competition. Some of mankind's greatest achievements came out of competition.

    Anyway, the point is you can have teamwork and competition at the same time.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Mar 04, 2009 1:18 AM GMT
    Simply put, competition is fun. It's a lot more fun playing volleyball when we keep score than when we just hit around for practice. Pictionary's a lot more fun when you use the timer, rather than just let people draw until they get the answer right. I'd rather play a game with other people who are trying to win than with people acting randomly. The important point is recognizing the appropriate limits to it. I still have fun even if I lose, as long as I play well. I rarely have fun if I win while playing poorly. And I have no problem admitting that some of the people I play against are much better than I am. I'm not sure why people feel bad when they recognize that some people are better than they are at some things; that's the way it should be, and if anything it should be a relief that you're not expected to be the best at everything..
  • HotCoach

    Posts: 247

    Mar 04, 2009 1:29 AM GMT
    And why is it fun when you keep score? If your having fun the score should be irrelevant.
    The only person you should "compete" against is yourself. That's THE only way to make youself a better person.
  • HotCoach

    Posts: 247

    Mar 04, 2009 1:31 AM GMT
    Competition doesn't teach you anything. Learn by watching and doing. Winning and losing are both irrelevant.
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    Mar 04, 2009 1:40 AM GMT
    czarodziej said
    growingbig said So you can feel better about yourself? .


    ultimately.
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    Mar 04, 2009 1:41 AM GMT
    Of course it teaches you. You have a way to measure how well you're doing and if you even NEED to learn from the person you're playing. If you're doing better than the person then obviously learning to do something like said person is not the correct way to improve. More specifically, if person A is doing better than B and B is doing better than you, you can deduce that you should probably try to learn more from A than B, etc etc.

    Without a measure on how well you are doing against 'the curve' (or in other words on what can be done by humans) how can you ever hope to improve as quickly? Sure, you still can, but it's both much more tedious and time consuming.
  • Rookz

    Posts: 947

    Mar 04, 2009 1:42 AM GMT
    Competition does teach you something. If you're talking about competing with oneself, yes competition teaches you you can reach further than you achieved. You push yourself more because you damn well believe in yourself.

    And if you let yourself down, it's just another day for you can try tomorrow. And even so, just congratulate yourself for even trying and knowing that you have another chance, another day and another time to improve yourself.
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    Mar 04, 2009 2:13 AM GMT
    HotCoach saidWhat value does "Competition" have?

    Does "competition" make anyone a better person?

    And why do we encourage our youth to engage in "competitive" sports under the direction of adults? Why not let kids just play free from adult intervention? How many adults, particularly fathers, live vicariously throught their children"s sports exploits? How many fathers, and mothers, compete with other parents over their children ability to "win" that is "beat" other kids?
    This goes along with my question about what does it mean to be "fit" . How about getting "fit" for the pure joy of being "fit". Teach fitness rather than games in school, especially high school.


    I agree with cubsfan1986.

    I think competition makes everyone better. Being someone who use to stutter and was gangly. I made it a sport so to speak to become physically fit and well to speak with wisdom that dumbfounds most. I went from being someone who was made fun of for being gangly, and stuttering to being someone who gets tons of compliments for how good I look, and when I do speak (cause I rarely do) everyone shuts up cause usually what I say is real important and just what other don't think of.

    Do you recall that one movie (sadly I can't think of the name of it) but it was where kids ended up becoming stranded on an Island by themselves? Unfortuntately I don't think kids can make the best choices by themselves without some kind of supervision. Now certainly we should give them more room to play by themselves cause you're right some adults are always in the midst and ruin the game.

    Now I think part of the reason some parents live in their childrens sports' life, is because either they never could do those sports well, or they were great athletes and are more consumed with winning above all else. Thus they have forgotten the meaning of having fun while you play.

    I personally think it's way too late to try to be teaching young adults about fitness in high school. I think we should show the importance of it during the grade school years. So we can end this fad among kids to eat so much and not doing anything productive thus becoming fat. Though certainly we should have more fitness orientated classes during high school. When I went through high school personally I didn't think their were enough fitness classes. Though for each year after my freshman year I had JROTC, PE, and Weights and conditioning.
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    Mar 04, 2009 2:15 AM GMT
    HotCoach saidCompetition doesn't teach you anything. Learn by watching and doing. Winning and losing are both irrelevant.
    If by irrelevant you mean, "We all die, what's the point?" I'd agree with THAT. But competing with another person other than ourselves helps us learn how not to delude ourselves. In competition, we may learn physical control, mental control, direction, drive, projection, efficiency. It's possible to learn these skills without competitive impetus, but it just never really comes to fruition.

    A benign example, if I can indulge you, is an audition for a ballet company. Only the best dancers are selected (in a quite brutal, rigorous sifting process), and the choreographer gets to work with only the best dancers to create their vision. Without that commitment to excellence from the dancers, and the ensuing competition for a spot in that company, the ballet you watch would be a rather sorry affair to behold. I dare say it wouldn't survive (as ballet has to compete with things like television for the attention of its viewers).

    It takes a great deal of work to be great, and to be graded well against others. These people become our role models, and teach others their secrets. This also raises the bar on excellence. So much for not teaching you anything.
  • HotCoach

    Posts: 247

    Mar 04, 2009 3:12 AM GMT
    That just about sums up why I think competition is not only irrelevant but ethically wrong.
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    Mar 04, 2009 3:18 AM GMT
    That just about sums up why I think competition is both fun and beneficial.
  • HotCoach

    Posts: 247

    Mar 04, 2009 3:20 AM GMT
    cubsfan1986 said
    growingbig saidCompetition is the downfall of mankind.

    Democrats vs. Republicans
    Homo's vs. Hetro's
    My team vs. your team
    Good vs. Evil
    Religion vs. Atheist
    Me vs. you
    and on and on and on...

    and for what? So you can feel better about yourself? So you can bond with each other over the losing/winning side?

    Give me a good teamwork environment any day. One where people actually help one another and not try to tear each other apart. I'll bond with people over that and feel better about it.

    We as a people love to feel superior. We just love to demean those we don't view on 'our side'. From politics to religion to sports it comes down to one thing. Competition. If we didn't have it. If we didn't feel we needed it. If it wasn't even a concept just imagine what the world would be like.

    Competition is for the unevolved. It's for those that just don't get that the only person you need to be competing against is yourself. Any other is just pointless.


    I agree... and I don't. You can have healthy competition.

    Diving with Olympians and National Champions, on a team with so many outstanding divers... we would always have competition. Who can do this better, who can do that better. However, the point wasn't only about learning to win... it was about getting better and learning through competition.

    Competition isn't the downfall of mankind. Mankind is the downfall of mankind. Depends on what kind of people are involved in the competition. Some of mankind's greatest achievements came out of competition.

    Anyway, the point is you can have teamwork and competition at the same time.


    Team work is fine. No objection there. But name 1 event in history where competition made a difference. Brunelleschi's Dome comes to mind but would that masterpiece not have been created without the competition. What the competition brought is what it usually brings, hate and a good deal of poor ethical behaviour.
  • Rookz

    Posts: 947

    Mar 04, 2009 3:23 AM GMT
    I don't think you've been paying attention HotCoach.

    What answer are you looking for if you think everything that everyone has contributed is wrong?

    People here have provided relevant answers to what you have inquired. They bring in different perspectives and with reasons behind the competition that people place upon themselves. We are here to discuss this not only with you but among ourselves. It may sound wrong to you but the reality is we are right in our own little world.
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    Mar 04, 2009 4:17 AM GMT
    HotCoach said
    Team work is fine. No objection there. But name 1 event in history where competition made a difference. Brunelleschi's Dome comes to mind but would that masterpiece not have been created without the competition. What the competition brought is what it usually brings, hate and a good deal of poor ethical behaviour.


    Competition is one of the major reasons we have such incredible technological advances. Large companies compete to bring the newest and best to the market, allowing us almost every accommodation we have.

    Take jet engines as an example (I worked with GE this summer, so bear with me). The competition for a lighter and more compact - yet powerful - engine between GE, Roll's Royce, and P&W has given us some absolutely amazing engines. Yet as much as this competition may seem fierce and destructive to each company, ultimately the companies end up working together in some ways. If one company wins a contract, this others will team up to develop a similar (if not better) engine to compete.

    Competition for the sake of competing leads to a destructive end. But competition as a means of challenging yourself and others can be incredibly beneficial.
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    Mar 04, 2009 4:19 AM GMT



    What kind of competition are you guys speaking of? A writer, I find no competition with other writers. I feel no competition with myself.

    Bill is an amazing gardener/landscaper (not what he does for a living). He feels much the same.

    Competition can be very good; the troubles for us are the people around the competitors, how they decide who is the winner and how they react to the loser. They were described by the OP. For us that goes right up to judges.

    We've both seen people give up a dream because they were competing against themselves or others and went for a standard measure of 'win' and failed at it (we can be our own worst critics) instead of a more creative approach based on how hard you tried, and how far you progressed in your endeavor to even reach the point of competing for what I refer sometimes to as popular standards.

    We think that doing something and getting great at it for the sheer joy of excelling, as well as competition with others, are both excellent ways to grow.
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    Mar 04, 2009 4:40 AM GMT
    Gosh, I see this question's answer much differently than many of you.
    First, I agree with many of you that see the value of competition in a team sport situation. Second, competing with oneself should be taught as well - through fitness and other self best awards that can be given to youth. I don't see the combination of both experiences as mutually exclusive. The world is far too competitive - and complex - not to teach both how to compete on a team and with one's self.