There’s something comforting about the ‘everyone’s a winner’ mentality modern society has adopted. Kids don’t feel scared about taking part in things in case they lose and no-one ends up being embarrassed or upset. However, there is still a strong case in favour of keeping a competitive element in sports. Sure, there will be disappointment, but there will also be a real sense of accomplishment from the winners. If you’re on the fence about whether participation trophies you should be ramped up or fazed out, here are some reasons why competitive sports are good for children.
It helps them develop a good work ethic
If someone really wants to win something, they need to work hard. Competitive sports push children to put a real effort into becoming the best at something so they can win. This attitude is transferrable to all areas of life and will hold them in good stead when they come to job interviews and impressing their superiors once they are in a job. Hard work is a good thing and that should never be underestimated.
Competition helps children get used to being nervous
There will be numerous times throughout our lives when we will feel nervous. Competitive sports teach children how to cope with those nerves and how to turn that nervous energy into your best performance.
Competing takes them out of their comfort zone
There will be so many times in life when your children will be required to step out of their comfort zone and really exert themselves. Competitive sports prepare them nicely for this. It shows them that if they want to be the first person across the finish line they can’t just sit back and do nothing. Getting used to doing things that intimidate them will be a valuable asset in the long-term.
It teaches children to be gracious losers
Your child is not going to win everything they ever attempt. There will be times when they lose, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As with everything in life, sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t. Learning to accept rejection and use it as an indicator that you need to try harder next time is important.
Competitive sports give our children clear goals
Setting goals will be a regular feature in your child’s life. There will always be things they want to achieve but aren’t ready to just yet. Competitive sports give the clearest and simplest of goals: I want to win. Once that clearly defined goal is there, it is then up to your child to work out how to get there.
It makes children understand the importance of commitment
There is no doubt that our attention spans are shorter now than they ever have been before. This makes it very hard for anyone to concentrate for an extended period of time on something. No-one becomes a pro-athlete over night. It requires time and dedication to be in a position to be able to win and competitive sports teaches the value of putting in that time and effort.
It teaches us discipline
Competing affects various different aspects of our life. It might dictate our diet or how much we can go out with friends. It also forces us to manage our time to make sure we have time to train and do all the other things we need to do. Putting your child in a competitive environment at an early age will instil a high level of discipline in them, which will carry them through life.