There is a misconception that competition is bad; that self-esteem will be affected if a child loses. BUT to lose, is not to be a Loser. If a child can experience the thrill of winning and the disappointment of losing early in life through competitive sports, they will be well equipped for the reality of life.
Competition provides motivation to achieve a goal; to demonstrate determination, creativity and perseverance to overcome challenges; and to understand that hard work and commitment leads to a greater chance of success.
Life is full of situations where there are winners and losers: a sports game; getting a job; bidding on a contract; not getting into the desired college. Children need to learn how to cope with disappointment and to be able to genuinely appreciate the good fortune, talents and abilities of the “winner” and then look forward to the next opportunity to try again.
Competition teaches us to dig deep and find resources we never knew we had; provides us with the opportunity to think outside the box and explore other ways to succeed. The pressure to win or succeed can often inspire more imaginative thinking and inspires us to develop additional skills.
We need to instill a winning attitude: A drive for excellence and victory. Instilling this winning attitude is one of the goals of a good instructor. When a child learns that given the right attitude they can succeed at whatever they set their hearts and mind to, it can have an overwhelmingly positive impact on their self-esteem and on their future. Without healthy competition the concept of a winning attitude doesn’t exist and the incredible potential within our children is lost.
The lesson through martial arts, is extended to life – do not fear competition, value its influence on you – it inspires people to greatness…and we all win!