Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 2011 10 Top Things that Competing Fosters 1. Competition drives us to learn at a faster rate and perform at a higher level. When the meet is on the horizon, we work harder and faster; when we are playing a game push a little harder. In doing so we surprise ourselves of what we are capable of accomplishing. 2. Competition teaches us to bring our best effort. Keeping score gives us extra motivation to do our best. We pur- sue excellence when we compete. 3. Competition teaches us to manage our nerves. When something is out of our comfort zone or pushes us to per- form, it’s normal to feel fluttery within. Competition brings those butterflies out, so we can work on managing them. This advantage can carry with us in taking exams, interviewing for jobs and giving presentations. 4. Competition does not have to be feared. Often kids fear competition, making it into something scarier or more important than it needs to be. When they compete, they realize that it wasn’t so scary after all. 5. Competition teaches us to take risks. Once we realize that competition is not a terrifying thing, we can take risks. We can develop confidence to do things that are hard or uncomfortable. 6. Competition teaches us to cope when things do not go our way. Sometimes you work hard, and you still lose. Some- times you win but still didn’t perform as you wanted to. We learn resilience and grit in these moments. Resilience and grit are two traits that most certainly are essential in adulthood. 7. Competition helps us with goal setting. While setting goals and mak- ing a plan to reach them can be done outside of competition, competition helps provide deadlines and progress checks on our goals. 8. Competition teaches us to play by rules. Learning to operate within rules and developing strategies to use those rules to our advantage are great things competition teaches. 9. Competition helps us to learn to win and lose with grace. Nobody likes a boastful person, and nobody likes are pouter. Competition gives us the oppor- tunities to cope with feelings of pride and disappointment and to learn to process them in healthy ways. 10. Competition is fun. Most people enjoy games. They have fun playing them. Being a part of team makes us feel like we belong. Taken correctly competition is fun for kids. speaking to him about his self-expecta- tions, as well as expectations from oth- ers, including yourself. Encourage participation and dedication, but listen to children if they feel the pressure is not something they can handle. Seek the help of a sports psychologist who is trained to help athletes deal with these types of pressures in a healthy and produc- tive manner. Competition According to Hilary Levey Friedman, au- thor of “Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture,” competitive sports took off in the 1960s when college admis- sions became more competitive and par- ents were looking for a way to set their chil- dren apart in the application process. Since then, the de- sire to help kids’ self-esteem has played a role, as well as the possibility of sports-related scholarships, the boost to parents’ egos from successful kids and parental anxiety about chil- dren being “left behind” by their sporty peers. Dr. Paul Stricker, a pediatric and adolescent sports-medicine specialist and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Sports Medicine & Fitness, finds that today’s children ath- letes are suffering from injuries due to overuse and acute trauma which used to be seen only in adults. Much of this is from focusing on a single sport which uses repetitive motions, and from training too intensely at a young age. In addition, many child athletes are feeling stress and exhaustion, ac- cording to, and others are burning out on favorite sports or even sports in general. High frustration levels can also be found -- in children under 10 especially -- who are trying to play a sport for which they are not yet developmentally ready. Take Notice Parents with kids in competitive sports should be aware of the possible prob- lems associated with young athletes and step in to help when needed. A child who feels sick or has trouble sleeping before a game might be over-stressed and need to cut back on activities. If your child continually finds reasons to miss practice, he might be afraid to say he wants to stop with a sport, so be open to discussing the matter. Your young athlete might also display physi- cal symptoms such as favoring one arm or leg over the other, which could indi- cate a possible injury. Be sure to have your pediatrician check him and have him take a break from his sport to allow proper healing time. To Play or to Compete Kept within reason, sports are not all bad for kids, especially those 11 and older; kids involved in sports usually do better in school, are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, have good relation- ships with peers and have better health overall. Help your child enjoy the bene- fits and fun by allowing them to explore various sports while monitoring their health and stress levels, and by staying realistic in expectations, keeping an eye on coaches’ demands and talking to your child about their enjoyment of the game rather than about winning. Greater focus on the process and less concern over the result allows competitive sports to be a character developing and happy part of childhood. WELL-BEING By Anne Josephson nothing-to-do-with-winning_b_7219150.html Shannon McGill PG Dominican College - Senior Photo credit: