For most of us School is our second home as we spend a good number of our early years in school. The stepping stones towards our all round development begin at school through competitions. Its here we master our socializing skills to develop our bonds of friendship and where life’s important lessons are learnt. It’s where we are given a platform to explore ourselves, get to know our talents, improve and enhance them, learn how to take both winning and losing in a positive way, it’s here that we are taught and prepared for what is to come, right before we step out into the real world; that is life, as we know it!
A lot of this stems from the experience of competition we face when we participate. We develop bonds of friendship, values such as leadership, learn how to be a team player, experience enjoyment when we win, disappointment when we lose. Nevertheless, there is a constant debate surrounding competitions as a whole. Some individuals are for it while others are against it. So let’s look at some of the pros and cons of competition!
Pros of Competition
Competitions bring about the equation that games = fun into a school work environment. Children like to have fun and participating in a competition highlights this aspect of fun.
Being a part of a team introduces the aspect of a common goal when playing a game. They tend to appreciate teamwork as they are all on the same team trying together to achieve a common purpose.
With a common purpose backing them up you notice how each of them finds their place, some pick up the leadership role, while others become team players.
Through games children begin to wonder about what success is, if they win they come to realize what success is about and view it as receiving trophies, some others think of success as the amount of effort put into it and levels of participation.
Through play they come to realize the importance of corporation, support and the roles they play in achieving success. Apart from this they also learn coordination and team building skills, simply by participating.
Eventually they learn to appreciate each individual in the team and accept each other as individuals with talents of their own and develop dependable friendships.
Participation helps them to realize what their talents are, their likes and dislikes. Apart from this they get to know who they are as individuals, their strengths along with their weakness and finally learn how to overcome their shortcomings.
Through competitions they learn about performance, they teach them to overcome their fears and insecurities. It helps children to build their confidence and convictions.
If competitions help students then it also helps teachers as it gives them an opportunity to find new ways to teach in a fun way thus developing their own skill sets.
Apart from this it also teaches children that just winning or losing is not what matters, but what matters is that you gave it your best short.
Besides these aspects competitions even help students to compete with themselves and make them better prepared and equipped for the next time they enter into a competition. But enough of this!
Although participating in competitions has its advantages we cannot rule out its disadvantages as we will shortly see.
Cons of Competition
It is important to remember that not all children are the same. For passive children a competition may affect them in a negative way.
In cases where success means winning, a loss may mean a failure which isn’t good either. This affects children below the age of 7 negatively hence competing is better left to students above this age limit.
A failure may demotivate a child and scar them for life. These children in turn may never participate in competitions again or tend to run away from participation entirely.
It may lead them to believe that they are not good at all thus they prefer to remain as they are and stop trying to improve their skills, if that is what they lack.
Participation leads to pressure which may negatively affect their performance on the whole. The thought of added pressure sometimes gets the better of the child or for that matter even fear of failure may keep the child away from competitions.
Individuals who stay away from competitions usually remain unaware of their talents and weaknesses and find it difficult to identify where their interests lie or which areas need improvement.
Nevertheless, children who have participated in competitions usually develop skills that no amount of hiding behind a book can help these children to develop these skills.
Even though the reasons for different choices are several; if some children take competitions as a way of achieving something, it is probably nurtured by their families. While the other may not get the desired support therefore they choose not to participate. That is why support is so important in the child’s development. Nonetheless, the pros and cons of competitions will remain a debatable topic due to a difference in opinion and perspective. All in all, it is safe to say that competitions assist in the all round development of the child, all the while developing their skills and improving their soft skills thus making them better equipped for what lies ahead.