I’m talking about “competition” as the drive to be successful in your game. When we look at the energy of competition in athletics, it comes primarily from two directions. The first is to execute and play the game well to win. The second is to beat the other athlete or team to win the game.
Let’s try on the two prospectives and see what we learn.
If my primary motivation is to beat the other, then I’ll do things outside the realm of just the game to be victorious – because the point is to win, no matter what. If I can take out the other team’s best players, then I beat them. In this energy, there is one goal – winning – and that can be a scary, powerful justification. Like organized bullying.
On the other hand, if I want to execute and play my best game to win, then I respect the other team and the challenge they offer. My focus is on the intricacies of the game and how I can win through intellect and expertise.
Simplistic? Maybe. I’d be happy to hear if I’ve missed something. The point is, in most games teams, athletes are amateurs…it’s the place we teach young people to be disciplined, healthy and competitive. Our real job is to build a capable, responsible generation of people… as well as win games.