Self motivation limits individual’s capabilities
Athletes grapple on the court for a position on the starting roster. They serve, return and rally with one another in anticipation to gain the starting spot. Competition between teammates drives student athletes to become better than each other, ultimately making the team stronger.
Critics of peer to peer competition argue that one can attain greater success by focusing on competing with an individual’s own accomplishments. However, as many struggle to self motivate themselves.
Competition with peers raises expectations and propels students to new heights of excellence. Self motivation offers a short term solution to a long term problem. As soon as the self motivation dissipates, so does progress and product. Competition between peers is a constant source of motivation that encourages progression.
An example of this idea is the way tennis teams function. Members compete against each other to gain a higher spot on the ladder three times a season to rank themselves and see who will play.
Then the team as a whole comes together and competes against other teams, who also compete internally before facing outside competition.
Competition allows teams to grow stronger as individuals and as a group, as the team which performs the best as a whole wins. According to “True Competition,” by David Shields and Brenda Bredemeier, teammates who work together towards excellence build each other up.
However, when competition becomes comparison, individuals stagnate in their pursuit for something greater. Comparing oneself to other people promotes a sense of pride. The pride of being better than another shifts the focus away from growth and causes inactivity in achievement.
Teammates who compare themselves with each other breed feelings of prejudice which divides the team. Teams with healthy levels of competition practice with purpose. That practice translates to success during games.
Competition remains a necessary element to the progression of human achievement. Avoid comparison with your peers, but inspire competition among colleagues to propel creations and talents to new heights.
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