Competition in sports and academics. Is it good for us? #PO4

Is competition good or bad? Old and Necessary or New and questionable?  Nelson and Dawson discuss both of these question throughout the article and how they can be seen in the Academic world.  Competition is not something that is purely good or bad, but the benefits a draw backs of it change depending on the situation when it is present.  It is not only those who are directly involved in the competition who are affected.  Parents and teachers for example who are observing the main competition taking place, will feel some sort of effect.  Competition in sports and academics are closely related and can be compare in various ways as seen in the article.  Competition in academics and in sports is good for those involved and true success won’t be achieved without it.

The article is broken down into simple and organized sections, which present different effects of competition and how the relate to the idea shown in the heading.  Each section presents a different view on competition and how it can be seen as natural and is used to make improvements.  In sports for example the article discusses how in order to truly become a good player competitive tennis must be played.  You can’t simply just hit the ball from one player to another if you want to be considered a good player.  It is the same in academic simply doing the work can make you good in that specific domain or specialty but going above and beyond and wanting to be the best in it is what will bring you to more success.

Competition can cause anxiety and stress for those involved but also those observing.  One example used in the article is that of children learning how to read.  One child might learn to read perfectly in one year while the other reads with extreme difficulty after the same period of time.  Effects of the competition can be seen on the children involved and how wanting to read has pushed one to achieve the ability to read faster.  The effect can also be seen on the parents who will suffer from anxiety due to this.  Wondering why their child didn’t learn to read as fast.  Due to this the parents will invest more money into the education of their child in order to make then a better reader.  Competition created a spark that encouraged the extra effort to be put in by the second child and their family.  Competition can also be used as motivation.  Without competition students may not be motivated to work, or simply work at a high quality.  With competition the students will be putting out higher quality work and be more inclined to put in more effort.

Competition encourages you to achieve greatness and push yourself in ways not otherwise possible.  It makes you less phased to things that should be intimidating.  We compete in every part of our lives.  Academics is one part that is full of different areas where we compete.  There is competition for grades, scholarships, schooling and more.  Without the competition and knowing of limited space as well as other factors student would not be motivated to try as hard as they can to get into the best universities.  Schools try to limit competition when younger by giving out letter grades rather than numerical values.  In end the it doesn’t matter how the students are being graded there will always be competition for who has the better letter or higher number.  Many see competition as not necessary and it is also not accepted by everyone.  It is argued that the schooling system is forcing competition onto the students.  The blame however cannot be placed completely on the schooling systems for the increase in academic competition.  Competition has become an important part of everyday lives and it is something brought on by the students.  The students compete with each other consciously and willingly.  With the increase in competitive sports, social media and other factors it is only natural for it to be present in the academic world as well.

Social Darwinism is at play when it comes to competition in society.  Natural selection is seen at the root of all competition.  Those who are not able to succeed wont and those who are competitive and are able to adapt and face the challenges presented to them will.  That can be seen in sports and academics.  Competition is needed for true success to be achieved.  It creates motivation and a drive to do well that would otherwise not be present.  It encourages you to do better and be the best that you can be.  It encourages you to learn how to read faster or become the best at tennis.  Competition in sports and academics are closely related and are both responsible for leading to an increase in the amount of competition in our lives and the role it plays.