by Aaryan Gondal and Swanica Shah

Competition is necessary. You’ve probably heard this statement before on multiple occasions. Be it your parents giving you a lecture on achieving the best grades possible, a coach enrolling you into a tournament or game between friends, competition is essential to growth.

According to research cited in the book, Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing about 25% of people are unaffected by competition; 25% choke under pressure, in a competitive environment; and 50% benefit from competition. What’s the meaning of this? 

Well, it ranges depending on one’s gender, type surrounding, and age but the common similarity between them all is the drive to achieve more. An environment in which friendly competition is encouraged not only encourages people taking part to do their best, but it also gets them to collaborate with others.

In the field of sports, for example, teams taking part play for one goal in the end, and that’s to come first. Not only does this bring out the best in a player, but it pushes teammates to work well with another to achieve mutual goals. The examples are endless, a more relevant example can be that of a classroom. When we’re working in groups and trying to complete an activity, we’re competing with other groups too, and in cases like these the ways in which we work with our partners help us achieve our final goal and putting forward the highest level of work. This can be applied in adult work environments too, a common example is; employee of the month. The employee of the month system is responsible for innovation, better customer service, higher profits, and more productivity. 

Although, competition can be minimized by environments such as schools, which has its benefits. This can help younger children that could tend to be shyer, branch out more and become open towards a wider range of opportunities without the fear of losing. It increases a child’s self-confidence too as no child is put at a higher status than another. The side effect of this could be the child that deserves the appreciation is deprived causing him/ her to not understand their achievement and keep up the good work. 

When a child is finally exposed to competitive environments, which is inevitable, it is likely that the child would be intimidated which could have many effects on the child such as lower self-esteem, anxiety, and stress. 

In my opinion, the best option would be to gradually expose a child to healthy competition. Another method is to have a mindset of self-competition instead of competing with others which can help a person identify their achievements instead of excess stress without appreciation. This is very helpful as everyone has their strengths and weaknesses which may not be clear to another person when comparing his/ her weaknesses to one’s strengths. 

I have been up against competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.  

Walt Disney

A collection of articles by the students of Ascend International School