It is inarguably accepted that a bit of healthy competition in any field is known to enhance motivation and generate increased effort from those competing. The sporting field is no exception to this rule. Whilst there will always be varying levels of sporting talent and interest across any group of people, the benefits that competitive sport provides are still accessible to all. There is a role for both competitive and non-competitive sporting pursuits. Casual sports are a great way to get some exercise whilst enjoying time with friends, but there are a number of other advantages to sport that can only be found in competition.
Here are 5 reasons why competitive sport is important in education:
- Encourages higher standards of achievement
It’s only natural to apply more effort when the stakes are higher and less effort when the outcome is of less importance. With greater effort in sport comes greater improvement in a variety of different areas like skills, fitness, teamwork and potentially awards.
- Encourages physical activity
It is obviously possible to participate in physical activity in a non-competitive environment and many people do so on a regular basis. However, in a competitive environment, students will often push themselves harder in training and in matches. This extra effort results in improved fitness levels as well as extending an individual’s boundaries about their perception of what they are physically capable of.
- Builds discipline
Competitive sport requires dedicated training and practice. Taking part in such training and seeing improvement helps students to understand that with hard work, often comes results. When they experience these improvements, their self-esteem grows and they broaden their limitations of what they can achieve.Goal setting is also an important part of competitive sports. At the start of a season, a coach will often guide students in setting team and individual goals to work towards. Good goal setting techniques are highly transferable skills that can be applied across all areas of schooling and life.
- Teaches how to lose well/deal with disappointment
Losing well is a skill best learnt early and learnt well. Competitive sport is the perfect place to develop this skill as many students are at an age where they are maturing and deciding what type of person they want to be. Engraining good sportsmanship early can ensure students carry these good practices across every aspect of their lives and into their adulthood. Equally as important is teaching students to win gracefully. Competitive sport, especially when the stakes are high and emotions invested, provides ample opportunity for these lessons to be taught, learnt and practiced.
- Builds camaraderie and teamwork
Team sports are one of the best examples to showcase the need for teamwork to achieve success. Regular training and competition provides regular community and bonding. Working together towards a common goal is one of the most effective ways to grow camaraderie and friendship. It’s this shared experience and emotion that builds loyalty and trust within a team. And it’s not just team sports that require team work. Athletes in individual sports also require support from their coach, friends and family, whom all share in the journey through the sporting season.
Sport doesn’t have to be competitive in nature to be enjoyed, but there is no arguing with the advantages of engaging in competitive sports at school. To find out more about Esperance Anglican Community School and get up to date on the latest news, sign up to our newsletter.