CAREER ADVANCEMENT / JAN. 29, 2014
version 5, draft 5

Competition is the Key to Success

I am sure you have all heard of, or even witnessed a non-competitive sports day, where all the children get medals and there was no winner or loser. Perhaps you have even participated in one. But be honest, didn’t you think that it was a bit ridiculous? What is the point in racing, if there is no winner? If I run a race I want to win, I certainly don’t want everyone to win. They have even started to import it sense of thinking into sports, so now you have football games with no winners either. But the one sport that I always thought would be immune from this madness would be Rugby Union. Sadly, the mad politically correct PTA patrol has managed to get their claws into that as well. Their dastardly plan is to have non-competitive rugby games, where teams switch players if a game is too one sided, for the 6 -11 year old players. Without life lessons in winning or losing how are we preparing our children to get through life? The last time I checked, not everyone wins in the real world, and most workplaces are a competition.

Our Need to Be Challenged

If you want to succeed in life, then you need to be able to deal with the ups and downs that life throws at you. How are you going to succeed at school, if they decide that grades are irrelevant because they hurt people’s feelings? Granted it would be a lot more egalitarian, but we would wind up with an uneducated generation, who could barely handle addition. If there is no reward for work, then people, especially teenagers and children, are usually unwilling to put any effort in.

Learning to Lose

The only thing that drove me to succeed in sports and at school was competition from my peers. I wanted to win and be the best at everything I did. Sure it made me a bit ruthless in sport, but I wasn’t mean and every time that I or my team lost we learned how to handle it. One of the most important things that you learn when playing competitive sports is how to lose. This is especially true with Rugby Union, as you have to be respectful to the other team or the referee will have you for breakfast.

Every job seeker or entrepreneur knows that rejection and failure are part of life. There is no way to escape the inevitable rejection from a university course, or job that you want. Entrepreneurs are expected to fail at least once before they succeed, if they ever do. How on earth will a new generation deal with this kind of rejection, if they have been shielded from losing a simple rugby game?  

Rugby Union is a competitive contact sport, trying to make a contact sport into a non-competitive sport is pure madness. You can tell the children that there are no winners or losers, but no matter what, they will always know themselves. You can’t stop boys from being boys. They will be competitive and mean to each other. Is it a bad thing? Sometimes yes it is, but overall it teaches children and teenagers a lot of values which are important in life. Mainly the fact that if you work hard enough, then you will be the best and get what you deserve. Ok, it doesn’t always work out quite like that, but you can get pretty far with hard work and a competitive spirit. 

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