The Case For Competitive Sports In Schools

Jul 13 • Featured • 874 Views • 9 Comments on The Case For Competitive Sports In Schools

After posting a blog about free sports lessons for kids yesterday, it was interesting to hear from some mums that they think sports classes and lessons are too competitive for kids.

I don’t know about you but surely the chance to compete is part of the reason why sports are good for kids. Don’t get me wrong I’m no sports champion in fact I was rubbish at PE. Not only was I the last to be chosen for teams, but also I was completely hopeless at gym, and appalling at athletics.

However, even though I never won a medal being a sports loser didn’t crush me, or stop me from enjoying sports both as a child and as an adult. So I am bemused at why so many people think participating in competitive sports is such a bad thing.

It’s a subject that’s currently irking me because I’ve just come back from a meeting at my daughter’s new school where I’ve been told there is a non-competitive sports policy. Translated this means during PE there are no winners and no losers and it seems no sporting enthusiasm whatsoever.


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  This is reflected in the curriculum where instead of football and baseball and a variety of heart pumping sports there is country dancing. Call me old school but surely as the government are calling for all under 5’s to get three hours of exercise a day, schools should be encouraging kids to love sport for what it is. That’s the chance to try something sporty, get better at it, compete and maybe even excel at it?
Doesn’t that in turn help prepare our kids for the real world? 
It’s a theory backed up in a new book Rush: Why You Need To Love The Rat Race by Todd Buchholz. Buchholz believes competition is good and patting children on the head without expecting them to achieve is a dangerous way to bring up kids. Embrace competition is his message and I for one whole-heartedly agree.

What about you? Are competitive sports in school a good or bad thing? 

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9 Responses to The Case For Competitive Sports In Schools

  1. kelly iliffe says:

    our children just had a sports day at school 5 and 7 years old and they dont even acknowledge anyone winning or losing which i think is wrong! children need to have a competitve drive, if they dont want to be the best, how will they get anywhere in life? I think it’s school’s way of getting out of the responsilbility of teaching children about the up and downs in life that you will face,and how to deal with this kind of thing when it happens, for example you arent going to get every job you go for in life. you might not get be able to buy the home you want but if you dont have that goal in the first place(that 1st place your aiming for) what do they have to aim for?

  2. Janice says:

    Absolutely agree with Kelly. Life will always involve competition – getting a job, the girl/boyfriend, the must have in the sale – therefore our young people need to learn hope to cope with the disappointment but also achievement with dignity.

  3. Anita Naik Anita Naik says:

    I absolutely agree with both of you. Life does indeed involve competition whether you’re competitive or not. And how can you learn resilience if you don’t learn that sometimes you lose?

  4. Wenefryde says:

    I have twins. One very sporty and one not at all. Learning about competition is vital for life. Learning to be a good winner as well as learning try ones hardest to do the best you can do when there is no chance of winning are lessons for life. Schools cop Out by not offering competitions in music art drama public speaking etc and holding these competitions in the regard of sport in the culture of the school. They simply can’t be bothered to try to change this. How about art poem competitions being listed along side the netball football results radical I know but with a bit of work why not? I agree schools just don’t want to deal with teaching our futures about loosing and being good winners too.

  5. Anita Naik Anita Naik says:

    When I was at school we had spelling competitions and art ones and even essay ones. Now everyone seems to get a gold star and teachers dare not say one thing is excellent over another. It’s a bolstering self-esteem message gone wrong! Or schools don’t want to deal with having to explain to kids that competition is a natural part of life whether you like it or not.

  6. Janice says:

    At my son’s school there is competition not just in sport but in art, music, languages and many other areas. In talking to my son, there is no jealousy for the ones that are good at all these areas and come out winners, but the others support them and are proud to be part of a winning team. Of course it does make them all try harder in the areas they enjoy and do well to try to beat the previous winners!

  7. Tattie Weasle says:

    Sounds liek everyone is up for a bit of competition adn that is good except when the ones who aren’t are left out or failed. As well as helathy competition in sports etc At our school we do PBs ( Personal bests) If soneone beats their personal best then they are acknowledged for doing so! It is a simple measure that realy helps motivate the children.

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