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Dutchess_III's avatar

Why are we supposed to act like we don't care who wins, when we actually do care?

Asked by Dutchess_III (39689points) 3 days ago

My 6 year old granddaughter had a track meet yesterday. She was in the long jump and the 100 meter dash.

In the jump the kids got 3 chances to jump. Her first jump nailed 4 ft. even. She was the first to break out of 3 ft.
Her next jump was 4’ 2”.
Then a little girl jumped 4’4”.
I said to my daughter, “This last jump has to break 4’4” for first place!”
My daughter said, “We don’t care about that. We only care that she’s having fun.”
Well, who went craziest when she blew everyone out of the water with 4’ 7” on her last jump?! :D Spring loaded, just like her mama was. I knew she’d do well.

She was also in first place in the 100M dash…but wiped out half way through the race, like Cool Runnings. Road rash ouch. Poor baby.

So why do we insist that it doesn’t matter if they win or not, when it actually does?
I get that it’s not worth making a kid feel shitty or like a loser if they don’t get first place. I get that there are some people who obsess over themselves, or their kids winning, and I agree that’s not healthy. But generally speaking, for non obsessive, normal people, why are we supposed to act like we don’t care when we do?

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12 Answers

josie's avatar

Not that I disagree with your premise.

But I think the idea with really little kids is to get them engaged in the activity first, and if you discover they like it, and are good at it, then you can start transitioning into the realm of competition.

I think it is peculiar when they NEVER get the message that victory is a meaningless reward, and losers are, well, losers.

On the other hand, we are supposed to act out all sorts of ways, regardless of what we truly think.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good point. We should follow their lead to see if they are instinctively competitive first. It’s hard to tell at 6 years old.

As far as I’m concerned, victory is everything! I’m also competitive. What’s the point of competition if it doesn’t really matter?

josie's avatar

In the competitive arena, victory is indeed everything.

Ask Tiger Woods. He has plenty of money, but he has been working for ten years to experience the thrill of victory once again. It matters.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yep. It’s an instinct, really.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Pro sports have watered down competative behaviors too.
It used to be reporters could ask losers after, what happened. They might say “they effing cheated. Somebody paid off the refs.” Now it is, “Well, we just got outplayed. We tried our best but this time it wasn’t enough.”
And the winners go with, “We were lucky. They are a really good team.”
I miss the nya nya! We kicked your asses!

seawulf575's avatar

Competition is a key driver for our species…for MOST species. And winning is the yardstick. When we stop keeping score, we have no way of measuring how good we are doing. In sports, that becomes mere exercise. We are going to go out onto the soccer field and run around for an hour. don’t worry about practice or scoring or strategy….just run around. Because not trying is just as good as striving to be good. You take away incentive when you take away competition.

JLeslie's avatar

More times than not I don’t care. I’m not very competitive. If I win I’m very glad I did, but if I lose I’m fine with it. I’m speaking specially to sports and games.

In my career it was different. If I didn’t get the promotion I was upset. If I didn’t get the job I was disappointed. If I didn’t get picked for cheerleader I was disappointed.

kritiper's avatar

Good sportsmanship and good fellowship.

snowberry's avatar

I was bullied all through school and so for me competition was a ridiculous concept. Competition was never even on my radar, and I never understood why anybody should care because it seemed entirely counterproductive from my point of view.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s each to his own. It’s just how I am and always have been.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

“Competitive” is one of 32 Strengths identified by the Gallup Organization over more than 50 years of research. We all have a degree of each of these Strengths, and where they fall on the scale of 1–32 depends upon the results of a self-evaluation.

Based upon the information provided, it sounds as if “Competitive” is higher on your scale than your daughter’s. There is nothing wrong with that. What you may need to understand is that not all people feel the same level of satisfaction when competing and beating others.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s not only that. It’s just what we’re teaching this generation. And it’s OK. It has its place. When my grand daughter took first Mom was the most excited out of everyone.

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