Why Competition in Sport is good for children

For many, “competition” is a scary word that shouldn’t be used around children. Not only does it put pressure on children to be the best, it can also result in children feeling disappointed if they don’t do as well as they think or hope. However, is naming everyone a winner and handing out participation medals/trophies the answer?

At Get Active Sports, healthy competition is part of the day to day running, with children being encouraged to not only compete against others, but more importantly compete against themselves.


Competition against others is important for children in their youth and to continue into adulthood. It teaches, patience and how to be graceful in defeat. We should remind our children that it isn’t always the biggest, fastest and most gifted children who win, but also those that try hard, practice and put their mind to the challenge.

Team competition is just as important as individual competition as it can teach your children to work as a team, communicate, solve problems as well as work towards a common goal.


Key facts:

  • Children involved with and enjoying healthy competition may:
  • Ask to play the game again
  • Be able to win and lose with respect
  • Children involved in unhealthy, results only based competition may:
  • Fake illness to avoid the game/match/activity
  • Resist participation

Most children will be nervous before a competition so it’s important to ensure this doesn’t impact other areas of their life. One good way of doing this is by changing the focus.

Part of competition and the resulting mixture of emotions is down to how we perform personally. Our biggest competitor is often ourselves. If we can change the focus in children’s attitude at a young age, when they are still learning about competition this could result in a continued enjoyment for sport as they learn the other key ingredients to being a good competitor.

Instead of worrying about who the fastest is or who can jump the furthest, teach your children to look at themselves first:

  • “Have I run quicker than my last time?”
  • “Am I jumping further than I’ve jumped before?”

If the answer to these questions is a yes, your child is already a winner.

At Get Active Sports, we offer a wide range of sports that will keep your child healthy and active. Have a look at our clubs and camps and give us a call today for more information on 01344 860 868.

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