Friday, November 6, 2009

Benefits of Competitive Sports

The question to our guest, Garry Dippel, baseball/basketball/tennis coach:
Why is participation in competitive sports important for children?

Competitive sports are important for many reasons. First, they prepare a child for the challenges he will face in life like almost no other activity. The pressure of competition forces one to react to new situations constantly. Also, the desire to win in a competitive arena will draw out the very best in a child. There is a challenge followed by an immediate reward for excelling. Very few activities provide this set-up.

The truth is that competitive sports reveal a person’s character. Is the player willing to try regardless of an unfair call by a referee? Can he keep his cool when taunted by an opponent on the field? How does she react when the coach puts a sub in for her? All of these situations show the child how to respond to the difficulties and injustices of life.

Another benefit of team sports is learning to function on a team. Players learn to respect teammates on the court or field regardless of their personal feelings. Many times in my own experience as a player I had to work in harmony during a game with people whose views, lifestyles or personalities were out of line with mine. I also had to put aside my own ego to accomplish the goals of the team. I have witnessed many cocky or self-centered young people learn to ignore their own desires in order to win for the team.

Many times in competitive sports it is clear that hard work and desire triumph over talent. This realization teaches a young person that desire to succeed ranks above everything else, and that can make the difference between excellence and mediocrity in his life.


  1. Thanks to Coach Dippel for this guest blog! I agree with him about the value of competitive sports. My kids learned so much from being involved in sports.

    Good sportsmanship can't really be taught unless there's the pressure of competition.

  2. Good job Mr. Dippel. Very well put. I'll remember this as I drive hundreds of miles this year to take my son to basketball! Wendy Gardner