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The 2012 Summer Olympics have come and gone! However, they have left their mark on us, and we have been inspired to bring you featured products that will allow you to reach your goals. This month we are also featuring an excellent article on healthy competition. In addition, we have fun Summer Olympic facts, new bright green ideas and exclusive savings to help get you moving towards your aspirations, whatever they may be.
Why Being Competitive Isn't Bad for Your Child
Geoff Cole knows a thing or two about competition. His son, Taylor, 18, plays Varsity football; his oldest daughter Lindsey, 16, is on a cheerleading squad; and his younger daughter Meghan, 13, plays both lacrosse and select softball. Between these three children, Geoff has seen what a little competition can do for kids - and it's not necessarily a bad thing.
My kids are constantly "
striving to do their best," says Geoff. "They set personal goals for themselves and follow through." He adds that sports have helped
his kids understand the importance of setting - and achieving - goals.
venth grade he
"With my son, in se
went from being a backup player on the second team of the squad to a starter on the Varsity football team by his Junior year. He drove himself to that position. He had a goal in mind that he set for himself," Geoff says. He also adds that, while all three of his children are competitive on the field, this competitive drive has never gotten out of hand and negatively impacted life off the field.
Competitiveness has a bad rap in our society, especially with regard to kids. The term "competitive" has become synonymous with undesirable traits such as aggression, belligerence, and general "out-of-line" behaviors. At its root, though, competitiveness has to do with "mastery of skills, demonstrating that mastery in a public way, and often comparing your performance to that of others," explains Dr. Nancy Tolley, a psychologist with Cincinnati Public Schools. Dr. Tolley says that in children, this sense of mastery and taking pride in accomplishments begins anywhere between four and seven years of age.
Competition helps kids grow. Competitiveness can be tied in a healthy way to a drive to learn," Dr. Tolley continues, "to try new and difficult things, to learn how to handle failure, and to establish a positive self-image. When the concept is tied to achieving personal bests, it establishes the foundation for future successes in life."
Adds Dr. Peter S. Cha, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Cincinnati's Beacon Orthopedics, "Competition sparks creativity and innovation, in school, business, sports, and in the home. Competitive people are often the most successful in these areas - and healthy competition ensures that people perform at their best level."
However, there is an ugly side to competition - and it generally happens when the child's team loses, or some sort of goal is not reached. "The drive to do your best, or to 'win' can turn into a drive to be perfect or to 'win' at any cost. When children feel compelled to always be perfect or feel worthless when they do not 'win,' the drive to compete becomes harmful," Dr. Tolley explains.
Regarding unhealthy competition, Paul Splitt, a Physical Education teacher at St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary School, adds a few key points: "When winning becomes an obsession, or losing is unacceptable, and the child is willing to cheat - that is unhealthy competition."
To counter these attitudes and behaviors, Paul will intentionally put kids in situations where they will lose. "They need to learn how to lose. It is tough to teach kids to learn how to lose, but it is an important lesson." He concludes, "Kids must maintain respect for the sport, themselves, and the opposition."
Admittedly, this can be a difficult balance - something with which Geoff has seen kids struggle. With Meghan's softball, he's seen girls breaking down on the field. "They've been in tears," says Geoff, "because of the call of a play, or being taken out of the game."
The experts agree that adults send an important message when it comes to competition. "Adult messages about competitiveness are very powerful. Parents and coaches should focus on comments about improvements in skills or attitudes. They should model positive behavior and discourage abusive or negative behavior on the part of other adults at competitions or sports events - especially for younger children," says Dr. Tolley.
Adds Perry Wing, Director of Cincinnati's Sports of All Sorts, "Parents or coaches are key factors in setting the environment for healthy competition. They need to lead by example. If a parent or coach is a screamer or displays unsporting behavior then it will surely carry over to the player. A coach or parent simply needs to set appropriate goals and then stair -step a routine on how to get there."
Geoff agrees, saying that parents need to make sure their kids feel supported and not pushed too hard. Specifically, notes Geoff, parents can't fall into the trap of wanting to "live vicariously" through their child's achievements.
This final sentiment - living through your children - is something Paul cautions about. "Par
ents are not the ones competing, and their identity can not be found through their children. Pushing children to live out the parents' dreams is wrong, but pushing the children to live out their own dreams is amazing."
To maintain this balance, Paul suggests parents "Encourage competition. Encourage your kids to try. Encourage your kids to not give up. Encourage them when they lose. Celebrate personal victories. Competition is healthy, and can be nurtured."
Such support and encouragement is key, says Geoff: "When kids have this framework, they'll naturally strive to do their best."
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| Did You Know... |Summer Olympic Fun Facts
1. Where were the first Summer Olympic Games held?
The 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was a multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece, from April 6 to 15, 1896. It was the first international Olympic Games held in the Modern era. Because Ancient Greece was the birthplace of the Olympic Games, Athens was considered to be an appropriate choice to stage the inaugural modern Games.
2. What country has won the most medals at the Summer Olympics?
The United States has won more medals (2,189) at the Summer Games than any other country.
3. What do the 5 rings of the Olympics represent?
The five Olympic rings represent the five major regions of the world - Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceana, and every national flag in the world includes one of the five colors, which are (from left to right) blue, yellow, black, green, and red.
4.What is the London 2012 Summer Olympics mascot?
The London Olympics have chosen a creature named, "Wenlock." He/she/it wears colorful friendship bands, has a face in the shape of the stadium roof, and wears a headlight on its head.
5. What happens to all of the used sports equipment after the Olympic Games?
They will be freely given to charities. Just imagine being an impoverished child and being able to knock about a tennis ball with a racquet used by a gold-medal-winner!
Source: FactMonster.com, PictureBritain.com
|We hope you found this month's articles informative and fun. Be sure to take advantage of this month's coupon (below) for 20% off custom health products and rewards! Here's wishing you a healthy new beginning!|
Corporate Motivation, Inc.