THE STRIKE ZONE
Sometimes Sports, Sometimes Sportsmanship
I know we have bored readers with the exhaustive look at self-esteem and its relationship to competition and sportsmanship over the past few weeks. So we'll move on...slightly...
If you're looking for more material on similar subjects, check out the old book "Problem Athletes and How to Handle Them" by Bruce Ogilvie and Thomas Tutko. Although published many moons ago, there is a key point that holds true and reflects some interesting thoughts for us today.
According to their research, participants in athletics "with immense character strengths" actually tend to avoid competitive sports.
That's right. If you subscribe to this train of thought, if you see someone who does not enjoy competition (specifically athletics), that person has a lot of strength in the ol' noggin. This is an amazing thought when we consider begin to consider old phrases about how competition builds character, etc.
Along these lines, according to Ogilvie and Tutko, competition actually can fuel things such as depression, extreme stress, and the tendency to only have relatively shallow relationships. Perhaps that may be a bit obtuse, but the theory seems to hold truth.
Look, we're all going to face competition. And just because research shows something like this doesn't mean that we should give up competitive athletics. What it does mean, however, is that a more conscious understanding of how our psyche works mixed with a greater awareness of what unchecked competition can do can prevent us from heading down this dangerous path. Maybe it can help us actually indirectly build character.