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ERIC Number: EJ791735
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 14
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-1533-8916
Cooperation versus Competition: Is There Really Such an Issue?
Daniels, Ann Michelle
New Directions for Youth Development, n115 p43-56 Fall 2007
This author argues that youth sports can move beyond the dichotomy of cooperation versus competition by redefining competition. This can be accomplished by considering the development of cooperative skills and achievement motivation. The article addresses how cooperative skills can be taught within a competitive sport. First, it is important to understand how children and youth understand and process competition based on their developmental stage. Parents need to consider whether a child is mentally, emotionally, socially, and physically mature enough to participate in an organized sport. Readiness for a sport is just as important as readiness for school. Teaching cooperative skills within a competitive context involves a focus on personal development rather than performance. By asking themselves a series of developmental questions, such as, "Is the sport appropriate for the developmental age of the child?" parents and coaches can form realistic expectations of young athletes. Motivation is also a key determinant of a child's readiness for youth sports and competition. Children want to play a sport when they feel competent. It is up to parents and coaches to create a motivational climate that is focused on doing one's best and not on external rewards like winning. Children and youth receive specific and constructive feedback that focuses on improvement in this type of climate. The author also discusses three models of competition: the military model, the reward model, and the partnership model. The partnership model is the approach that balances competition in youth sports. The author concludes by introducing the "athletic square" model as an important and appropriate way to promote youth sports. (Contains 21 notes.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A