Last game, we were short the players who usually score. We still held our own without them, despite losing only 1-0. After that goal, the other team’s players girdled the net. With less than 10 minutes left, I was on the sidelines, and one of our midfielders was bringing the ball up past half-field. I screamed: ‘Just go for it yourself! Run it up to the net and shoot!’ Some of my teammates turned to me in shock. ‘That sounded a little competitive”
Really? Me, competitive? I tend to not like aggressive personalities: they can alienate people, cut themselves short by not looking at the big picture and can often seem rude. I’ve been dropped from a soccer team or two because the players were cutthroat; I wasn’t up to their skill level. So I’ve always looked to this sport for fun’or so I thought. Perhaps I am competitive.
But being competitive has its benefits:
‘ A recent study published in the research journal Sex Roles founds that women who were competitive to surpass personal goals showed higher self-esteem. This same study however, found that women who competed to win and beat others often felt lonely and depressed.
‘ Being competitive can motivate you to stay active, because you get enjoyment out of the challenge, if you’re playing the best sport for you.
‘ Competitive fitness activities, such as team sports like hockey for example, make you accountable to your teammates.
‘ Sure, fun should be part of the picture, but research says you’ll be more effective at a skill if you’re competitive about it than if you merely enjoy doing the activity.
So how do you prefer to stay fit: on a competitive sport or group fitness classes or on your own?
The key to fulfilling any physical goal (whether it’s to run a certain distance or lose so much weight) or committing to a fitness/sports program is making sure that it’s the right activity for you. Take our quick quiz to find out if you’re competitive.