Often, competition means that we feel best when the other is losing and we are winning. It’s natural, an elemental human perception to notice and potentially choose. Though what would it do for us if we recognized that we are shooting for the same thing, trying to do our best, and we’re all in this together?
It’s tournament season and that means our junior athletes are regularly facing the course while having a number of ‘opponents’ to compare their scores to and a scoreboard that determines how they stack up against the whole group. The perception an athlete has with regard to competition can make all the difference in their overall experience and performance.
When considering a perception of competition that takes into count the regard of other players, or our ‘opponents,’ I’d like to open our minds to see the potential for a blending in of comradery. For the ultimate benefit of oneself and all others, it’s important for Junior Golfers to take into consideration that though their game is, at its roots, a competition with one’s self, in the end others are involved and your level as a golfer is measured against them.
When we realize that we are all junior golfers participating in tournaments with the same or similar reason, to play golf well…and hopefully because we like it, then we understand the other player is no different from me. When we start feeling bad because another is doing better than us, or even ‘good’ because they are doing poorly, we are affecting our internal chemistry with these negative thoughts and emotions. In short, we are affecting our capacity to perform at optimal levels. If you are resenting the success of another, you are keeping away your own success.
We can keep our internal state in a higher and more balanced place to support our optimal performance by bringing in a greater sense of cooperation and comradery with other players on the tournament course and scoreboard. Not to mention, it simply feels better in general to send good will out to others. Though it’s not something we’re often taught to practice, we can get better at feeling genuine about it by repeating an affirmative thought repeatedly over time.
When entering a tournament or even days before, and certainly anytime you are aware of your own negative thoughts of other golfer’s you’re playing on the course, you may use this affirmative statement to get you on track. My suggestion would be to use it regularly everywhere it applies in life in general, as the more you repeat it mentally, the more readily an emotion will become associated and a new perception manifest.
At the end of the day, as Brene Brown says, “It’s not about winning, it’s not about losing, it’s about showing up and being seen!” This alone is a courageous act for any individual to put themselves out there in competition and a little good-will can go a long way for someone who is struggling, especially when they see a genuine, warm, friendly smile from you…their ‘opponent.’ It’s being a ‘good sport’ in competition.
Affirmative Statement – Your tool to find the balance in competition and comradery.
I promise myself to be just as happy about the success of others as I am about my own. 

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