Competition: in it to win it

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I had been competing in dance since I was 6 years old. As a child, it’s amusing being on stage wearing colorful makeup and elaborate costumes. It wasn’t until I understood the purpose of the long nights practicing a routine and being forced to practice repeatedly until I got the routine perfectly that I realized why I was competing.

I was competing because I wanted to be the best. I competed because after the long nights and excruciating practices taking home the first-place trophy made it all worth it.

While dance competitions are intense, I never once wanted to be better than the girls/boys I was competing against. I felt as though I deserved the trophy, after staying up for hours listening to my music and going over choreography repeatedly, it seemed only fair that after all the hard work and dedication I put into each performance I should take home the win.

Competing is so important to childhood development, it is imperative for a child to know that they will not be perfect at everything they attempt to do. But if a child works hard and is passionate then it becomes more than just earning a win, skills are developed through that process. There is a difference between losing gracefully and being a sore loser. And the difference is how you handle defeat, and what you plan to do with it next.

I did not always win every competition I attended, in fact, there were times I would not even place top five. However, it made me determined to win the next competition I attended.

I would read over the judges’ score sheet, I would then watch a recording of my performance over and over while reading over what the judges corrected. Then the next day I would do the routine again in front of my coach with the judges score sheet and correct each error that I made.

Patt Summit once said “Winning is fun…Sure. But winning is not the point. Wanting to win is the point. Not giving up is the point. Never letting up is the point. Never being satisfied with what you’ve done is the point”

A true competitor is never satisfied, with themselves or their performance. There is always room to grow and be better. The prowess that is learned from competing is a lifelong skill whether it is playing a sport or competing for a job. The ability to push yourself harder, and take the extra step is what establishes someone as a “winner.” It is about how hard you fight, and how bad you want it.