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Ib Ravn

Intrinsic and extrinsic competition

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Progressive educators caution against the excesses of competitive sports and argue for moderation and cooperation instead. However, sport games and duels like wrestling and martial arts are nothing without intense competition, as the very game consists in tackling the challenges posed by adversaries trying to beat each other. Examined closely, competition in these sports involves two aspects or phases: One is the struggle to bring the rally, round or episode to its successful completion. The other aspect is obtaining the point accruing to the winner of the rally or episode. The former may be called intrinsic competition and it features the enjoyment derived from the maximal exertion and immersion in the act of playing or fighting. The other aspect may be called extrinsic competition. It is narrowly focused on gaining that all-important point, winning the match, the tournament or the medal and relishing the attendant social recognition. In this paper, it is speculated that the benefits of competition may derive from the enjoyment and absorption of intrinsic competition, while the many negative effects of excessive competition, especially as seen in children and youth, may be due to extrinsic competition, the pursuit of wins for their own sake. Twelve practical suggestions are offered for physical education teachers and coaches who wish to bring intrinsic competition to the fore and deemphasize extrinsic competition.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftStrategies - A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators
ISSN0892-4562
StatusAccepteret/In press - 28 dec. 2020

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