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Ethics to Excellence: Pathway to True Competition David Light Shields, Ph.D. & Brenda Light Bredemeier, Ph.D. University of Missouri-St. Louis AAHPERD.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethics to Excellence: Pathway to True Competition David Light Shields, Ph.D. & Brenda Light Bredemeier, Ph.D. University of Missouri-St. Louis AAHPERD."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethics to Excellence: Pathway to True Competition David Light Shields, Ph.D. & Brenda Light Bredemeier, Ph.D. University of Missouri-St. Louis AAHPERD National Convention March 20, 2010

2 Session Goal To introduce a mental map of true competition that maps a pathway to excellence, ethics, and enjoyment.

3 Ethical Problems are Prevalent in Sports

4 What is their source?

5 Distrust Cheating Frustration Deception Hostility / Anger Aggression Competition Conflicting Goals Egocentric Reasoning EmotionBehavior Yelling (Attributes / Culture) Fear Realistic Conflict Theory

6 Before I enter the ring, I have to change. I have to let the goodness out and bring all the bad in, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Larry Holmes on 60 Minutes

7 Its not just sports, of course …

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9 Competition is… … detrimental from a practical standpoint … harmful from a psychological standpoint … bad from an ethical standpoint

10 Competition, by its very nature, damages relationship. Competitors interests are inherently opposed. I succeed if you fail, and vice versa....so the failure of others is devoutly to be wished. -Alfie Kohn

11 Hundreds of studies support Kohns case against competition. And yet we believe: Competition is innocent on all charges! Kohns prosecution is based on a case of mistaken identity. Kohn Right? Is Kohn Right?

12 What is competition?

13 Traditional View Contest = Competition mutually exclusive effort to advance goal attainment opponents expense

14 External Structure: Contest Competition Result Assumption: The environment (the contest) determines thought/ action (competition) The Environmental Determinist View

15 Com-petere -petere to strive or to seek to seek com- with Competition = to strive or seek with Not all competition is the same (In fact, some things that may look like competition, arent!)

16 External Structure: Meaning:Result: Contest Interpretation Competition? Not all contesting is competing A Constructivist View

17 A Contest May or May NOT Lead to Competition Why am I contesting? What am I trying to achieve? What does success mean? It depends on how the contest is interpreted?

18 Is the contest a striving with?

19 A Quick Detour into Cognitive Science: Have you ever : Invested time in a worthy project? Wasted your time? Found ways to save time? Spent time on something important? Made time for someone?

20 A Quick Detour into Cognitive Science: Have you ever : Invested time in a worthy project? Wasted your time? Found ways to save time? Spent time on something important? Made time for someone? Culturally, we tend to interpret time through use of a money metaphor

21 Peoples preconscious metaphors for contesting influence their interpretations and behaviors. We often make sense of our experience through use of deep metaphors

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23 External Structure: Meaning:Result: Contest Interpretation Competition? (Metaphor) A Constructivist View

24 External Structure: Meaning:Result: Contest Partnership Competition? (Metaphor) A Constructivist View

25 Competition To strive with To strive with The contest is interpreted as a form of partnership. The contest is interpreted as a form of partnership. What is being sought is an enjoyable quest for excellence. What is being sought is an enjoyable quest for excellence.

26 External Structure: Metaphor:Result: Contest Partnership Competition Battle / War Decompetition

27 To call things by their right names is the beginning of wisdom. -Chinese Proverb

28 External Structure: Meaning:Result: Contest Partnership Competition Battle / War Decompetition

29 Decompetition To strive against To strive against The contest is interpreted through a metaphor of battle or war The contest is interpreted through a metaphor of battle or war What is being sought is the thrill of conquest and the extrinsic rewards of victory. What is being sought is the thrill of conquest and the extrinsic rewards of victory. De = reverse of

30 Decompetition is a separate and distinct process from competition. It is not just bad competition, nor is it equivalent to poor sportsmanship.

31 External Structure: Meaning:Result: Contest Partnership Competition Battle / War Decompetition Enjoyable quest for excellence Opportunity to demonstrate superiority and gain the fruits of victory

32 Competition promotes excellence, ethics and enjoyment

33 Decompetition leads to the negative outcomes so often found in social science research

34 Quick Review

35 Two Mental Maps Competition (Striving With) Decompetition (Striving Against) Deep Metaphor-Partnership-Battle / War Goals Motivation View of Opponent View of Rules View of Officials Playing and Winning Emotional Tone Whose Interests are Served? Ideal Contest -Learning & Mastery -Pursuit of Personal Best -Love of the Game -Joy of Accomplishment -Partner or Enabler -Rules = Imperfect Guides to Fairness & Welfare -Officials are Facilitators -Focus is on Process (contesting) -Positive Emotions Predominate -Play & Seriousness in Balance -Mutual Interest -The Common Good -Story, drama, uncertainty; -Closely matched competitors

36 Two Mental Maps Competition (Striving With) Decompetition (Striving Against) Deep Metaphor-Partnership-Battle or War Goals-Learning & Mastery -Pursuit of Personal Best -Domination / Conquest -Pursuit of Superiority Motivation-Love of the Game -Joy of Accomplishment -Use of the Game -Thrill (at opponents expense) View of Opponent-Partner or Enabler-Enemy / Obstacle View of Rules-Rules = Imperfect Guides to Fairness & Welfare -Rules = Partially Tolerated Restraints View of Officials-Officials are Facilitators-Officials are Opponents Playing and Winning-Focus is on Process (contesting) -Focus is on Outcome (winning) Emotional Tone-Positive Emotions Predominate -Play & Seriousness in Balance -Negative Emotions Predominate -Seriousness Displaces Play Whose Interests are Served?-Mutual Interest -The Common Good -The Victors Interest -Individual Good Ideal Contest-Story, drama, uncertainty; -Closely matched competitors -Dominated Contest -Certainty of Outcome

37 Chariots of Fire (1981) A More Subtle Instance of Decompetition Setting Cambridge track star, Harold Abrams, competed against his rival, Scottish missionary- turned-athlete, Eric Liddell, in the Olympic trials. After losing the race, Harold replays the defeat in his mind as his girlfriend tries to help him gain perspective. Cambridge track star, Harold Abrams, competed against his rival, Scottish missionary- turned-athlete, Eric Liddell, in the Olympic trials. After losing the race, Harold replays the defeat in his mind as his girlfriend tries to help him gain perspective.

38 Chariots of Fire (1981) What is his understanding of competition? What is his understanding of competition? What would you say to Harold? What would you say to Harold?

39 The Ethics to Excellence Approach Building Champions Four Propositions: 1: Competition is an ethic. 2: Ethical violations in sport are preceded by a cognitive distortion of the meaning of competition. 3: When the meaning of competition is distorted, optimal performance becomes less likely and enjoyment decreases. 4: True competition provides an ethical edge in performance.

40 Competition is an Ethic Respects Respects all participants and the sport itself Supports Supports the common good of the sport community Fosters Fosters enjoyment that is not at the expense of others Reflects Reflects the moral principles of fairness and care Promotes Promotes excellence over ego

41 What Triggers Decompetition? Recognizing the Threats Mental Map of Decompetition Potential Triggers Deep Metaphor-Battle or War-The Contest Structure Goals-Domination / Conquest -Pursuit of Superiority Motivation-Use of the Game -Thrill (at opponents expense) View of Opponent-Enemy / Obstacle View of Rules-Rules = Partially Tolerated Restraints View of Officials-Officials are Opponents Playing and Winning-Focus is on Outcome (winning) Emotional Tone-Negative Emotions Predominate -Seriousness Displaces Play Whose Interests are Served?-The Victors Interest -Individual Good Ideal Contest-Dominated Contest -Certainty of Outcome

42 What Triggers Decompetition? Recognizing the Threats Recognizing the Threats Mental Map of Decompetition Potential Triggers Deep Metaphor-Battle or War-The Contest Structure Goals-Domination / Conquest -Pursuit of Superiority -Personal insecurities -Rigid gender roles Motivation-Use of the Game -Thrill (at opponents expense) -Extrinsic rewards View of Opponent-Enemy / Obstacle-Disrespectful opponents View of Rules-Rules = Partially Tolerated Restraints-Perceived bending of rules by opponents View of Officials-Officials are Opponents-Perceived injustice Playing and Winning-Focus is on Outcome (winning) -External pressures to win (e.g., from parents / boosters) Emotional Tone-Negative Emotions Predominate -Seriousness Displaces Play -High stress -Perceived threat Whose Interests are Served?-The Victors Interest -Individual Good -Immature moral reasoning Ideal Contest-Dominated Contest -Certainty of Outcome -Lopsided contests

43 How Might Decompetition Interfere with Optimal Performance?

44 The Ethics to Excellence Approach Building Champions Recognizing the Ethical Edge

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47 The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) Scene Rannulph Junah is on the comeback trail, thanks to mysterious caddy, Bagger Vance. During the big match, while brushing some twigs away from the ball, the ball moves.

48 The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) What Do You Think? Is it in his interest to not call a stroke on himself?

49 The Ethical Edge Mental Map of Competition Performance Advantages Deep Metaphor-Partnership Goals-Learning & Mastery -Pursuit of Personal Best Motivation-Love of the Game -Joy of Accomplishment View of Opponent-Partner or Enabler View of Rules-Rules = Imperfect Guides to Fairness & Welfare View of Officials-Officials are Facilitators Playing and Winning-Focus is on Process (contesting) Emotional Tone-Positive Emotions Predominate -Play & Seriousness in Balance Whose Interests are Served? -Mutual Interest -The Common Good Ideal Contest-Story, drama, uncertainty; -Closely matched competitors

50 The Ethical Edge Mental Map of Competition Performance Advantages Deep Metaphor-Partnership Goals-Learning & Mastery -Pursuit of Personal Best -Focus on learning encourages persistent effort Motivation-Love of the Game -Joy of Accomplishment -Intrinsic motivation is more stable, enduring, and energizing View of Opponent-Partner or Enabler-Less likely to be distracted by negative views of opponents View of Rules-Rules = Imperfect Guides to Fairness & Welfare -Less mental time wasted on looking for rule loopholes / Fewer penalties View of Officials-Officials are Facilitators-Less distracted by poor calls; easier to keep head in the game Playing and Winning-Focus is on Process (contesting) -Allows the athlete to stay focused on what is within their control Emotional Tone-Positive Emotions Predominate -Play & Seriousness in Balance -Positive emotions are easier to manage than negative emotions Whose Interests are Served? -Mutual Interest -The Common Good -Reduces fear of loss or fear of success Ideal Contest-Story, drama, uncertainty; -Closely matched competitors -Close games are not interpreted as challenges to competency and so are less threatening or stressful

51 The Ethics to Excellence Approach Building Champions The Triple-Goal Approach to Coaching

52 The Ethical Edge Mental Map of Competition COACHING GOALS Deep Metaphor-Partnership Goals-Learning & Mastery -Pursuit of Personal Best Motivation-Love of the Game -Joy of Accomplishment View of Opponent-Partner or Enabler View of Rules-Rules = Imperfect Guides to Fairness & Welfare View of Officials-Officials are Facilitators Playing and Winning-Focus is on Process (contesting) Emotional Tone-Positive Emotions Predominate -Play & Seriousness in Balance Whose Interests are Served? -Mutual Interest -The Common Good Ideal Contest-Story, drama, uncertainty; -Closely matched competitors PROMOTE EXCELLENCE ENHANCE ENJOYMENT DEVELOP CHARACTER

53 Three Goals / Nine Strategies DEVELOP CHARACTER ENHANCE ENJOYMENT PROMOTE EXCELLENCE COACHING GOAL 1.Talk about What Matters 2.Promote a Values-Based Team 3.Practice Good Character 4.Support Intrinsic Motivation 5.Eliminate Fear of Failure 6.Encourage Enthusiasm 7.Focus Attention 8.Set Appropriate Goals 9.Support Foundations of Excellence STRATEGIES

54 De La Salle Football

55 What did you see?

56 To promote true competition, we need to teach it, practice it, and talk about how genuine competition differs from decompetition.

57 For More Information For More Information Visit: www.truecompetition.org Visit: www.truecompetition.org Email: dshields@truecompetition.org Email: dshields@truecompetition.org Phone:314.348.0955 Phone:314.348.0955 Also: David Shields & Brenda Bredemeier University of Missouri-St. Louis

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