Welcome to Chris’s Blog

I’d like to welcome everyone to my blog here on TrueCompetition.Org!

Here I’ll be discussing some of the more notable events in sports and business, as well as my own personal experiences as an athlete and employee, with a focus on how they relate to the mission of TrueCompetition.Org.  I hope that my readers and I will be able to develop an ongoing dialog, as we look to understand why we behave as we do at work, and at play.

My interest in this subject has its roots first and foremost in the very up-and-down response I had to competition in the thirty years I played soccer.  From the age of six, when I joined my first youth soccer team, The Stingrays, to the age of thirty-six when I finally called time on my playing career amidst mounting injuries, I competed virtually non-stop.

From the outside, it would be easy to assume that I enjoyed every moment of my time playing soccer.  After all, it would be almost inconceivable to do something for thirty years without enjoying it.  But the reality is far more complicated.

At times, I found playing to be exhilarating and immensely enjoyable as I improved and grew as a player.  At other times, I found it to be a joyless struggle–not for excellence–but for self-esteem and individual respect.  One moment I would be helping an opponent to their feet, the next I would be cynically pulling on their shirt to achieve an advantage.

I often wondered how these two experience could come from a single sport, how my own response could be so drastically different, game to game.  While I had a number of ideas on why a game turned one way or another–such as respect and goodwill between players–I really had no clear framework for putting all the pieces together.

Then I met David Shields and Brenda Bredemeier, leading researchers on the impact of competition on moral development.  Their paper, Rethinking Competition, made sense of it all:  the brilliant emotional highs, and the difficult lows; the goodwill I felt for my opponents, and the anger.  Best of all, it gave me the tools I needed to ensure that I could enjoy–really enjoy–competing.

2 responses to “Welcome to Chris’s Blog”

  1. Glad to be a part of the discussion

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