Last minute of the basketball game, your team has the ball, behind 1 point. Do you take the shot? Is it about competing, about winning? Why?Competition is defined as gaining or winning something by establishing superiority over others who are trying to successfully do the same. If winning was the only objective, adults would compete against kindergarten kids to put a mark in the win column.
In reality, competition is part of life. We HAVE and WILL compete EVERY DAY in one way or another. Competing The Wylie Wayis different. We want to grow our kids to set lofty goals with the courage to “level up” that inspires their best effort, every day. It’s about equipping our kids with a plan and purpose, powered by their best effort and skill in a way that gets our kids in the game, keeps them in the game, The Wylie Way!
As you know, many times during the year, we press the pause button on the regular day and take a moment to build relationships with our kids by discussing core ethical values that create the kind of adults we are proud to someday call a Wylie ISD graduate. Today is one of those days! We will explore the science of competition with the goal of teaching our kids to take and make the shot by setting goals, that help them grow and achieve to be their very best self! They will explore what makes them…well, them. =-)
Challenge or Threat?
Achievers make more shots that perceive competition a challenge, not a threat. Researchers tell us that successful competitors have the resources, optimal environment and adequate skills to perceive their circumstance as challenge, not a threat. You can help by talking to your kids about how and why they flourish or struggle during competition and why.
Warrior or Strategist?
We all approach competition differently. One thing we share, under stress, the brain is flooded with the chemical dopamine. How a person processes dopamine makes a big difference regarding how they compete. Scientists have discovered people process dopamine slowly or quickly. This depends on the enzyme, COMT. How this enzyme processes dopamine divides us into two general categories, WARRIORS and STRATEGISTS. How are they different? Warriors can process dopamine REALLY fast. A strategist brain needs time to process and can sometimes be overwhelmed.
Which one are you? An Italian study found that the length of your fingers is a key indicator. Crazy, right? Is your ring finger the same length as the index finger? You are a strategist. If your index finger is shorter than your ring finger, you are a warrior. (For more about this read the book Top Dog)
Achieving Kids Profile
Your kid brings home a report card with three A’s and one C. Where do you focus your attention? The “C” right? We believe that growing achievers that successfully compete in the game of life FOCUS on strengths and simply MANAGE weaknesses. The Wylie Way is all about finding our what is RIGHT about your kid. We ask our kids to log into their Achievement Profileand record their strengths, accomplishments, and set goals for the future. For example, below is my own son Cal’s achievement profile.
This includes his hope score, grit score, hopes, dreams, strengths, plans for the future and so much more. What about your kid? Using your kiddos username and password, log into their Achievement Profile and find out what is RIGHT about them, help them learn, grow, plan their future and achieve the Wylie Way! You can click on the Achieving Kids link to take you to the login and see what is RIGHT about your kid.
You are playing in a basketball game, this time you are WAY behind. You are playing TERRIBLE and it just seems to get worse every quarter. If we put your thoughts on a video board for everyone to see, what would it say? In his Ted Talk “What Drives Winning,” Brett Ledbetter discusses the importance of your “Inner Voice” and impact of what telling yourself means to how you respond to stress in competition. We will be discussing this today, it would be a great discussion to follow up at home. Our kids are hard on themselves! Click on the link below to watch the video. It’s awesome!
Elementary Kids Too
As you can tell, most of what’s on the dashboard may relate better to secondary kids. We have created an elementary focused lesson for your kids too. Watch for the following handout that should be coming home with them soon.
We will cover the basics with our little ones to help them grow and learn. You can help by talking to them about:
Their “game plan”
The training and goals that result in achievement
What makes a “good sport”
I am excited about today and everything our kids will do to learn and grow to help them compete and achieve, the Wylie Way!