I read an article today that bemoaned those holiday camps where children's sports aren't "competitive." The author wondered if we're failing to teach our children to cope with life; after all, most people's adult lives will include some measure of failure, so how will they learn?
Coming to the States from England I was amazed how competitive children's lives are here. My sons used to play soccer every Saturday, but only one of them dreamed of being on a team; the others played for fun. Here they were only allowed to join in if they solemnly promised to turn up for every practice and compete in every match! Help.
I guess the question is who's going to measure the failure. Have I failed as a writer if I can't be JK Rowling or JRR Tolkein? Or am I just enjoying myself, doing the best I can and hopefully one day becoming "good enough." Perhaps allowing kids not to compete gives them the chance to judge themselves instead of accepting other peoples' judgement; it gives them permission to be good enough and decide for themselves if they'll ever aspire to be best; and it lets them play.
So no, I'll not complain about holiday camps with non-competitive sports. But I'll still regret the son who stopped playing because he knew he couldn't compete (and I couldn't lie to him).
Meanwhile I'll write, and have fun doing it.