Philosophy on Competition | Camp Mohawk

Philosophy on Competition

At Mohawk, our goal is to create an environment where campers can comfortably learn and explore. We define success as trying hard and improving, not winning vs. losing – something we call “Effort over Outcome.”

Children (and adults!) tend to enjoy activities that they feel they do well, and avoid activities where they feel uncomfortable or “inadequate.” We naturally define ourselves as capable or incapable in different contexts, and feel good or bad about ourselves accordingly. Therefore, at Mohawk we strive to remove these self-judgments so that each camper can begin to define him or herself as someone who “tries hard.” Consequently, campers learn more, create self-esteem built upon a solid foundation and discover a deeper enjoyment of sports and active play.

For many, intense competition can become an obstacle to learning and enjoyment. However, competition is also natural, and will always be part of children’s lives in one form or another. For these reasons, Mohawk creates a balance – one where children learn that competing can be healthy and fun, and – through lots of encouragement and focus on Effort over Outcome – that it can contribute to enjoyment without adding pressure or negative feelings.

At Mohawk we learn that even professional basketball players receive high fives whether they make or miss a free-throw, because their ultimate goal is to encourage teammates to stay positive, remain engaged and improve.