Competition Affects Students in Different Ways


Rennie Skinner

Paducah Tilghman senior Alex Baeza competes against Mayfield.

Alicia Durfee

Competition is something we all face in our daily lives. We all struggle in our own ways with competing against others. Most students must choose a careful balance between sports and academics. Competition between students only ups the stress levels.

After interviewing several Tilghman athletes, there was one common reoccurrence. Competition is overwhelming and can be draining. For those who constantly make a good effort, competing for success and validation can be tiring.

Madison Patel, a swimmer on Paducah Tilghman’s swim team for the past ten years, feels like competition takes a toll on her mental health because she wants to succeed in both her sport and academics. Days when she is competing are often the hardest for her. She elaborated on how the stress during practice isn’t as difficult for her because she knows where to draw the line. “I see how it affects the swimmers around me and I avoid being stressed about it. Competition adds to the excitement of training in a way because you are putting in all that work just to see what you can do,” she said.

Alex Baeza, a soccer player for Paducah Tilghman’s soccer team for the past four years, said that competition can cause her to lose a lot of sleep. She also said that it’s hard to balance her social life on top of everything she does each day to stay on top. Her faith has helped pushed her along in the past and she said that everything she competes for is for the glory of God. Competition for her is not something that affects her day-to-day life because she knows when to keep it on the field. She said, “I’m an extremely competitive person and sometimes that does affect who I’m playing with. That drive influences my passion for soccer, and not everyone seems to understand that. But competition makes the team better and we continuously work to be positive about it.”

Malachi Rider, a football player for Paducah Tilghman, said that competition is not something that overwhelms him but constantly allows him to continue to get better. “There is not a more excited feeling than being able to run free and do what I do on that field,” he said. He said that competition is at the forefront of his mind on a regular basis, though, and it influences his decisions. He elaborated on how the only way to improve is if you are actively trying to win at what you do. “I feel like it is a need in me to be competitive but being very humbled at what I do,” he said.

Overall, competition can actively influence minds of students and athletes as they deal with it everyday. It’s important to be mindful of that stress and pressure placed on those who strive to be better.