(Editor's note: Brent Zeller is the author of the provocative book Evolutionary Education: Moving Beyond Our Competitive Compulsion. Here, he explains why he believes competition is detrimental to learning. Comments are welcome at the bottom of the page.)

In 1988, after 20 years of learning and playing tennis, and 14 years of teaching it to thousands of students, I had a simple realization: The introduction of competition before we achieve proficiency in the fundamental physical, mental, and emotional skills compromises all aspects of the learning process.

Like many realizations, mine was a dawning awareness of a truth dimly intuited for years that


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