Distruction of Human Potential
There are many conditions which will destroy human potential, but here I will speak of one that plagues athletic endeavor.
Society is all about winning! If you do not win, you are somehow less than worthwhile. Finishing last is thought of as totally unacceptable; but finishing very close to first but not in first place is almost worse than finishing last. Finishing first is the unwritten law of competition. Seriously...try to find anything in the big search engines directly related to the unwritten law that says finishing first is the best thing...AND...the only acceptable thing. The law is unwritten, but it is still the basic law of competition. Those who finish below first are somehow compromised.
It is my contention that the drive to finish first, while good for motivating behavior, is very destructive to human potential. Any person who is unwilling to accept doing his or her best (given all involved circumstances) as the acceptable level of accomplishment is slowing destroying his or her own self.....at least the psychological self! To my mind, The real test of competition is the production of one's best.