Competition means the use of a reference system. Different reference systems are possible to influence motivation. In the motivation theory of Heckhausen, these different reference systems are explained and the best practice demonstrated. However, competition is not only the use of a reference system – competition also means receiving feedback, learning to lose and to define rules and more. Each of these aspects of competition is explained based on scientific studies, and the important aspects for motivation in education are worked out and demonstrated by example. The focus is on the theoretical part. The ideal motivation theory as well as the different aspects of competition are worked out, the core element being an abstract model of competition. Each element of competition is concretized and analysed from the perspective of motivation.