In this opinion piece by Sandra Aamond and Sam Wang, the authors do a great job of explaining the difference. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/opinion/sunday/building-self-control-the-american-way.html?pagewanted=all
They state that while some parents loudly and repetitively praise their children for virtually anything, even when they do not in fact do a good job, others use a more spearing, explicit and measured approach to praise, which underlines the desirable behavior. For example, instead of saying the general "good job" for a child's participation in a certain activity regardless of their performance, a parent might underline the specific accomplishment "I liked how you kept trying to make a goal, even when it seemed so hard". This type of praise underlines self-control, perseverance and the notion that sometimes things do not work out, but to keep at it.
Additionally, the general "good job" can feel empty and meaningless if that is what the child hears regardless of the amount of effort and, frankly, success that they have. I also believe that there is nothing wrong with fostering healthy competition in the next generation, after all we all require certain goals to reach toward, even if it is simply to create more meaning in our lives. We live in a competitive world, one that does not readily reward effort alone. It is our job as teachers and parents to teach the younger generations how to live and thrive in a competitive and results oriented society.