Do you love to compete? What about your competitors? Do you love them? I’m willing to bet that most people would say no when first asked. Why? Because that is what society has come to teach us. But what if we should love our competition? This week we’ll discuss this topic and explain why we should love our competition.

I’ll admit I never really thought about loving your competition until a few months ago when I read Pat Summit’s book, Reach For The Summit. I highly recommend the book. In it she brings up the concept of loving, or appreciating, the competition. After reading and reflecting upon it, I realize that Coach Summit is right. We should love our competition. Here’s why:

First, our competition raises our competitive spirit up. This is what it’s all about. Without competition and the possibility of defeat it would be much more difficult to raise our level of performance. Appreciate the close games against a quality opponent when your competitive spirit is brought to its highest point. All competitors love the feeling of competing in a close game against a quality opponent.

Secondly, competition makes you better. No one has ever reached a higher level without facing competition. It brings out the best in us. The best teams and the best players welcome competition because they know the benefits. That’s why professional teams are always holding competitions for roster and starting spots in training camp.

An improved work ethic is another reason to value the competition. Most of the time people need a push to kick it into the next gear. The competition provides just that. If you’re not working hard on your craft; somewhere, somebody else is. It’s that very thought that pushed me and my teammates when we played, and it’s still a motivating force for me today.

The ability to review our own performances is another reason to love the competition. Without the competition we wouldn’t have a barometer to judge ourselves against. By using the competition as a self-analysis tool, we are able to make our strengths stronger and weaknesses better.

A final reason to love the competition is because they bring out greatness that we didn’t know was within. Leaders are born and iron wills are forged when faced with tough competition. There has been or will come a time in our lives where we surprise ourselves and others with our performance. But it’s only through competition that our hidden talents and strengths are brought to light.

Lastly, it’s important to create a schedule that is tough. As a coach you must teach your players to embrace tough competition and that they can rise above it. That is one of the primary goals of our summer schedule. We play an incredibly tough schedule, which doesn’t add up to a lot of wins, but I don’t care about winning summer league games. I want our players to compete their tails off, be good teammates, and improve every day. Playing the best now will put us in position to beat the best teams on our schedule when December rolls around.

I think this quote sums it up perfectly, “You don’t develop good teeth by eating mush.”

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!

~Kyle

Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for information.