Thursday, May 8, 2008

Why Compete?

Do you ever get a little frustrated with people who don’t want to keep score? I have friends who want to go play golf, but not keep score. I don’t want to play with those guys. I tell them, “Just go to the driving range and don’t clutter up the golf course.” What’s the point in playing the game if you don’t compete?

So what’s the big deal with competition? Is it, as some think, for one to show his superiority over another? For some this is probably true. For most of us however, the point is to test ourselves. That’s exactly the point in golf, as each one is competing primarily against the course. It is a test of one’s skills, not just a competition with one’s opponent.

How does competition test us? Let’s make a brief list:
· Competition tests us physically – technique, talent and fitness.
· Competition tests us mentally – focus, knowledge and insight.
· Competition tests us spiritually – self-control, faith and love.

Why compete? To compete well is to test oneself against an ascending scale of standards of achievement. This list of standards is borrowed from Dr. Jim Rimmer of Erie, Pennsylvania.
· Competing against the elements of the sport. (Fundamentals)
· Competing against one’s opponent. (To beat that person or team)
· Competing against an objective standard. (Statistics)
· Competing against one’s personal best. (Personal records)
· Competing to a mental image. (Like a video of the sport’s best)
· Competing “in the zone.” (Being in the flow)

Competition tests us in ways that move us beyond mediocrity and it challenges us to become all we are capable of being. Don’t let the test intimidate you, rather step up, play your heart out and feel the satisfaction of having done your level best in pursuit of an honorable victory. Win or lose, you have made progress in the life-long process of developing as a complete person.

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