Monday, December 26

The Heart of the Competitor

The Christian school my son attends has an amazing football team. He played football this year and grew both as a young man and competitor. The team made it into the state playoffs and finished the season as district champs for the 3rd year in a row. I learned a lot about competing watching this team and the coaches. The coaching philosophy is not the norm. Its foundation is the Word of God. The philosophy is to teach players to play football or for that fact any sport from the aspect of worship. Not self worship but Christ centered worship. What I saw from shifting the focus off of self-exaltation to Christ exaltation was something that changed the way I looked at competing forever. You would think the temptation would be for the players to become complacent about wins or losses, I mean after all it's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game right? Not at all. Actually the standard was perfection, not that we can attain to it, but that is however Christ standard. They were driven by a greater cause, they became competitors in the truest sense of the word. Not being driven or lead by the score on the board or by personal success or even failure. These young men were competitors from the inside out. It was interesting to watch the ebb and flow of emotions and drive of some of the other teams they played based on the score board. A true competitor is not someone who competes for a number on a board or for a prize but rather they compete because that's what they are. Competitors. Warriors. Fighters. (Below are the nine core values used on the team)
1. Called to Love
2. Relationship Driven
3. Servant Leadership
4. Humility - Be the First to Give All
5. Live Lives of Sacrifice
6. Success is measured in how we “Close the Gap.”
7. Persevering with Eternal Perspective
8. Live with Passion
9. Love to Lose
I learned a lot about myself watching this team...I learned that although PR's are great and there's nothing wrong with striving for certain goals, pace, distance, etc...even if I achieve every goal, that's doesn't necessarily make me a competitor. It's also not the same as being competitive. Which I am not. I really find no joy in smoking someone on a race course. Don't get me wrong I love the exhilaration of crossing the finish line having accomplished my dreams, but being competitive and being a competitor at least in the sense I am speaking are different. It's in a sense a heart attitude. It's playing or running from the heart, for a cause that goes beyond ourselves, but is at the same time every bit of who we are. It's playing or running with an expression of worship.That's how I want to run with the heart of a true competitor!
As the New Year is approaching I look at my goals from the eyes of a competitor. Yes, I want that sub 2hr. half marathon, yes, I want the experience of crossing the finish line of my first marathon! I will make similar goals as last year with mileage totals and pace goals but this year will have at the heart of it;
  • Colossians 3:17—“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

  • Colossians 3:23-24—“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

  • Pressing on...
    (the nine values listed above all have bible verses with them if you are interested in the complete list let me know and I can e-mail it to you)


    Mark said...

    That is really awesome!!!

    Raina said...

    This is a post I most definitely NEEDED to read. I have read Those passages from Col recently and it is awesome to re-read. How awesome that your son has a chance to play with that kind of coaching/modeling.

    I am bookmarking this one!
    God Bless!!

    Laura said...

    What great values for a sports team, and good parallels for running, too. Your son is fortunate to play for these coaches!