Be the Best


"Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength." –Ephesians 6:10


Legendary coach John Wooden coined a phrase “competitive greatness,” striving to be the best we can, not trying to be the best.

Five-time All-Pro Green Bay Packers lineman Jerry Kramer played from 1958 to 1968. In 1959, Jerry wanted to quit until one day Coach Vince Lombardi told Jerry he could become the greatest lineman in the NFL. Jerry decided to give 100 percent and became one of the greatest. He understood competitive greatness.

Coach Wooden defined competitive greatness as a real love for hard battle, knowing it offers the opportunity to be at our best when our best is required. These three concepts help me grasp competitive greatness:

Be Prepared! Wooden would spend 30 minutes teaching his players to put on socks. He said “I derived great satisfaction from identifying and perfecting those ‘trivial’ and often troublesome details, because I knew . . . that each one brought UCLA a bit closer to our goal: competitive greatness.” Having a passion to prepare will help us face the battle without fear.

Be Disciplined! If integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching, then competitive greatness is working hard when no one is watching. Martin Luther wrote, “The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays—not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors. The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.”

Be Focused! Competitive greatness is focusing on a clear vision and not being sidetracked. 


1. Who in your life has competitive greatness?
2. In what area of your life is competitive greatness most revealed?
3. How can your team have competitive greatness?


1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Ephesians 6:10-17


Jesus, help me be the best athlete I can, so people will know that You are great, not me. Amen.

Bible Reference: 
James 1