You Play To Win the Game


"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it." - 1 Corinthians 9:24


A few years back, Herm Edwards was speaking in a post game interview as the head coach of the New York Jets. He was asked by a reporter how he felt about the loss and did it matter to Edwards considering how poorly the team had been performing that season.

Edwards responded "This is what's great about sports, the greatest thing about sports is you play to win the game. Hello? You play to win the game. You don't play just to play it. That's the great thing about sports, you play to win. And I don't care if you have any wins. You go play to win. When you start telling me it don't matter, then retire... GET OUT! Because it matters. This whole conversation bothers me."

Even though this interview has been made fun of by many different analyst and reporters, what he said here is the truth. I feel what he said in so many words is what 1 Corinthians 9:24 says; "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it."

In my short time in the coaching profession, I have come across coaches who just coach. Not to win, not to teach the kids, simply to be out there. I feel there is a responsibility as a coach and athlete to give everything you have to be the best you can be. If you give anything less than your best, you are short changing yourself as well as your coaching staff and athletes.

There is an old saying; "It's not if you win or lose, it's how you play the game." I agree with this statement to an extent. I would rephrase this quote to: "It's not if you win or lose the game, it's how well did you mentally and physically prepare for the game to give it your best shot?" If you prepare yourself and team the best they can be prepared, wins will come. If you simply go through the motions, you are cutting yourself and your team short and there will never be a collective maximum output by the team.


  1. How often do you feel defeated before you even start your competition and why?
  2. How do you keep your players from feeling defeated before the contest starts?
  3. Do you have daily practice and game plans to give your team the best shot at winning the competition?
  • 1 Corinthians 9:24 
  • Colossians 3:23