Block 15, Competitive Greatness - Bottom of the Ninth #128


Bottom of the 9th - Competitive Greatness

Competitive Greatness - Block 15, John Wooden's Pyramid of Success by Keith Wahl

With the start of the Major League Baseball playoffs this week, we all all focus on the top of the Pyramid of Success - Competitive Excellence. We'll judge the athletes on who was able to be at their best when their best was required. Some will succeed, some will fail, some will be overvalued in the free agent market in the winter, and others will begin to build a legacy of repetitive competitive excellence like Derek Jeter did.

We love Competitive Excellence. We honor it, we talk about it for years after the fact. But we often forget about the importance of timing and environment. When we talk about the best of the best, a perfect confluence of timing and environment meet in order to present that player with "the moment" we all remember. What if Phil Simms had dropped to the first pick of the second round in the 1979 draft and been picked by the San Francisco 49ers instead of Joe Montana at the end of the third round? Imagine how different things would have been for Michael Jordan if Clyde Drexler, a year older than Jordan, would have been recruited to be the shooting guard at North Carolina instead of staying home to play in Houston. Can you imagine the frustration being a shortstop on the New York Yankees farm system for the 20 years Derek Jeter held the position? Each of these examples just go to show the beauty of God's hand in the world of sport.

What would Wooden say about timing? Very simply, I think he would say that our best is required every day. We change the context mentally - this day doesn't know it's any more important than the day before or the day coming tomorrow. We have the ability to be our best today, control the controllables, and focus on the little wins each day. Wooden said this:

"We don't have to be superstars to reach competitive greatness. All we have to do is learn to rise to every occasion, give our best effort and make those around us better as we do it."

And there it is. Even when discussing Competitive Greatness, Wooden has the ability to bring things back to his definition of Success: "Success is peace of mind which is in direct result of self­-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable."

We're all ordinary men and women in extraordinary circumstances. When we make all of the building blocks into effect as life habits, we achieve Competitive Greatness.

Blessings to all of the Bottom of the Ninth readers competing in the MLB Playoffs this month. Our prayers are with you to glorify the Lord from your platform!

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