Competition Breeds Excellence

These days, whenever you ask an athlete about the great performance of an opponent, you’re usually going to get a stock response of, “They’re doing great, they work hard and I wish them all the best,” or something to that effect.

In other words, today’s athletes make it seem as though they don’t pay very much attention to what their peers are doing. Am I really expected to believe that?

Hank Aaron used to tell me, “I checked the box scores all the time.” He said it, “drove me and motivated me.”  

Rickey Henderson said to me, “I looked around and wanted to see what everyone else was doing.”

Those are two Hall of Famers, some of the greatest baseball players of all time. It’s no coincidence that they had a keen interest in what their opponents were doing. It gives you extra motivation to continually set the bar higher than the next guy.

When I think about epic sports games, the most memorable are the ones between two gladiators; two ultra-competitive, highly skilled teams that each force the other to perform at the highest level.

Michigan vs. Ohio State.Michigan vs. Ohio State

Celtics vs. Lakers

Red Sox vs. Yankees

SYRACUSE vs. Georgetown (maybe Duke these days...Let’s go Orange!)

What about Coke vs. Pepsi? The rivalry of the two behemoths in the beverage industry have produced some of the most innovative marketing promotions as they battle for market share.


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