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The Standard: Measuring Our Success as Competitors

Published on March 13, 2020

As coaches and athletes, we find a lot of pressure from a lot of different avenues telling us how to measure our success. Demand is hot and high for the best in the field, constantly evolving strategies, training, and pressure to be at peak performance all year.

We all want to know if we’re at our best, if what we’re doing is good enough and the hours of training, film, and preparation are worth it.

There are many standards to live up to in pursuit of our best, but we must shift our focus to keep from burnout.

We can put a lot of unneeded pressure on ourselves when we determine how we measure our success. Our drive to be the best can fuel us to train harder and develop our skills, but if we’re not careful, it can overtake us with unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves.

It’s important to recognize what 100% looks like in your sport, and where you are in your journey to attain 100%. Whose standards are we trying to live up to, and why are we trying to live up to those standards?


Assess the Starting Point

In order to reach our full potential, we must first understand our starting point, so let’s ask some questions. Give yourself time to concentrate on your answers before moving on to the next one:

● What does 100% look like in my sport?

● What percentage am I operating out of right now?

● Who determines what your success looks like? Your sport, coach, teammates, parents, friends, the public?

● What perceived standards are in place for you as a coach? As an athlete?

● As we compete to meet all these different standards, what does it create in us? Fear? Expectations? Success?

● When you have success, is it enough?

● What “standard” do I want to be measuring myself against?


A New Way to Measure

A64A2023We understand the struggle in juggling often impossible standards when you’re just trying to do your best each day.

What if there was another way to alleviate the pain and pressure of multiple standards? What if we said it started with the renewal of our mind?

Here’s the tip:

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.   - Romans 12:2

God gives us another way to compete, and it starts with allowing Him to shape your patterns and change your thinking.

Be Transformed

It starts with God’s Word, which does its work to transform our minds, and floods into our spirits until God reveals His plans for us, the ways we move and live and have our being that bring goodness and pleasure to the Father. He will raise us above all the good options until we arrive at the way that is best.

The world says how we should measure our success—the sacrifices to family time in order to get where we are, the win-at-all-costs mentality, the me-first attitude to become the best.

But God gives us permission to soberly assess the methods we’ve used in the past to track success, while offering freedom to be transformed from within for an even better standard. Jesus gives hope and a better alternative that erases pressure and gives us grace and confidence to embrace our sport with full enthusiasm.

A New Way to Measure Success

Now that we’ve looked at our old ways and learned more about allowing God to renew our minds, go back to the questions above and look at a few of them through the lens of Romans 12:12. Ask God to help you see where He may want to shift your thinking if there are ways to renew how you see success.


We may all be competing for different standards, but the end goal is the same: glory to God through our every thought, action and intention.



Consider: How have you been measuring success?

  Action: Spend time in God’s Word. 
YouVersion Plan
You can do this through FCA’s Heart of a Competitor YouVersion plan, which you can download here

Allow Him to transform your mind through His truth and assurance.