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There are countless strategies to use when playing the game of basketball. For us, we run The System. That's our Outer Game, our x's and o's. The Outer Game is measured on the scoreboard for all to see. But, there's another game being played, one that is just as easily seen yet often ignored. It's the Inner Game and it's what makes the Outer Game go.

By mastering winning the Inner Game first, we find that success in the Outer Game will follow.


Everything we see about sports in our culture is pretty much dictated by one perspective, one value system. It's dominated by self-promotion, sports idolatry, and a "#1 or no one" attitude where you're either the top dog or you "suck."

2nd Corinthians 5:17 says, "...if anyone be in Christ, they are a new creation: old things are passed away, all things become new." This is true in every part of our lives, including sports. The world's way of competing is all around us but let's look at a new way to be a competitor - a better way.
The world tells us our goal is To Win! - on the scoreboard. The big problem with this is that our success is entirely based on how we compare to our opponent. Galatians 6:4 tells us, "Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing to someone else." When our focus is on comparing ourselves to others, it's the others who take control over whether or not we succeed.

We can't control the quality of our opponent on any given night. But, we can always control the quality of our effort. For us, winning is not the goal. But, winning is the byproduct of us reaching our goals.


Red Model (the common model in athletics)

GOAL: To Win (on the scoreboard)

COMPARED TO: Others (opponents)

WHO HAS CONTROL? The other guys

RESULT: Up & down "roller coaster" experience - when you win, it's great - when you lose, it sucks. 

People think the RED MODEL is the only way to compete. They think that if your goal isn't to "win" then you aren't being a competitor. 

By focusing on others the RED MODEL turns control over to others. This actually sabotages athletic performance by creating fear - fear of failure, fear of not being good enough - fear of how good the opponent is - fear of embarrassment - fear of not playing good enough - fear of not being as good as other's expect you to be.

Green Model (the Lady Pioneers model)

GOAL: To Achieve Excellence!

COMPARED TO: Our Best Self


RESULT: Constant improvement - "The longer we play, the better we get!"

We know that a true competitor is not distracted by things they can't control. Therefore, the GREEN MODEL is what allows us to be true competitors. It gives us an advantage that other's don't have. Winning is not the goal, but it is the byproduct of us reaching our goals. 

Playing against our BEST SELF creates EXCITEMENT, which gives us ENERGY, which leads to EXTRA EFFORT, which gives us an opportunity to achieve EXCELLENCE.


Fear is our biggest opponent - without question. Nothing sabotages our game like fear. Fear of failure, fear or embarrassment, fear of looking silly, fear of not being good enough, and even fear of success can stand as a barrier between where we are and where we should be.

Some coaches actually try to use fear as a motivator in an effort to bring out the best in their players. Fear motivation does work to an extent but it always has a lid on it. In addition, fear motivation eliminates one of the greatest components of competition - JOY. 

Fear can actually force some people to not try - or at least not "work at it with all their heart, as working for the Lord..." (Colossians 3:23). They feel like if they didn't really go "all in" they won't look bad if they fail. Of course, this is ridiculous but it really happens. Fear can also make people quit. When some people become afraid they are not as good as someone else they think it's easier to just quit. This is ultimate defeat.

The secret to defeating this opponent is quite simple. As 1 John 4:18 tells us, "There is no fear in love." When you love what you're doing, love the girls you're doing it with, love the fun you're having, fear becomes irrelevant. The best part about it is that contrary to what the world tells us, love is not a feeling, it's a choice. When we choose to love we cannot be deterred. Our program will always be grounded on love motivation - love for our girls on and off the court, love of basketball and love of having fun. Watch what it does to us and our team!