Game Face: The Competitive Nature of the Human Being

Written by Jesse Muhammad

I am writing this blog as I am soaking my swollen left ankle! What happened you may ask.

Well I am apart of a Saturday community basketball league that plays at the To God Be The Glory facility in Southeast Houston. Yesterday was our first games and within the first few minutes of the first game I blocked someone's shot, landed on their foot and twisted my ankle severely!

For the haters reading this blog post, no I did not get my ankles "broken" by a crossover. (smile)

But I got a substitute to come in for me while I walked it off for a few moments, but I was in pain. A lot of pain.

Here is the "dilemma" with moments like this for me and you may have this same thing within you. I knew it would be best if I just sat out the rest of the day, go home, soak it immediately so I could catch it before it got worse. That would have been the logically decision, right?

Well as I sat on the bench I said to myself, "It will be okay to play", "I didn't drive all the way across town for nothing" and "I want to win". My competitiveness took over me and I went back into the game. As I played back to back to back games I seemed to forget about the ankle with every shot, rebound, box out, assist, and even started talking a little noise. After six games, I felt good that I had played through the injury--although we lost more games. That's another story!

But as I prepared to walk around to shake hands with the other players, pass out my business cards and walk to my vehicle--my ankle stiffened up on me immediately and I had to hop to the car. Now the condition is worse all because of my competitiveness. I have been soaking it and hopping up and down my stairs at home.

The lesson in this is sometimes people have a tendency to quit when a small trial hits us and don't want pain. But where would we be in life without pain? Now I am in no way saying you should do what I did, especially if you can't hoop!

But what I am saying is that life is more joyful when we learn to be competitive. Strive to be great, don't settle for mediocrity, and by all means let your opponent know that they will have their greatest challenge when they have to face you.

Well, I now have to change my bucket water for round five of soaking--but I have a grin on my face too.

What level is your competitiveness on? Pick one and let me know.

1)I'm Your Worst Nightmare
6)I'm not a competitor


  1. LOL...I can relate to this blog Brother Jesse.

    My competitive level is 2!

  2. Brother Jesse I am a #1....I put my game face on no matter if it's Taboo or Basketball! LOL

  3. I am your worst nightmare when it comes to competition! good article brother jesse.

  4. I would say that when it comes to work I'm Your Worst Nightmare.......now when it comes to bball, I have lowered over the years to just serious as I know when to sit my old bones down now....LOL

    Guess all those elbows to the chest when you was younger helped you out....LOL

    Your Big Bro,

  5. I disagree with you brother. Sometimes knowing your limits, and quitting at the right time can give you strength for the next one.

    Aren't you confusing competitiveness with stubbornness? you could've been seriously injured, so playing after wasn't very wise.

    "one of the haters" haha

  6. I'm a 1. My arm has been hanging off because a dislocation and i'm still trying to grapple with you. Sad but true.

  7. Number 1. I have the jammed fingers and scars to prove it.

    When I finally get down south, man, I'm gonna come through. Ice that ankle up.

  8. @My big brother ED! Yes those elbows you and Deric gave me plus pushing me into the fence was great training! I hated it but it did make me a better player!

  9. I am LOL at your ankle because I have played against you before and you are pretty fierce Brother Jesse.

    As for me I am a big #1...I am notorious for being a sore loser. Its uncontrolable at times!

    Good article!

  10. This is really a great article Brother Jesse! I would say I am SERIOUS--I have learned to relax a little bit but I got hot the other day at a family reunion when we lost a volleyball game!--old habits die hard.

    Keep up the good work brother!

  11. I am a number 1!!!

  12. I believe most black men are very competetive and remain in our nature i am #4moderatly but always welcome a good challenge.

  13. LOL...I hope your knee is better brother jesse. But I have to say I have toned down to SERIOUS but I love a good challenge.


  15. Thank you all for the comments. You all up for a game a basketball? LOL

  16. This is an awesome article Brother Jesse...I am your worst nightmare in the bball court brother! lol

  17. I am definitely a Number 1--I can get out of hand!!!

  18. I am a #2, I give it my all down to the end. This is a great article


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