Competing in Everything You Do

Pete CarrollIn my last column, we talked about Pete Carroll’s “Always Compete” mindset and how the relentless pursuit of getting better at everything you do is at the core of Carroll’s coaching philosophy.

It’s this “Always Compete” mentality that has made Pete Carroll one of only three coaches to win both a Super Bowl and a college football national championship.

However, it should be noted that this ultra-competitive mindset isn’t limited to football or sports. The “Always Compete” mentality can be applied to all aspects of life. Pete Carroll explains…


Having the drive to always compete doesn’t necessarily mean you have to either make the choices I’ve made [as a football coach] or not compete at all. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

You can compete to be a good student, compete to be a good friend, compete to be a good dad, or a husband or wife. My point is to make conscious choices about what you compete at, and always compete to do your best at whatever that is.

The idea is that you can be a great competitor at whatever you’re doing. You can direct this competitive mentality to serve you in all aspects of your life.


– Pete Carroll, from his book Win Forever

Adopting an “Always Compete” mindset will give you an advantage in whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish.

No matter what you’re striving for or what you’re working on, you need to constantly ask yourself, “How can I do this better than it’s ever been done before?”

Simply asking that question will force you to hold yourself accountable. It will force you to push yourself harder and to seek new information, try new things, and learn new skills. It will force you to focus on new opportunities and to look for anything that will give you an edge and help you get better. Most importantly, asking that question will force you to avoid complacency.

If some of that sounds too overwhelming, start small. Ask yourself each morning, “What is one thing I can do to make today better than yesterday?” Apply this question to your professional life, your family life, and even your spiritual life.

If you do that every morning, you’ll improve yourself incrementally each day. And even a small step towards getting better will ensure that you don’t take a step back.

That’s what the “Always Compete” mindset is all about. Getting better every day and continuously moving forward.