A good opponent is a rare and treasured thing for any team or player. For a good opponent defines a player or a team.
By forcing you to be as good as you can be, such an opponent stretches the boundaries of your emotional and playing experience, giving you your highest highs and lowest lows; your best and worst and hardest moments.
After years of games and feelings it is only those boundaries, those special highs and lows, that remain; the rest, with nothing special to distinguish them one from another, gradually just disappear.
It is why good teams and good players, good enough to stand alone, stand straighter and more vividly with a good opponent: the Yankees and the Dodgers, Borg with McEnroe, Ali and Frazier, names permanently linked because in fact they needed each other.
So, when a career ends, when the passion of the game subsides, toward a good opponent you feel only gratitude. – Ken Dryden, The Game
Just like a good opponent can motivate you to play your best, any challenges you come up against in life can push you to be your best and continue to develop into your best self.
Game Plan: Realize that even though you may not see it in the moment, any opponents you face or struggles you fight through are making you into the person you are.