For instance, in basketball, most often you are matched with an opponent whom you guard, and who guards you. Every play, at its essence, boils down to who is better, in that moment, within the framework of the team and the limitations of the game (the occurrences outside your control). I.e., did you fool him with a fake and get open, even if you did not receive a pass? Did you deny him the ball and force his team to look elsewhere? Did you anticipate a shot and secure an inside position as the ball was in the air, even though there was no rebound? Did you out-hustle him downcourt? Did you congratulate a teammate while he sulked and pouted? There are many ways to compete, on every play - turn every nuance into a competition, and be victorious!
Legendary champion chess competitor Bobby Fischer spent a lifetime searching for the ultimate competition. He was once asked what he liked most about chess. A usual, typical answer from a peer often invoked the conventional, internal view of 'it challenges my mind.' Fischer answered with an external motivator, as visceral an answer as you can find: "The look on my opponent's face when he knows it's over and there's nothing he can do about it."
When the competition shifts to your external opponent, strive to get "The Look" on his face.