This is a guest post from Dr. Joe Martin, speaker, author, educator and host of the Real Men Connect radio podcast. In episode 52 of the BoldIdea podcast, he talked about being a man-builder.

Every man wants to be a champion…at something. Whether it’s in athletics, marriage, parenting, at work, in business, in ministry, or whatever he deems is worthy of his blood, sweat, and tears.

That’s why men are so obsessed with sports; because we have an insatiable appetite to win at almost everything. And if we can’t win at something, we at least want to be associated with someone who is a winner.

But instead of trying to associate ourselves with a champion, maybe we should be asking ourselves, “What does it really take to become one?” Because the truth is, God created us to BE champions; He built us to win, and purposed us to reign, rule and have dominion. He expects us to BE champions, not just to sit in the stands cheering for those who are trying to be.

Beyond the obvious individual attributes of a champion, like great work ethic, self discipline, self confidence, commitment, and an unshakable will to win, every real champion knows there are some not-so-obvious things he needs to have in place if he ever expects to achieve true greatness. Specifically speaking, there are 5 particular things every godly man needs in order to succeed as a champion.

Every man needs a SAVIOR who will heal him and restore him.

Your relationship with God is the most important relationship you’ll ever have in your life (Matt 22:36). More than anything else, it will influence and determine the quality of your relationship with others, including your wife, children, friends, colleagues, employees, etc. No real championship can be won outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ; because without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5,6).

Every man needs a TEAM who will walk with him and go to war for him.

You’re only as strong as your team. Think about it. Regardless of how strong you are, another man will always be stronger than you if he has more “spotters” than you. One of you will never be better than all of us; so that means your success as a champion is directly related to the quality and strength of your team. Every champion needs the right team (Gal 6:2,3).

Every man needs TEAMMATES who will stand beside him and challenge him.

If a man is only as strong as his team, then he’s only as confident as the teammates who are playing beside him. I’m talking about that teammate you know you can trust and depend on, no matter what happens. That teammate who will not quit on you; who will believe in you; sacrifice for you; and if necessary, get in your face and confront you. Every champion needs some foxhole brothers as his teammates. (Prov. 27:17).

Every man needs a COACH who will teach him and train him.

Have you ever seen an Olympic Champion win a gold medal without a coach? No champion, I repeat, no man has ever become a champion without a good coach. However, many men try to win in life without one. A coach is that man or mentor who’s wiser and more experienced than you are. He helps you clearly define your goals, then he patiently teaches, trains, and prepares you to achieve them. No man can expect to be a champion at anything without a qualified coach (Prov. 28:26).

Every man needs a COUNSELOR who will help lead him and guide him.

A counselor is something every man needs, but no man wants until it’s too late. Our spiritual counselor is the Holy Spirit, who leads and guides us in all truth. But we also need professional counselors to help us see our blind spots, so we can understand why we think and respond the way we do.

If every champion was totally honest, almost all of them will confess that they’ve spoken to, been advised, or consulted with a sports psychologist. Why? Because when you compete at the highest levels of anything, including sports, you’ll find that only 10% of it is physical (based on talent and ability), but 90% of it is mental. Mental toughness will always trump physical strength. Every champion needs a professional counselor (Prov. 11:14).

You can find out how strong you are in each of these areas with our free, 5-minute Spiritual Checkup. Just click here.