In athletic competition, one thing you learn is there is always someone better than you. Even if you are the best in the world at what you do, there is probably someone out there right now who would be better than you, but they didn't have the inclination, or the opportunity.
Therefore, when observing those greater than you, it's best to have the attitude of a moth drawn to a light. As I heard Deepak Chopra say tonight, when there is light, you see your shadow. Only when there is darkness do you see no shadow. Great athletes are like bright lights, and around them, you see your shadow, or the realities of your shortcomings, distinctly.
But rather than be stuck staring at your own shadow, allow your competition to be your inspiration–your illumination. Study the light, follow the light, become a light, and darkness and shadows will always be behind you.