I like this posts from NerdFitness. But reading the comments, I can see that not everyone understood it the same way.
Setting goals is better then comparing yourself to the #1.
The way I see it is that comparing yourself to someone else can be harmful. Comparing to somebody that is lower than you, could lead you to not pushing yourself enough. And comparing yourself to an elite player could lead to discouragement or overtraining.
This goes for physical skills as well as mental skills, so be careful with who you compare yourself to. We are unique, and our path (learning curve) is unique too. Comparing yourself to some else can only tell you:
- I was there x time ago
- I could be there sometime in the future