He thought not. He made the reasonable point that they could pray for excellence, and for their competitors to do well (as there is no point beating them if they don't). But he felt that praying for victory was not something anyone with a mature faith should do.
I think I disagree. I think that if it is permissible to compete (and I think it is) then it is legitimate to pray for victory. For are we not to bring all our hopes and desires to our Heavenly Father?
Always remembering, of course, that to make it a Christian prayer, we conclude: 'May Thy will be done.'
The other approach risks alienating people's prayer from their real life and concerns and making it a set of pious platitudes; and likewise alienating people's real hopes and concerns from their spiritual life...