This phrase has been driving me nuts, mainly because I keep finding lots of Japanese sites that use the first half, but none with any semblance of an explanation as to its meaning.
The full sentence is: 勝てる勝てない以前に次元が違うのです
The second half (次元が違うのです) is no problem - it's the first half that's proving difficult, and I'm starting to think it might be a set phrase or something. I think the 以前に is what's really throwing me off. The best I can come up with is "you won't be able to succeed until you're on a whole nother level"... but it's more a guess than anything right now.
Well, my dictionary defines 以前に as the adverb "previously," which totally confuses me, since the verb is not past tense. Could it be a typo? Maybe 以前の? I can only guess that it may mean, "the previous dimension of winning and/or not winning is different [from this one]."
Hopefully, someone else comes to the rescue.
勝てる勝てない以前に its like "before even thinking of the possibility of winning or loosing", as: there's no use of thinking of winning/loosing, there is something that comes first that makes it impossible to actually face it.