Here’s something I learned from growing up playing hoops and watching basketball:
The true character of a team can’t be known until it’s tested by the experience of being behind.
Everyone gets along with each other when they’re ahead in the game. People even laugh at their mistakes when winning seems inevitable.
But when the numbers aren’t adding up; when you’re down by 12 points in the 4th quarter; when your shots just wont fall in; when time seems to be slipping away at a faster pace than your futile attempts to catch up, then and only then do you get to see what your team is really made of.
It’s easy to philosophize about your past, when you’re winning in the present.
“I knew we’d pull through” is what we all say once we’ve successfully pulled through.
It takes far more guts and character, however, to maintain a sense of positive focus when you’re on the comeback trail, or even worse, when victory is no longer in sight.
How do you handle the losses? How do you cope with the setbacks? How do you bounce back after defeat? How well do you rebound from a bad game, an off-night, a poor performance, or an embarrassing flop?
This is what ultimately determines championship status.
We all know how to celebrate at the crowning moment of achievement, but all of the moments preceding that one are the most important.
The wisdom that it takes to win is acquired through the lessons we learn from losing.