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On Winning & Losing

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 embarrassingĀ 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.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Wise words, T.K.

    While raising my son I didn’t subscribe to such
    terms as “win/lose or succeed/fail.” I wanted
    him to experience and experiment firsthand,
    without any…..impediments to exploring the
    world outside and within. When we’re young,
    it’s about curiosity and knowledge. And the
    supreme value of thinking. That we can take
    with us into adulthood.

    Some years ago, a photographer would come
    to your door with a pony. My son was three and
    I stood back to see if he was up to getting his
    picture taken. The photographer stood back
    too. If he wasn’t ready (up to it) that was fine.
    Perhaps another time. I said nothing and left
    it to my son. It wasn’t my decision to make.

    There are 3 panels in a hinged frame with 3
    pictures of him. The 1st picture is him standing
    beside the pony fearful. The 2nd picture shows
    excitement and fear. The 3rd panel is my son atop
    the pony excited and triumphant. With unfettered
    joy. This is how I wanted his life to be. No prodding
    from outsiders. Just him and his “pony.”

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