The year 2016 is in full effect and Winter’s making way for Spring. Season is getting serious: teams battle for playoff spots and get ready to decide who is crowned champion. All the preparation, all the practice… it is time to show what you are capable of. Time to prove it was all worth it: making this season a success.
Just don’t confuse SUCCESS with VICTORY.
Every player, every trainer and every coach is putting in work day after day, but for what? To reach their goals; to be successful at what they do. A player works to be successful as a player, a trainer works to be successful as a trainer, etc. This is important because this validates the hard work, the long hours, the sacrifices… Why else would they do it?
So why do YOU play?
Lots of players answer: “I play to WIN!”. And while that’s a noble cause, it’s one that will most likely leave you bitter and disappointed when it’s all said and done. If you think about it, it’s kind of naive and too short-sighted. All-in all: you’ll miss out! For one, there is only going to be ONE winner. Secondly, if reaching that single spot is the only reason you put on your shoes in the morning, you’re missing the point.
If all you strive for is victory, then you would think of a shooting contest with Stephen Curry as an experience of failure, as there is a significant chance he’ll beat you. You wouldn’t be able to enjoy the opportunity to play one-on-one with Kobe Bryant, UNLESS you win. And while I am not saying it is impossible to win, focusing on that causes you to miss out on a tremendous learning experience and a once-in-a-lifetime chance! The phrase “there is always someone better than you” applies to all of us, except one. That shouldn’t keep you from trying, though.
If being ‘victorious’ is your only goal, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
I am not saying that winning shouldn’t be a goal. Of course it should! But if you’re trying to be SUCCESSFUL as a player, you’re also focusing on: being a great teammate, improving your game, learning from your coach, playing the best you can and enjoying the competition.
And guess what? Winning will be a result, instead of a sole purpose.
If your team overcomes injuries and setbacks, making it further into the Playoffs than ever before by giving it all you have… wouldn’t you count that as a win, regardless of the score?
You are in charge of your success.
Work hard, play smart, have fun!