Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"If winning isn't everything... Why do they keep score?" Vince Lombardi

“If winning isn’t everything...Why do they keep score?” Inspired by this famous Vince Lombardi’s quote, Basketball Telegraph insider Donte Mathis writes about dealing with winning and losing as a professional player.

One of the best quotes I can remember, dealing with the premise of why we compete was stated by legendary former NFL coach Vince Lombardi.  Lombardi summed it up in a humorous way the motivation that has led to the obsession with winning.  People tend to forget professional sports are a business that operates through investors who have invested in potential outcomes of achievement.  These investments and the responsibilities that come with them trickle down from owners to management, management to staff and staff to players. 

As a professional athlete, years and years of training, visualization and competing are done as way of giving us the best possible opportunity to achieve success.  The higher you move up the scale of competition, the more winning matters.  As a kid we played the game for fun as a way to pass time and as our passion grew, the game became more personal, more emotional with its results being sort of a report card of our dedication and what we put into it.  Some may be more talented than others but you reach a point where everybody peaks in that aspect and decision making separates the winners and the losers. 
Winning makes injuries not hurt so bad, it makes the trip home not so long, as well as the following week very short and bearable.  Losing on the other hand, works at you for all that you could have done but didn’t. Of course you will lose a few before understanding and appreciating the importance of what it takes to win, but one thing is for sure.... you will never get a loss back, it’s yours, chalk it up.  I tend to do things a little differently following a loss.... I try to tweak and work on things differently as a way of flushing it out of my system.  Winning on the other hand, causes me to rethink all the things that may have contributed to my success, things that helped me concentrate and perform at that level that led to the win.  I know a few people can/will say, “What if I played great and we lost,” or “If I played bad and we won”.... all I can say is winning will help you deal with not playing well, you will personally regroup and get it going.... I’ll take the win any day.

Everyone has had their moment on a team where things didn’t go their way or they hit a bad stretch of games where they just couldn’t get it done.  A way to get back on the right track is to rid yourself of any negativity or excuses and take some extra time to work on your game.  If you can commit, concentrate and personally make an effort to make the guy next to you better, it’s a step that will put you in the right direction collectively.  Little details often have the ability to be overlooked and they can be a huge deciding factor in winning versus losing. 
We all may not have the opportunity to be in anybody’s hall of fame, but we will for sure remember the successes and losses that add up over time.  We chase winning because it creates a personal legacy within makes us feel good.... as well as serving as an opportunity to see the fruits of our labor.  Losing humbles us.... it forces us to evaluate commitment, within ourselves and those around us, and should be used as a tool to seek a better opportunity to win.  In competition.....Winning cures all.

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