I can’t decide if I hate to lose or love to win more...
Someone told me when I was about 14 years old, “Dating ends in 1 of 2 ways: marriage or break up.
So, if you don’t intended to marry the person your dating, why are you dating them?” This advice seemed reasonable to me. I would not want to waste my time or give special “firsts” to someone that is not my Forever person. That seems like a waste of an investment.
Fast forward more than 9 years later and I find myself sitting in a locker room with 9 heart broken girls because our basketball season is over. I realize that seasons end in 1 of 2 ways as well: a championship or a loss.
Was then, 3 months of hustle, grind, and hard work all for none? I choose to not believe that, but it still hurts because nobody trains for 2nd place. Everyone wants to be the best and there is only room for one team at the top. I realize that when I see our girls in October, on the first day of practice, I will know that there are 2 possible results to our 3 month season: Win, or lose. That is why it is imperative that our girls know our goal is not to win.
Our goal is to get better and have fun.
There is beauty in simplicity and this goal is no exception. If we as a team play to get better in each practice and in each game, then success will take care of itself. If our goal is to win, and we lose, we have failed. If our goal is to get better and we lose, then we can still have succeeded.
To get better you must:
Buy in and love the process of getting better
Bring energy every day
Love and support your teammates
Don’t wait for someone else to be the play maker
Be willing to be uncomfortable
Control the things that you can control – Effort and attitude
It is my hope that when my players leave the program, they will know what it means to work. They will understand what it means to love and support other people. What a gift it is to teach young people the synonymity of work and fun.
Winning a championship at the end of a season is definitely considered a success. But losing at the end of the season does not necessarily mean failure. Success is watching teammates sacrifice their bodies for a game changing play. Success is raising up young ladies that will one day become wives and mothers that effectively communicate, persevere in times of trial, and follow through on their commitments.
As I conferred with a close coach friend, Karen Tollefson, the words of wisdom and encouragement she gave to her players were, “We don’t always get what we want in life, even if we really want it, even if we work for it. Yet, you must be able to find the lesson in the process.” We agreed that we would do the entire season over again, even if we knew the end result. Of course there are things that we would change, but it is worth it every single time.
When I look at the seniors in the locker room, on the bench, I hurt for them because a chapter of their lives is closing. But I take joy in knowing that they will be hard working adults who build up people around them and contribute to the world.