“Winning is Fun!”


I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to call the serious of stories about the things my dad has said in the locker room over the years…

Elmoisms maybe? (his name is Elmo)

I always joke with him that when he finally loses his mind from old age we are just going lock him in a room, hand him a clip board and tell him it’s half time hahaha

As a high school basketball coach for almost 40 years he has coached more than a couple players, and he’s given more than a couple speeches.

When you do that at least a couple of those speeches will become legendary.

Here’s just one of them:

My senior year we were going through stretch of tough losses.  Nobody likes losing, I don’t care who you are, it sucks.

Some of the younger players hadn’t ever been through anything like this.  They had come from middle school teams and other teams where they won most of the time.

High school is different than middle school just like college is different than high school.

It’s more aggressive and people want to win more.  As you move up the competitive ladder the competitive intensity goes up exponentially.

Other teams don’t care about your feelings, they actually want to embarrass you.  That’s sports folks.

As we were sitting in the locker room one of the sophomore’s was a little rattled by the butt chewing we were getting for our lack of effort.

Elmo hates losing, but he hates laziness more than anything.  Effort is all he truly wants.

This was a moment of ignorant youth and this kid voiced his frustration without knowing any better.

“Coach, we just want to have fun, why are you always getting on us so bad?”

Now the seniors in the room didn’t appreciate this question because with the exception of myself they wouldn’t play basketball again after this season.

That being said their disdain for the comment was nothing compared to Elmo’s………

He paused for a minute as he let the rage build up.

“Fun?  You wanna have fun?  F#ck fun!! You wanna know what fun is??  Winning is fun!!

He went on to yell more after that but I don’t remember what he said, and I don’t think anyone else does either.  The point was made.

This might sound harsh, but pretty much everyone that was sitting in that locker room still jokes about that speech to this day.

The point he was trying to make was that winning isn’t fun unless we earn it. It’s actually not rewarding when we are handed the outcome.

We can try to deny that but there is just way to much evidence to support the psychological effects of work vs reward.

     -If we are just handed a promotion and didn’t earn it, we probably won’t keep that job.

     -If we take the pill to try to lose weight rather than addressing our nutrition the weight will come back.

     -If we win the lottery rather than building wealth we are statistically going to end up broke. 

What will make us ultimately successful is learning to take joy in the process.

The person that is the hardest to beat is the person who just loves to work hard.  You know the one, they like winning and they are pretty successful but they love to work hard more than anything.

We can all improve at this.  It’s tough to adopt this mindset in today’s world of instant gratitude.  We get everything now.

We would be better served, and so would everyone else around us, if we started enjoying the process rather than only worrying about the outcome.

Be happy with that one meal you prepped

     – Be happy with the 5 pound PR

     – Be happy with just showing up for that 6am class regardless of how the WOD goes

     – Be happy with that two pounds of lost weight

Winning isn’t actually the thrill, because winning in the absence of hard work contains no reward.

Winning because you worked your ass off is a feeling that never gets old.

 


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