What We Learn From Winning

by Lance Ekum on · 36 comments

Czech Rep Winning the Cup_2
Creative Commons License photo credit: ahaore­porter

“The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qual­i­ties are so much more impor­tant than the events that occur.” ~ Vince Lombardi

Win­ning.  A feel­ing of eupho­ria.  A feel­ing of accom­plish­ment.  That moment when we achieve the suc­cess we’ve been striv­ing for.

Soc­cer sea­son began this past week­end.  I have a team of twelve 9-year old boys that love soc­cer, and have a real desire to play hard and win.  Over the sum­mer, the team we had (many of the same play­ers) had a very tough loss where I wrote about the les­son we learn from losing.

This week­end was the start of a new soc­cer sea­son.  A group of 9-year old boys who love the sport.  Tough losses from last sea­son were for­got­ten.  Prac­tices to start the new sea­son were filled with much learn­ing.  There was a real sense of pos­i­tiv­ity on the whole team.

Game one of the sea­son.  We were play­ing on all cylin­ders.  Pass­ing was excel­lent.  For the most part, kids were play­ing their posi­tions.  The kids and I quickly felt con­fi­dent about our effort being put forth.  We started the game strong, and fin­ished with an easy win.  Every­one was excited with our first per­for­mance of the year.  As coach, I was extremely proud of their per­for­mance, and of the atti­tude they dis­played dur­ing and after the game.

There were sev­eral things we took away from this win.

  • Team­work: By play­ing together as a team, we had suc­cess.  There were moments dur­ing the game when one per­son would become the team, and for­get every­one else.  The result:  we would lose the ball.  Con­versely when we really worked together as a team, pass­ing the ball, play­ing the posi­tions, we had suc­cess in mov­ing the ball up the field and get­ting a shot on goal.  Take­away: To be suc­cess­ful in life, we’re not going to do it all by our­selves.  We’ll need the help of oth­ers along the way, and we’ll need to work with oth­ers and develop a team atti­tude to get many of the things we desire in life.
  • Basics: In prac­tice, we have been work­ing on the fun­da­men­tals.  Pass­ing, drib­bling, shoot­ing, defense, endurance.  We go over these at every prac­tice.  The idea is that we need to have the basics of soc­cer down before we can move on to more advanced moves.  We need to mas­ter the fun­da­men­tals.  These need to become second-nature.  Take­away: To be suc­cess­ful in life, we need to get the basics down, as well.  Things that we prac­tice over and over, learn­ing the basics of life.  Things like man­ners, per­sonal care, love, …  Things that will endure.
  • Atti­tude: Atti­tude is an impor­tant part of play­ing sports.  In los­ing, or in win­ning.  In win­ning, it was impor­tant that we not run up the score, and be gra­cious when shak­ing hands with the other team after the game.  Know­ing what it’s like to be on the other end, it is impor­tant that our play­ers treat the other team with respect.  Take­away: We can’t always con­trol what hap­pens to us, but we can con­trol our atti­tude — whether the out­come is good or bad.  We can choose to be pos­i­tive, or we can choose to be neg­a­tive.  And, in choos­ing a pos­i­tive atti­tude, we have a much bet­ter oppor­tu­nity at suc­cess in our life.
  • Have Fun: I have a team of boys that all love soc­cer.  They are there because they want to play.  They are out on the field dur­ing the game, laugh­ing, cheer­ing each other on, and gen­er­ally just hav­ing fun doing some­thing they love.  Take­away: When we do some­thing we love, and have fun doing it — suc­cess is with us every step of the way.

Win­ning!  Some­thing we all love to do — whether that’s a project at work, a marathon, or a life lived the way we desire.  And, if we work hard, have a pos­i­tive can-do atti­tude, and have fun — then we have given our­selves the ingre­di­ents for a life filled with many suc­cesses.  We will have cre­ated a win­ning life!

Lance writes sto­ries from his heart, aim­ing to inspire and moti­vate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he’s not here, you can find him hang­ing out with his fam­ily, rid­ing a bike, or just gen­er­ally act­ing goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Tree­house newslet­ter and get addi­tional inspi­ra­tion in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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