WINNING ISN'T EVERYTHING, BUT ITS A LOT!
from Michael Josephson's Gabriel Award-winning radio commentaries)
If you want to raise the blood
pressure and lose the respect of people serious about sports, belittle their passion by telling them, "Its just a game."
Then smugly point out, "Its not whether you win or losethat matters most...Its how you play the game."
To those who devote substantial portions of their lives to sports as athletes, coaches or administrators,
these cliches are naive and offensive. In the world they live in, winners are respected and highly paid while losers
get eliminated or unemployed. In fact, even youth coaches rate winning so highly that they think a child would rather
sit on the bench of a winning team than play for a losing team. Surveys show they are dead wrong. Kids like to
win, but its the adults who need to win.
Winning isn't everything, but its a lot. Its the grand reward for effort, the golden ring that
motivates sacrifice and justifies hard work. Yet too many adults overestimate the importance of victory and underestimate
all the fun and learning that can take place in passionate pursuit of victory.
I always wanted to win but as a high school basketball player who played three years for a mediocre
C-team I know that one can enjoy the game immensely and develop important life skills without winning.
If we teach our children to love the process more than the result, to find pleasure in competition and
play, not merely victory, we give them a lifetime gift of renewable pleasure.
This is Michael Josephson reminding us that character counts.
ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG OR A COFFEE
A young woman went to her mother and told her about
her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give
up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as if as soon as one problem was solved a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen.
The mother filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots.
In the second she placed eggs. And the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without
saying a word. About twenty minutes later, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them
in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in
a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she said, "Tell me what you see." "Carrots, eggs and coffee," she replied.
She brought her closer and asked her to feel the
carrots. She did, and noted that they felt soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling
off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg inside. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter
smiled as she tasted its rich flavor. The daughter then asked, "So, what's the point, mother?"
Her mother explained that each of these objects
had faced the same adversity - boiling water - but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting.
However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its
thin outer shell had been protected its liquid center. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its insides had
become hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water...they had
changed the water. "Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you
respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"
Think of this: Which am I?
Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my
strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit,
but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship, or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my outer
shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like
the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water - the very circumstances that bring the pain. When the
water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor of the bean. If you are like the bean, when things are at their
worst, you get better and change the situation around you instead of letting it change you.
When the hours are the darkest and trials are their
greatest do you elevate to another level?
How do you handle Adversity?
ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG OR A COFFEE
WHAT PLAYER PRIORITIES SHOULD BE ACCORDING TO COACH WOOTEN
the book "Coaching Basketball Successfully" by Morgan Wooten)
We encourage our players to devote themselves to four things.
Everything else must come after.
Show me young people who have their priorities in order, and I'll show you players who have the best chance of getting the
most out of their lives, both on and off the court.
These priorities are one element of my coaching philosophy that has
not changed over the years. These four cornerstones came as a result of stepping back and taking a look at the characteristics
I wanted in a player.
My primary emphasis on a strong spiritual commitment results from experience,
those with such a conviction are better able to meet life's challenges than those without one. Second, I have found
found that young people who are loyal and devoted to their families are more capable of becoming loyal and devoted members
of a team. Third, academics are the purpose of school; a student who is willing to work hard toward that purpose is
more likely to work hard toward becoming a better basketball player and helping the team. And fourth, basketball is
the sport the athlete is playing, so obviously a strong commitment to that is necessary as well.
Players who demonstrate these priorities are far superior to those
with equal talent who do not have such objectives. Because I have seen much less talented teams with the proper priorities
beat more talented teams, I love to play against teams with whose players are only interested in individual statistics and
scoring their 25 points. That kind of player is not the player for me.