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Day 5 What They Don’t Teach You About Winning

Tell me, is it truly possible to place failing and winning in the very same sentence? Well of course it is, I just did it! But seriously, nobody ever talks about winning AND failing.

Sure we’ve seen those underdog stories, the great movies like “Rocky” and “Rudy” and have felt inspired by sports but have we ever really broken down BOTH winning and losing?

One of the more overblown quotes in sports was made by the late(and great) Vince Lombardi who once said that “if winning is everything, why do they keep score?”

Lombardi made a very valid point with that statement, but I feel that athletes and coaches have taken more from it than they should.

Winning is important. It’s the main reason we all get into sports, right? Yes, you want to have fun but you also want to win too.

I’m not going to argue with that point. I’m not even here to tell you that winning is everything, because now of days that would certainly appear so wouldn’t it? If a coach doesn’t win, and win immediately, he or she is fired. If an athlete doesn’t perform instantly, no matter the age, he or she will have to find another team. Sports are very demanding, instant success is always expected, and sports fans become very impatient when that does not happen.

But I’m here to tell you that…

Only Through Failure Will You Truly Discover The Ways of a Winner


Certainly there are some coaches and athletes who were instantly blessed with success. They took over and the rest was history. Many wins and multiple world championships followed. They are in the very small minority {!name}.

Take Michael Jordan for example. Six world titles, all of them broken into two different three-peats would certainly qualify as a true winner right? Well did you know that when Jordan first entered the league with the Bulls, they were a perennial loser who even struggled for Jordan’s first few years? Did you know some so called experts even criticized Jordan as being too much of a ball hog?

We could rewind even further to Jordan’s well noted failure in junior high when he was cut by the varsity team. While this is overblown or not, the point I am trying to make is even for one of the NBA’s greatest winners – failure appeared first. Sure there was success mixed in with that failure, but he failed as much as he did succeed early on.

They say that Jordan was probably the most competitive athlete of all-time. He wanted to win at everything, including minor competitions off the court. His college roommate even mentioned that Jordan once kept him up in the wee hours of a night to finish a Monopoly game because Jordan did not want it to end in a draw.

Jordan’s competitive drive emerged from his past failures and his fear of one day failing again. This may sound silly, especially after Jordan has won a few NBA titles, but it’s the truth.

Jordan Feared Failing, So He Competed Until He Succeeded

While very few of us (if any) will ever reach the success or winning ways of Michael Jordan, we all can learn a lot from that amazing player.



Failure is a part of life. We all fail, but through it we rise up and become stronger. When you are young you do not have a lot to stress about. Maybe a homework assignment, an up-coming test, or a date with a girl – but that is about it. When you grow older and get out on your own you realize that the world doesn’t necessarily revolve around you or work to your watch. You have to make sacrifices and tough decisions.

Failure is Necessary!

When we fail we learn, and when we learn we grow wiser. Read that again if you have to.

While basketball will never become the most important thing you do in life, if you are young and love the game, right now it damn sure is the most important thing you are doing. Harness that passion and love and fuel the fireplace of failure.

Tell yourself that “I will not fail, I will not back down, I will make my team better, and we will win.” And say that as if you really mean it. Because only then, it has POWER.

But of course one player does not make a team. The entire team must share this mentality, strive to make each other better, and rise up from their failures.

See you for Day # 6


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