Thursday, July 10, 2014
Do You Have the Will to Win?
My freshman opponent walked onto the tennis courts with his coach watching outside the fence. He stared at me nervously while I prepared to hit the first ball, then threw his hands up in the air as soon as he noticed I was left-handed. My opponent turned to his coach and yelled, "he's left-handed!" Then he slammed his racket to the ground and mumbled to himself. One of my first high school competitive matches was over before it began. His coach walked away in disgust. I learned an important lesson that day – the will to win (or lose) is in your head. As Vince Lombardi said, "winning isn't everything, but the will to win is everything."
The will to win transcends all playbooks. A necessary component is the will to prepare to win. It means learning from your past defeats and making the modifications necessary for the best results in future challenges. Winning is a habit. So is losing. If you don't like the results you're getting, ask yourself what you can do to change your habits. Every morning when you wake up, tell your brain, "I have the will to win today." Don't make excuses. And if your opponent happens to be left-handed and you're facing him on the tennis courts, smile and tell him how much you love a good challenge.