Have you ever seen a really good game of tennis? I have. A really good game of tennis between two very talented tennis players is exciting, exhilarating, and can even have you jumping out of your seat. If two tennis players are evenly matched the game is usually very close and often thrilling. Why, because these two players refuse to give up. Have you noticed that one player might be down … often several games down and when this happens the crowd often gives up and considers the game over, however, something changes and just when everyone thinks the match is a forgone conclusion a player can come from behind and bing, bang, boom, the tennis player that was down rebounds with lightening speed. Then, all of a sudden, the game is on and the match tightens up. The crowd feels the change in the air and they are on their feet cheering the two well matched players on, with every point, that is made or lost. I am constantly in awe when a player can be losing and losing badly but he or she pulls a knob somewhere in their mind or in their body, which seems to come out of nowhere and they can turn the game around. Not only turn the game around, they can win the game.
What makes a champion? It is more than not giving up it is something else. It is a secret kind of magic. I think it has to do with practice and more practice and more practice. It has to do with playing with people who are better than you and learning from them and losing and learning from the loss. This is a self-confidence that comes from losing. It means you can hate the loss but you can still learn from it. There is a special strength in a champion that comes from down deep in their soul that hates to lose and they can recognize that they are down, but not out.
Haven’t you noticed this champion spirit in certain people? There is a business that I frequented in the past that closed. I saw the two women owners, stop, and dust themselves off and a few years later a new and better business was started and it is flourishing. How did this happen? They looked carefully at the mistakes they made. They went back to the drawing board. They even took some classes at a local college and they looked to friends and family (who had succeeded in the past), for advice. Like in tennis, they learned from the better players. These two women hated to lose their business but it didn’t stop them, it spurred them on to learn from their mistakes. They were willing to do the work to succeed because they hated losing and down deep they knew they could win. They did win.
Many years ago I had a boyfriend who had a roommate that was a professional boxer. My boyfriend took me to see what turned out to be several boxing matches. I would have thought that I would have been repulsed watching these matches however; somehow, I surprised myself and became strangely engrossed in the strength and real drama of the fight that was raw in front of my eyes. This was the personification of winning and losing. Some of the men were punched and down and seemingly out and then that certain something is switched on. Literally they went from being down and out to fighting back, to win the match.
What can we learn from this? I have been that guy in the ring who was hit and hit again. I have been the girl who is behind by two or three games in the tennis match. I have been on the losing team in volleyball. Heck, I was the captain. How do we learn from defeat? How does one attain that elusive, golden spirit of a champion?
A champion doesn’t just lose and get up to fight again. A champion learns from the loss because he or she hates losing. They learn and see the problems and the flaws that led to the loss. They don’t make the same mistakes over and over. They stop, take a breath, play with people who are better than they are and learn from them. They look at what the better players are doing that is right and a champion uses that information. A champion gains strength, by learning from that loss and by all means, THEY CHANGE THEIR GAME. If you keep doing the same thing over and over and it isn’t getting you anywhere. CHANGE THE GAME!
I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen illness defeated and health renewed, with a champion spirit. I’ve seen businesses close and new successful businesses appear. I’ve seen disillusionment with a marriage ending in divorce and love found again. Now, let’s see if we can get back up off the floor and give that opponent a big one-two punch knockout. Whatever or whomever this opponent represents, become a Champion of your life. I’ve got my boxing gloves on and I’m practicing.
Until Next week….