Thursday, September 01, 2016


With college kickoff weekend just in our sight, I thought I would spend a time on a topic we think we know a lot about, but usually, haven't taken the time to study it or analyze it.

What is winning?

Coaches of all sports at all times have given inspirational speeches and spent seasons or years teaching about it.

One of the first things to understand about winning is that it is in a context..... winning is always in a context of competition where there is also a chance to lose.

The intensity of the competition elevates the enjoyment of winning and increases the pain of losing.

Winning and losing can actually become a trend in a person's life. Winners don't win all the time- but they contain certain attributes that allow them to experience it more often.

Losing can become a habit as well. Losers may win on occasion, but generally, their composition is such that winning is sheer luck and losing is almost an expectation.

I have a 6 domain approach that outlines winning in any context- sport, life, business, or relationships.

Winning the Investment

The harder you work the harder it is to lose. I find that a sacrificial and personal investment in a cause or desire will allow for the greatest chance of success.

My guess is that we know this enough to pay lip service to it.

The will to win is conditioned by the will to prepare to win. And the best yardstick of future success is 'what are you doing right now?". What you do today will shape who you are in the future.

I will mention one other thing... there is a rare breed of a champion who is willing and able to invest with the same intensity while on top as they do in their climb to the top.

Most people scratch and claw until they achieve their quest... then they lay down in satisfaction and soak it in. And there is a healthy way to do that.

But I admire and give great props to those who still dig hard every day even after they have reaped great success!

Winning the Intelligence

There are some winners who understand that work is one thing... but SMART work is even better.

Every time you learn. A winner takes a loss and studies it to the point that it will be harder for that circumstance to ever happen again.

A winner MUST be a learner. A winner needs to thirst after wisdom and knowledge.

A winning coach must always be open to evaluation and correction.

Losers are afraid of information... they protect themselves from it....

They are afraid of being exposed for a lack of knowledge.

But their fear of showing a deficit prohibits them from learning.

Winning the Messaging

Winners are constantly sending a is a body language... it is a narrative. Winners know how to send that message deep inside themselves as well.

By the way... there is no more POWERFUL message than BIBLE verses.

It is what Jesus used in the wilderness of temptation.

If you have never tried it- I encourage you to plant God's Holy Word DEEP in your heart. And I promise, you will win the messaging...

on the inside AND on the outside!

Winning the Unity

A winner is never alone and a winner understands that success is a 'we' and not a 'me'. Even great champions of individual sports know how to build a team. AND. nothing is more powerful than a unified TEAM.

When I was coaching football... that was my one desire... could I somehow press and request and push and teach... that this whole deal was bigger than any one person.

The common denominator of all of the state championship teams that I was blessed to be a part of was BONDS OF BROTHERHOOD... and it wasn't just players. Players loved and trusted players... loved and trusted coaches... loved and trusted support personnel... loved and trusted parents... loved and trusted administration... who loved and trusted  parents... who loved and trusted ...

well you get it.

Some of you, I bet, believe that this is just talk and not true....

I feel sad if you have never experienced it... the power of UNITY

It doesn't mean perfection..It doesn't mean total agreement....

but it is love and trust...

hard to achieve.

But when it happens, LOOK OUT- that group will NEVER matter what the score may say otherwise!

Winning the Battlefield

The battlefield is the reality of the competition. It is no longer prep and planning- it is fight in a flurry and adjust as the conditions change. It is a disciplined fight. It is incredible intensity at the point of attack while still having eyes to study the flow and the flanks.

Winning is 'being' not 'doing'

This last domain is almost a summary of all of the others. A winner doesn't win as much as that person IS a winner. That is their very blood flows with positive expectations and an unbending hope.


This weekend.. there will be a lot of intense competitions between very talented and well coached teams.

When time expires, there will be a 'winner' and a 'loser'.

But true winners will not be marked by that declaration....

if they won- GREAT- but let's keep moving forard

if they lose- HURT- but then a rugged determination to correct and conquer next time.

True losers will not be confirmed either.

if they win... they begin to bask in the glow and do nothing to get better

if they lose... they employ defense mechanisms and speak sour grapes..

they will blame... and blaspheme....

and deep inside they will long for something that they know they will never be......

When you go to bed tonight- thank the Lord.... and tell Him you want to WIN

And when you wake up tomorrow- thank Him again- and tie your shoes tight and walk tall like a winner.

Tell yourself.... I am NEVER going to give in and keep fighting.

Victory is just around the bend.

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