“Be careful that victories do not carry the seed of future defeats.”
Think about that quote for a second. How would that happen to your young athlete? How could winning open the door or plant the seed for a future defeat?
If your child is on a winning streak…that’s awesome! Congratulations! Enjoy it!
But beware, success can be hard. If you understand the reasons why, you will be ready to help them when they face the challenges of being a winner.
Winners can become complacent and lazy. They get comfortable and think they are unbeatable. They can get over-confident, not taking opponents seriously. Taking wins for granted, they might not feel the need to improve and push themselves any more. They can become un-motivated.
Winners can become stressed. It’s tough being on top. Coaches, parents and fans will have expectations and athletes will worry about disappointing them.
Winners can be targets. If your child’s team is winning, everyone will be out to beat them. Anyone who can knock them off will be a hero.
Winners may take one loss extremely hard. Sometimes too hard. They can focus on that loss too much, instead of putting it behind them and moving on. Sure, every team would like a perfect season, but championships can still be won without a perfect record. Very few superbowl teams go undefeated all season long.
Winning is unpredictable and plays no favorites. My husband’s softball team faced a team in the section championship game that they’d beaten three times already that season. And guess what? We lost! And in reverse, my daughter’s volleyball team lost to a team three times in the season and beat them in the playoffs. Winning plays no favorites; it just sides with the guy who wants it more.
“Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” John Wooden, UCLA’s winningest basketball coach.