Several years ago I was coaching the ladies softball team at my church in Knoxville and I asked the ladies if they wanted to play for fun or to win. They told me they wanted to win, which I was hoping they would say. I then told them they had to have an attitude that if they were trying to score a run and their mother was blocking home plate that they would run over her.
Believe it or not, the team chant before a game was, “Run over your mother.”
These ladies were Sunday School teachers on Sunday morning, worked in the church nursery and helped chaperone the youth. Professionally, I remember at least three nurses, bookkeepers, teachers and other professions. They were ladies in every way, that is until they stepped on the softball field.
The two years I coached the team they won a regular season league title and a tournament championship. Two titles in two years while taking an attitude of inflecting pain on dear old mom.
Yes, they were competitive, some of them to a fault. There was one lady on the team that never stopped at third when I was trying to hold her up. Sometimes she was safe at the plate and other times she was thrown out. When I mentioned to her husband that she never listened to me, he simply welcomed me to his world.
If winning isn’t important then car dealerships wouldn’t recognize their top salespeople, students wouldn’t compete for top honors in their class and we wouldn’t keep score for the games we play.
Vince Lombardi, the legendary Green Bay Packer coach to whom the Super Bowl Trophy bares his name, once said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
Longtime baseball player and manager, the late Leo Durocher once said, “Nice guys finish last.”
I think what both of those icons in sports from yesteryear were saying is you need an edge to win. You have to push to the limit and then find that next level to win, even it means running over your mother.
I am not a good loser. I believe if you show me a good loser, I’ll show you someone that has become accustomed to losing. I want to be a bad loser.
Don’t get me wrong by those statements. I don’t want to be a poor loser.
I want to be a gracious loser. But losing eats at me to the point I still feel some loses 48 years after the fact.
The truth is the best team doesn’t always win. But the team that has a certain talent level and puts in the work, will win a lot more than it loses.
I don’t want a participation trophy for showing up. I want to be rewarded for hard work. I desire to have coaches and bosses that will push me in the ways I need to be the best I can.
I want to compete hard. And I always want to win, even if my mother was standing between me and home plate.