“The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” –Bob Knight
It may be the one thing in the world that if you asked every single person you know, they’d tell you that they enjoy it. Winning at anything, whether it’s a championship game or a board game, is a feeling that everyone cherishes and wishes they could feel all the time. And it’s true, everybody wants to win. So what’s the catch? Well, doesn’t the old saying go, “If something were easy, everyone would be doing it.”
There it is. Winning isn’t easy. It doesn’t just happen because you want it to. Many of us have been told that “you have to want it more” than anyone else but you cannot just show up on game day and declare that you really like to win today and expect your opponent to oblige. Odds are, they sure would like to win today too! So that “want” has to be burning in your body long before you step up to face your challenge, long before the day of the game. It must start the second you set a goal. The very moment that you pick out a dream.
In high school, we had early morning workouts for baseball and we would lift, run and sweat before the sun came up and all other teenagers were comfortably asleep in their beds. I remember going through my first workouts as a freshman, grueling as they were, and emerging on the other side with this big smile and looking for someone to tell me that they were proud of me. No such luck. Surely, my older brother had to be proud of me for pushing through that last sprint. Sorry man, no pat on the back waiting for you here.
It was in those moments that I realized that there are never going to be trophies for practice. Hard work, pushing yourself to the limit, has to be your expectation when you’re on the journey towards a goal. Your prize for working hard is that you get another opportunity to do it again tomorrow. Your reward for finishing that sprint is that you’re one step closer to another sprint.
Champions are formed long before game day, they just wait until after their dream has been reached to receive their crown.
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