Winning and Responsibility
Winning and responsibility go hand-in-hand to those willing to improve their playing level or ranking.
Everyone (well, almost everyone) wants either to be a winner or be associated with a winner. What is a winner in tennis? Well, it is the player who enters a tournament knowing it is a competition where only one player (two if doubles) can end up with the winning trophy or prize money.
We all see it on TV or experience it at a spectator competition. It is like two gladiators in an arena where only one will survive. Which one will you identify with, the winner, or the loser. In most cases it will be the winner.
How does responsibility enter into the equation of winning?
Entering into the beginning stages of competitive tournament play begins a process of growth. That growth is dependent on the competitor’s ability to access and learn from those experiences.
Let’s look at the definition of responsibility to see how it applies to winning:
- the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.
- the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.
- the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.
A player has to take responsibility for winning or losing. In the beginning of learning how to compete that means learning how to lose (take responsibility). In the process of accepting that loss, the player grows in knowledge and control of their knowledge and emotions. As they grow in accepting their accountability, they apply that to future matches. As they continue to grow in these two areas, there comes a time when they have enough experience and control over their emotions to win more than they lose.
With winning comes acceptance, or rejection. Yes, some players actually reject within themselves the aspect of becoming a winner. With winning comes “pressure” to win some more. If a player is not willing to accept that and embrace it, then the alternative is to lose and find a way to excuse the lose, over and over again. The comment made by Jimmy Connors is appropriate here: “I started to win when I got tired of losing.”
What is your assessment of winning and responsibility? If you don’t enjoy the arena of competition perhaps you won’t relate to this. Maybe it is in the arena of business – you will find the same application. Are you willing to work for someone else who assumes the responsibility of the business, or are you willing to step out and start your own? Neither is right or wrong.