Success and Failure!
Written by Dr Jim Tunney on October 8, 2018
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS October 8, 2018, #713… Success and Failure!
After further review… My Facebook post recently was a reminder: “Don’t let your victories go to your head, or your failures go to your heart!” Since many of you may not be on Facebook, or maybe you are just fed-up with its whole approach, I thought I’d discuss it here.
The TunneySide is about sports — where else can you visibly see success and failure? Sports, in the opinion here, is a metaphor for life. So many traits of successful living, such as character, integrity, working together as a T*E*A*M, resiliency, sacrifice of one’s self for the good of others, etc.
In officiating where I spent much of my life, we use the expression: “You’re only as good as your next call!” No matter how well respected you are, or how many playoffs games or Super Bowls you officiated players, coaches, fans as well as your officiating supervisors want to know “how good will you be today? Your performance has to be better – or least up to standard – every time you put on that uniform. The same criteria apply to players and coaches. Interestingly enough it doesn’t apply to fans or an audience. For others in front of an audience, e.g., actors, professional speakers etc., it applies to them as well.
Many performers are paid after they perform. Others in sports (let’s use the NFL as an example) players sign a contract up-front, getting paid before they step on the field. It is vital that they maintain or exceed their best every time. Failures, e.g., pass interceptions, dropped passes, or missed blocks or tackles are reviewed after every game. A player making those errors must use self-talk and positive reinforcement to regain his confidence in order to return to the quality of play of which he is capable. Thus: don’t let the failures go to your heart! Spending 30 years in teaching, I believe that is part of a teacher’s job– to positive reinforce student confidence.
Unfortunately, when it comes to letting victories go to your head, many sports stars have a need to celebrate beyond reason. “Act like you’ve been there before” is an old expression, and trite. But trite, because it’s true! Respect for your opponent as well as for the game itself is a characteristic that is lost on many. When a defensive player fails to make a crucial tackle, he doesn’t need his offensive opponent to rub-it-in-his-face with an outlandish celebration. More needs to be written on that, but space limitations prevent doing so now.
Will you log-in your feelings about how you deal with success and/or failure?