“Victory is the quality of the competition and not in the final score” ~ Mike Marshall
Sportsmanship is defined as a fair or generous behavior or treatment of others, especially in a sports contest. When champions play, one player or team ends up on the winning side. However, it is the manner in which one accepts victory or the undesired outcome depicts the character of the team or player.
Most recently during the Australian Open Tennis tournament in Melbourne, two of the greatest players of our era (Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal) competed for the Grand Slam trophy. As the game progressed, the fluctuating scoreline caused quite a roller coaster of emotions for the fans. It appeared that Rafael Nadal was ultimately going to win the championship after taking the lead in the final and decisive set. But the legend of Roger Federer had other ideas and with the grace of a ballerina and doggedness of a boxer, he turned the set around and eventually won the match and the championship. It was a match for the ages – however what caught the world’s attention was the manner in which he acknowledged the fighting spirit of Nadal, and confessed that he would have been absolutely okay to have lost to such a great champion.
The mindset of such champions like Tom Brady (the recent victory over Atlanta Falcons) and Roger Federer or Lebron James (the comeback over the Golden State Warriors in 2016) is that they never give up. They believe with all the heart, mind and soul that no amount of lead is insurmountable – until the game is over. If they are in a lead – they ensure they don’t take the foot of the pedal – no complacency. We could all take these lessons from such great sportsmen and women into our own endeavors.
We win some, & we lose some. But you got to suit up and show up.