There are Winners and Learners, nothing else.

If there is one blog I hope my children (and eventually my grandchildren) read I hope it is this one.

Growing up, developing skills comes from experience and learning.  The more we do of both, the quicker we become more proficient at whatever we wish to do.  At times, we learn that something is not necessarily for us, however, if we are put off by other people, or do not give things a go because we are not perfect or proficient the first few times we try then we have not learned this valuable lesson.

Without TRY, there is nothing.  Without persistence, there will never be greatness.

By embracing learning there can be nothing else but success, it is as simple as that.

As parents, grandparents or coaches one of our most important jobs is to install this thinking into those under our guardianship.  With this knowledge, firmly wired into our brains we can create unbeatable people who will go on and do great things.  It simply comes down to “do they LOVE it enough” this is the key ingredient, that will help you persevere through the hours of learning, becoming more proficient, more confident all along learning to be humble along the way. we also simply become better people, more tolerant, more supportive.

It is true, some people learn faster than others, and the better the coach, the quicker you will get to where you want to be. Good coaches make learning FUN, while also embracing the fact there is work to do.  Making it fun encourages persistence.

I was lucky enough to play in some pretty successful rugby (and football) teams when I was growing up as a kid.  I have been in many representative teams and won some impressive competitions. But one team I have very fond memories for was a team where we embraced both ‘Winning and Learning’.  We had a team song we would sing immediately after every game, it was simple and effective.

“We won, because, we won, because, we won, because we won. We won, because we won, because we won, we won because we won …” this would go on for quite some time or alternatively and we purposely would sing this even  louder  and carried it on longer “We lost, because, we lost, because ….” all to the amusement of our supporters and the other team. It also earned us respect and allowed us to move on emotionally and mentally very quickly.

This mental approach enabled the team to get past ‘the learning’ very quickly and we became a stronger team, stronger as individuals and had a blast that year together, sometimes beating teams ranked above us and sometimes learning.  We did not win any championships that year but it was possibly one of the years that made me strong enough mentally to continue on and achieve what I managed to achieve.

This approach is not only great for sports teams and sports people, one of my favourite quotes is from Andy Warhol.

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” Andy Warhol

There is true greatness in this attitude, it takes winning out of the picture and instils learning as the most important skill.  If you can teach your children, grandchildren and most importantly yourself this, you will accomplish what you truly LOVE in life, You will remove the pain of learning, instil patience and persistence and just get on with what you want to do, and is that not what life is all about?

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