When You Expect To Win, and Don’t
Have you ever been in a situation where you really expected to win, but didn’t? The odds were stacked in your favor, and still, you lose. Perhaps it was in sports, or a big business. How did you handle it?
Did you let it defeat you, or define you?
Today I learned a very important lesson in losing when you expected to win from my 18 year old son, Jake IV. Jake is a very serious competitive golfer. He plays and practices every single day, from early in the morning until dark. When it is light out, he is on the course. His dream is to one day play professionally. This is what he lives for. This is his sole focus. And he is good, very good.
Today I found myself watching Jake in the finals of our country club’s match play championship. The weather conditions made for a very unique day. It was cold, very cold! We live in Florida and don’t have to fight this strange weather very often, but today was different. It was 40 degrees, damp, and 15-18 mph winds. For those of you that have ever played in these conditions, you know it is no fun. He had already won a few matches against some great players prior to making it into the finals. In fact, one of the players he beat played on the tour as a professional for a few years, and has since gained his amateur status back.
After a few great wins, Jake found himself competing against a player with less skill than himself; someone he could beat at least 90% of the time. But, today, he was outplayed. Today, he lost.
Moving Forward, and Focusing on the Positive
When the match was completed, the disappointment was obvious. Golf is very important to him. You can’t possibly work harder nor could you have more commitment to anything than he does golf. So, as a parent, I hate to see him defeated. I was a little curious to see how he would handle this….
After returning home after the match, Jake took a quick nap, ate lunch and went back to the golf course to practice. As he was walking out the door, he spoke his first words,
“I am glad it was cold today, I don’t get to play in the cold very often, and I needed that experience.”
Wow, what an attitude! You see, Jake realizes that life is a journey, and your life is not defined by any given day: good or bad. He is focused on what he really wants; to play golf professionally. There will be more tournaments in his future. So, rather than let this defeat beat him down and frustrate him, he found the positive, picked himself up and got right back to the job at hand- getting better. Needless to say, it was a very inspiring moment for me. Jake made me proud! Very proud.
By the way, he shot 4 under par, 68 later that same day.
The lesson here is this; in defeat, even when you were REALLY expecting to win, keep moving ahead, stay focused on the big goal, and find the positive experience you gained to help you in the future.
Wishing you all the success you will allow yourself to have!