Winning and Losing–Lesson Learned from NCAA Championship Game

Daily Quote: “Although I wanted my players to work to win, I tried to convince them they had always won when they did their best”. John Wooden

 Coach John Wooden (1910-2010) led the UCLA Bruins to ten NCAA Basketball Championships, including four perfect seasons and an 88-game winning streak. In his TED Talk in 2001, Wooden explains the need for individuals to pursue the best in themselves. To him, success was not defined by a win, a loss, a good grade, or a bad grade. He explained, You never heard  heard me mention winning. Never mention winning. My idea is that you can lose when you outscore somebody in a game. And you can win when you’re outscored. I’ve felt that way on certain occasions, at various times. And I just wanted them to be able to hold their head up after a game. I used to say that when a game is over, and you see somebody that didn’t know the outcome, I hope they couldn’t tell by your actions whether you outscored an opponent or the opponent outscored you.”

Wooden believed that as individuals we should be able to accept an outcome, win or loss, if we knew we made the best effort possible. To support his idea that the effort of an individual was more important than the outcome, Wooden referenced the philosopher Cervantes who famously said, “The journey is better than the end.”

I have always had difficulty in accepting losing more than I enjoyed winning in sports. and now in my seventies I find the lesson of losing is answered by asking yourself–Did you do the best you can?

Last night’s game was one of the best of all times and I think both teams did their best and it all came down to who had the ball last.

What an instant classic Championship game. Villanova a 77-74 defeat of North Carolina.The first buzzer beater in college basketball championship game history in more than 30 years, after UNC had tied the game leaving only 4.7 seconds for  Villanova’s game winning shot.  

Congratulations to both teams on an outstanding effort and entertaining game. 



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