If You Love Competition, You Never Lose 715.5

by Michael Josephson on March 24, 2011

in Commentaries, Sportsmanship

Suppose you’re an Olympic athlete and you hear that the only person who has a chance to beat you is ill and may have to withdraw. Are you overjoyed at your good luck or disappointed that you will not be able to compete against the very best?

If you really love and understand sports, you ought to be disappointed. John Naber, winner of four gold medals in swimming, says that a true sportsman wants to compete against his best competitor on his best day. Yes, that makes winning more difficult and less likely, but it also makes the event more exciting and a victory more meaningful. Being declared the winner is not real victory; being the best is.

If you play tennis or any other sport, what’s more fun: to play against someone you easily dominate or against someone who forces you to be your best and makes every point an exciting challenge? You see, the point of sports is to have fun trying to win and loving the game enough that you can have fun whether you win or not.

Athletic competition is not a form of war. The people you compete against are also the people you play with. They are not your enemies. The word “competition” comes from the Latin root competere, which means to strive together, not against each other. Be thankful for quality competitors who push you to your limit. You’ll find sports more healthy and enjoyable when you respect and even like your opponents rather than hate them.

When you compete with someone as good or better than you, you may not always win, but you never lose.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

abdel shaat May 15, 2011 at 1:51 pm

This Is a really a powerful article I think it is important that any one also live their life with the same judgment, also come to have read this article it shall make you think that there are a lot of people thinking this way but who are really taking it into action, despite the honor to be a better person on the sports field and off, it teaches you that you shall carry yourself with dignity and you will keep back the same result. Remember competition is working as a team.

Reply

Maci Hancock January 15, 2013 at 8:28 am

I agree completely with this article, you should always strive to be the best, and sometimes when you know you don’t have tough competition you won’t be playing your best. Continue to work hard no matter who your competition is.

Reply

Manny January 15, 2013 at 9:14 am

I think that this article speaks to all of us we should come to play a game and play it our best it will make it exciting for you and the people that are watching you winning by default because your opponent is ill is no win at all!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: