How athletics motivates men and women to succeed in business and in life
"It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game."
This age-old phrase has been debated over the years. Legendary Green Bay Packers football coach Vince Lombardi once said, "Winning's not everything; it's the only thing." Controversial Raiders owner Al Davis urged his charges to, "Just win, baby!" But perhaps former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said it best:
"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."
Let's face it: nobody wins all the time. Nobody is perfect. Human beings are flawed, morally and physically. All we can do is our best. Nothing embodies these truths better than the wide world of sports. The lessons learned in athletics are among the most poignant, long lasting and influential in our lives. Since the 1970s, women's sports have grown not just in popularity but in the shaping of a new generation of girls who have succeeded as women in business, in relationships, and in life.
We cheer the great, multi-millionaire heroes of professional baseball, basketball and football, but as the NCAA proudly touts in their commercials, 90 percent of college athletes go pro in something other than sports. Our leaders include many of these ex-jocks of both sexes. They have learned lessons on our playing fields; usually small, non-revenue sports played before a handful of fans, not cheering throngs at the Coliseum or Yankee Stadium.
Good Sports focuses on 50 successful men and women who played sports. It tells the tale of lessons learned from coaches, teammates, from the very struggle to win and, as often as not, the desperation of disappointment that comes with defeat. The most successful amongst of are those who use defeat as motivation, as a stepping-stone, as a lesson learned, as a door that closes only to reveal another one opening. Those who handle the glories of victory not as conquest of others, but as the natural result of hard work and preparation.
Read all about Terry Marks, who came from a large, blue-collar Irish Catholic family in upstate New York, but journeyed west to expand his horizons and play baseball at the University of Southern California. Great diamond success never came his way, but he shifted his focus to success in sales and marketing. Baseball lessons inculcated his rise all the way to the presidency of Coca-Cola/North America.
Read about Bob Ladouceur, who only wanted to teach religion at Concord, California's De La Salle High School when he was asked to take over the school's moribund football program. Over the years, Coach Ladouceur always emphasized the lessons of Christianity over winning. The result: the winningest prep football dynasty of all time.
Read about Billie Jean King and Pat Summitt, two of the all-time pathfinders of women's sports. Read about the people who run the top 10 non-revenue men's and women's college sports programs; how competitiveness, experience, joy, sadness, camaraderie, hard work, and focus has produced countless success stories . . . in something other than sports.
From little league to the pros, sports is a part of our lives. Every win and loss; every practice; every experience provides a lesson that can be used in our marriages, our relationship with our children, with co-workers, and in all aspects of our lives. Here is a bottom-line look at sports behind-the scenes. This is not about world championships or the breaking of records, but at the discipline and joy d'vivre that can translate from victory in the field to victory from the boardroom to the living room.
Causes Steven Travers Supports
Conservative, Christian, USC, American patriotism