Winners Always Want the Ball

What motivates you?

We all have our reasons for doing the things we do.  Figuring out why we do them can be a difficult task.  For me, I think it comes down to the title of this post "Winners always want the ball."  This is a quote from the 2000 movie "The Replacements" starring Keanu Reeves as Shane Falco, a professional football replacement quarterback, and Gene Hackman playing Jimmy McGinty, his coach. In the movie, The coach has called a pass play, and Falco calls an audible changing the play. He hands the ball off to the running back who fails to score and the game is lost. The coach tells Falco, "If I wanted him to have the ball, I'd have called it that way." McGinty goes on to tell Falco that he got scared.  He finishes by saying "Winners always want the ball...when the game is on the line."

That is true.  Winners do want the ball.  I'm not necessarily talking about sports figures, and the people that score the most points.  I'm talking about successful people.  They always seek out opportunities for growth and success.  They want to have the responsibility for what happens.  No matter the outcome, they own it.

That's what motivates me.  Success.  When I was a Detective with the Mobile County, Alabama Sheriff's Office, and there was a big investigation, I wanted the case.  If there was a bad guy that needed to be interrogated, I wanted to do it.  I had faith in my ability, and my training, and I wanted the responsibility.  I wanted the ball!

In coaching and training, I want the responsibility of helping athletes cross the finish line; of helping them do things they never thought possible.  Again, I have faith in my ability.  I want the weight on my shoulders because I can succeed and I can help others succeed.  I want the ball!

Now for the hard part.  How do you cultivate that faith?  How do you get that confidence to ask for the ball?  I think it's different for everyone.  For me it comes down to two things.  First, hard work.  Doing more than necessary, more than expected.  It's putting forth that little bit of extra effort needed to make you better.  I think this will explain it better than I could...

That one extra degree makes all the difference.  A series of small efforts add up to huge successes.

The second thing that helps me have the confidence to step up and be successful is not being afraid to fail. You must embrace the idea of growth and attempting those things you've never tried. To get what we've never had, we must do what we've never done.  Contrary to the famous line in Apollo 13, failure is ALWAYS an option.  The person who never fails, has never tried.  If you knew before you tried something that success was guaranteed, then what's the point?

Thomas Edison said that many of life's failures are people who didn't realize how close to success they were when they gave up. Never give up. You haven't failed, you just eliminated another way that doesn't work.

Start cultivating that winning attitude today!  "Winners always want the ball."  Believe that you can do it.  You won't always win, you can't always win.  But that's ok.  Knowing that you can do it is what puts you ahead of the competition. That's the "extra degree". Great actors want the lead role.  Great speakers want the tough audience.  Great detectives want the bad guy that refuses to confess. And, when the game is on the line, winners always want the ball!