In his awe-inspiring book, Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court, former UCLA Bruins Basketball coach John Wooden shared a poem that exemplifies the power of showing up and giving your best in everything you do.
This is your first game, my child. I hope you win.
I hope you win for your sake, not mine.
Because winning’s nice.
It’s a good feeling.
Like the whole world is yours.
But, it passes, this feeling.
And what lasts is what you’ve learned.
And what you learn about is life.
That’s what sports is all about. Life.
The whole thing is played out in an afternoon.
The happiness of life. The miseries. The joys.
There’s no telling what’ll turn up.
There’s no telling whether they’ll toss you out in
the first five minutes or whether you’ll stay for
the long haul.
There’s no telling how you’ll do.
You might be a hero or you might be absolutely
nothing. There’s just no telling.
Too much depends on chance. On how the ball bounces.
I’m not talking about the game, my child.
I’m talking about life. But, it’s life that the game is all about. Just as I said.
Because every game is life. And life is a game.
A serious game Dead serious.
“But, that’s what you do with serious things.
You do your best. You take what comes.
You take what comes And you run with it.
Winning is fun. Sure.
But winning is not the point.
Wanting to win is the point. Not giving up is the point.
Never being satisfied with what you’ve done
is the point.
Never letting up is the point.
Never letting anyone down is the point.
Play to win. Sure.
But lose like a champion.
Because it’s not winning that counts.
What counts is trying.
Source – Unknown (Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court)