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A Canadian in Sweden
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I think that when you get to his level, you are a contender, and play for a major championship or an Olympic gold medal, you don't go there just to participate. You really believe that you can win. You have to believe that you can win. And to you, losing sucks. For most pros, winning the ultimate in a particular sport means that they can retire a winner, with peace of mind.
 

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Misfit Toy
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The Olympic thread got me thinking. A few years back, a guy I went to high school with played professional football. His team made it to the Super Bowl, but lost.

Being the home town boy, our local station interviewed him. The usual, how exciting to be at the Super Bowl, etc., etc. All he could say way "Yeah, but we lost". I found this so sad, that he couldn't be happy with the success of getting to the SB, instead he behaved as if his team was crap because they didn't win the game.

I don't understand this mindset.
 

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snapdragen said:
The Olympic thread got me thinking. A few years back, a guy I went to high school with played professional football. His team made it to the Super Bowl, but lost.

Being the home town boy, our local station interviewed him. The usual, how exciting to be at the Super Bowl, etc., etc. All he could say way "Yeah, but we lost". I found this so sad, that he couldn't be happy with the success of getting to the SB, instead he behaved as if his team was crap because they didn't win the game.

I don't understand this mindset.
That mindset seems common of people who perform at a very high level. It is probably what gives them that little extra the rest of us do not have. I am sure they appreciate the experience, but when one is so fixated on a goal, not achieving it hurts.

If Lance got second at the tour last year, I couldn't see him thinking, "Well, it was a good ride and I am glad everyone had fun."
 

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Palm trees & sunshine!
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snapdragen said:
The Olympic thread got me thinking. A few years back, a guy I went to high school with played professional football. His team made it to the Super Bowl, but lost.

Being the home town boy, our local station interviewed him. The usual, how exciting to be at the Super Bowl, etc., etc. All he could say way "Yeah, but we lost". I found this so sad, that he couldn't be happy with the success of getting to the SB, instead he behaved as if his team was crap because they didn't win the game.

I don't understand this mindset.
I view people like that as losers anyway so I guess the shoe fits.
 

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midnight melon mounter
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Did you play team sports?

My sport from age 8 - 20 was swimming, kind of an individual sport. A best time was enough to keep my happy, and there was serious satisfaction in winning my event in a meet or an invitational or whatever.

However, there was no satisfaction like beating New Trier High School as a team. When you work very hard with people that you like, and you're doing something joyous, the highs and lows are intense.

I can only imagine it's more intense for "true" team sports. Football is a true team sport.
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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Yep

Alex-in-Evanston said:
My sport from age 8 - 20 was swimming, kind of an individual sport. A best time was enough to keep my happy, and there was serious satisfaction in winning my event in a meet or an invitational or whatever.

However, there was no satisfaction like beating New Trier High School as a team. When you work very hard with people that you like, and you're doing something joyous, the highs and lows are intense.

I can only imagine it's more intense for "true" team sports. Football is a true team sport.

I played D1 tennis, and I know that mindset all too well, I've been like that with everything my entire life.....gotta push yourself, and losing sucks. I always tried to be a good sport about it, but inside I was dying. Can't accept failure, never have been able to, despite the fact that I have failed more than a few times.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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I think the issue is simple.........

you work hard for an entire year with one goal....win the Super Bowl......you go thru 2 preseason games, the ups & downs of a 16 game season....2 or 3 playoff games and you finally make it to the Big game......a game that you may never gaet back to....a game that you have pointed your whole career to.......and you come so close but you lose........The deflation is immense.


I've met several Football players personally who have been to a super bowl & lost and every one of them still, many years later, feels like their heart was cut out.

If they had the mindset to be satisfied with second place, they never would have succeeded in such a tough sport....to be one of the best of the best, you have to feel like you are better than everyone else.

Len
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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Len J said:
If they had the mindset to be satisfied with second place, they never would have succeeded in such a tough sport....to be one of the best of the best, you have to feel like you are better than everyone else.
exactamundo.
 

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No Crybabies
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heck yes

haiku d'etat said:
exactamundo.
That mindset is what helps people win. I can't imagine competing without it. Guess who said these things, all of which, and more, I was taught by my football coach father growing up:

"Winning is everything, it's the only thing."

"If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."

"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor."

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will."

"The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel-these are the things that endure and these are the qualities that are so much more important than any of the events that occasion them."

"If you'll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.

"It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up."

"Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit."

"Success demands singleness of purpose."

"Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing-the result."

"Winning is not a sometime thing: it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while; you don't do the right thing once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing."

"Winning is not everything--but making the effort to win is."

"It's easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you're a winner, when you're number one. What you've got to have is faith and discipline when you're not yet a winner."

"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious."

"Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser."
 

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Growing Older, Not Up
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There are too many greats who never made it to the championship game to say being there was fine. Two examples being Ernie Banks and Barry Sanders. Yes, the accomplishments along the way yield some satisfaction, but, if you get there and have a real chance, you owe it to yourself, those before you, and those after you to accept nothing less the winning.

There are a few times when being there is good enough, ie the two over 50 lugers at the olympics. But if they had the equipment and training to compete for a medal you know even they would have a different mindset.
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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"I don't understand this mindset."
.
That's why they call them "losers".
If you line up for a crit, and think "I'll just do the best that I can do", you might as well pack it in right then. For many people, winning is very important, and people telling them that they did the best that they can do, doesn't make them happy.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
"I don't understand this mindset."
.
That's why they call them "losers".
If you line up for a crit, and think "I'll just do the best that I can do", you might as well pack it in right then. For many people, winning is very important, and people telling them that they did the best that they can do, doesn't make them happy.
for once, i disagree with you. some people line up for a crit, or a century, or a double century, or brevets, or to face the day (period...) and think...i'm going to do the best i can do. i'm going to push to finish with the pack. i'm going to ride as hard as possible to not get dropped. if i'm dropped, i'm going to ride as hard as i can, not to get pulled.

there are things other than competition with others.

i've lived "competition with self" my entire life. it's character-buildling and satisfying. win or lose, first place (been there) or DFL (been there), it's not about the scoring sheet. it's about the experience.

and this, my friend, is what cyclocross is all about.

nttawwt, beyotch!
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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kpcw said:
"I like the smell of napalm in the morning..."

I agree with Doug/Fixed.

There is 1st and then there is everything else. Jonathon Livingston Seagull knew this. Give 100% or give nothing. Train till you puke. Bathe in napalm.

Do or do not, there is no try.
sometimes giving 100% or 200% is good enough to finish DFL.

we're not all racers.

i could drag your ass across 250 miles and have to come back and pick you up.

you might lap me three times in a crit or circuit race.

takes all kinds to bake a cake.
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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"there are things other than competition with others."
.
?????????? I don't get it......Maybe that the reason that I'm not happy very often. But, I'll tell you. On those rare (very rare) days that I cross the line first, I'm on top of the world. There's not a better feeling in the world than crushing other people's hopes and dreams. Just for a day, you forget that they'll probably crush yours, next week.
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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MR_GRUMPY said:
"there are things other than competition with others."
.
?????????? I don't get it......Maybe that the reason that I'm not happy very often. But, I'll tell you. On those rare (very rare) days that I cross the line first, I'm on top of the world. There's not a better feeling in the world than crushing other people's hopes and dreams. Just for a day, you forget that they'll probably crush yours, next week.
true dat, it's kinda an addiction. been there, running and with CX.

but i'd rather push myself and not compare myself to others.

be the best you, you can be, is what i did for a long time.

now i'm lost and trying to find "you" again.

seriously, tho. think about people coming into the frey. we have to start somewhere.
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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Sorry J's

haiku d'etat said:
true dat, it's kinda an addiction. been there, running and with CX.

but i'd rather push myself and not compare myself to others.

be the best you, you can be, is what i did for a long time.

now i'm lost and trying to find "you" again.

seriously, tho. think about people coming into the frey. we have to start somewhere.

I'm with grumps on this, I've never raced in a road race, only BMX as a kid, but I was a pretty dam* good tennis player, and I remember a match in the district semifinals against this kid who was a pretty good baseliner. I was always a serve and volley player, and I lived and died with my serve, when it was on, I was really good, when it was off, I was good but beatable. Well, we were in this match, and my serve hit that next level, I was virtually unstoppable, the feeling was UNBELIEVABLE. I hit 36 aces in that match, and set a new tournament record (which was beaten two years later). I loved that feeling, knowing that I had complete control of the match, and there was nothing he could do.
I know that with my first road race coming up 4-15 and several cyclocross races this fall, I won't feel it anytime soon...bring on the pain.... :D
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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KPCW just called

KPCW ("the terminator") just called and blew up my celly.

called twice or three times. i was giving the kiddo a bath.

the bastid left me a six minute voice mail where all he said was "the goose is spelled with two 'o's'". etc etc.

and some other stuff:

"I'm gonna hit the brakes, he'll fly right by."

"I don't like you because you're dangerous."
"That's right, Ice-Man. I am dangerous."

"Who's butt did you kiss to get in here?"
"Well, the list is long, but distinguished."
"Yeah, well, so's my Johnson."

"You can be my wingman any time."
"Bullsh!t, you can be mine."

"Uh, sorry Goose. WE happened to see a MiG 28 do a 4g negative dive."
"Where did you see this?"
"Uh, that's classified."
"It's what?"
"It's classified. I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."

"That's a negative ghost rider...The pattern is full."

"Take me to bed or lose me forever!"
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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i'll totally agree to disagree with you guys. everyone has different goals, viewpoints, objectives, and life experiences. me, i'd be happy to just FINISH a 5k run right now without a massive coronary. i'm thinner than before but untrained, and abusing myself. so...we all have goals. my goal could be to win the race, but i'd kick my own ass trying, and be injured or dead, as hard as i push (all the way and then some).

i appreciate, and have been, where you are and are going. and KPCW.

/respek

-The J's
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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two more things:

1) KPCW is gone to a bud's house and then to the gym, to work legs tonite. he says he works legs until he runs to the loo and hurls. i used to do EXACTLY the same thing.

2) KPCW says he's competitive in every aspect of his life. shaving. he wants to out-shave you. washing dishes. he wants the cleanest dishes, faster than you. etc etc and like that. totally "type A".

some people are moreons. KPCW is one of them. methinks. etc etc and like that.

but i still have much love and respek.

etc.

and etc.

and, well,...like that.
 

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i played national-level tennis up till first year U18's, and that is a pretty brutal sport in terms of competitiveness. as long as you don't pollute your brain for the long haul by being too one-dimensional, you have to go for the win every time, because if you don't- you've probably lost before even stepping foot on the court.
 
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