At a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament, you’re bound to see a few tears (from kids and adults alike). What is always interesting to watch is the medal ceremony. There is a wide variety or reactions, some are stoic, some have grins bigger than the moon, and others….well….they cry (you should see the kids react).
Which made me think about this very simple question, what makes a winner? Now there are a multitude of things that contribute to what makes a champion. But when I watch medal ceremonies, the medal holders that I think are the best are always the ones that have the best attitude.
When the awards are given out, do they shake their opponents hand? Do they take the time to thank their coaches and ask for feedback? Do they show gratitude for their support system, who are holding water bottles, snacks, and a bottomless pit of encouraging words?
Those athletes that I watch do all of those things makes them a winner in my book, regardless of their placement. Someone who is willing to show that they are appreciative of a challenge, even from an opponent with less (or more) skill. An athlete that knows that their journey isn’t walked alone, that it takes guidance and leadership to arrive in the seat of a champion. A winner that knows they are nothing without the people around them, because someone has to deal with grumpy, hungry, and tired attitudes but still put on a smile because that’s what supporting someone means.
So the next time you go to a sporting event, keep an eye out for the real winners. Because beating someone is one thing, but being a real winner is another.