#winners #losers #coaches
If you are not a winner, are you a loser?
We’ve dealt with that question many times over the years, and we’ve seen both extremes.
In one extreme, tight competition among good players yields only one winner. The rest, though very good, lost. There’s a difference, though, between losing one competition and being a “loser,” we’ve discovered.
The other extreme is a child who gets an award just for showing up, so as not to hurt his self-esteem. This milieu in which everyone “wins” tends to give participants license not to try their best, or not to understand that life is a mix of winning and losing.
Tom Baxter, political columnist for the Atlanta-based Saporta Report, discussed the zero-sum game in the context of University of Alabama’s head football coach Nick Saban’s, and Michigan State University head coach Mark Dantonio’s opposition to expanding the college football playoff system from four to eight teams.
“This would do more to damage to the traditional bowl games and create a ruthless and unfair standard for college coaches,” Baxter writes of the coaches’ argument.
With the number of conferences and teams in college football, playing at varying levels with different levels of support, it’s not easy to determine a national champion. In the past, it was strictly by polls. Now, the polls determine the top four teams, and those teams engage in a playoff, with the winners of the first two games playing in a national championship game in January.
Baxter writes that Saban and Dantonio also argue that the expanded playoff format would put extra pressure on coaches. In college football, and most other sports, coaches live and die – or keep their jobs – based not only on their team’s results, but also on the expectations of the institution, or ownership, and the fan base.
Coaches with good overall records get fired based because of those expectations. Baxter used the example of University of Georgia head coach Mark Richt, who was fired before the 2015 season officially ended for his team, after 15 years of a good record. But the university and their fans had higher expectations, i.e. at least one national championship. If more teams got into the playoff format, that would put more pressure on coaches, Baxter writes of Saban and Dantonio’s argument.
Baxter uses the football analogy in reference to national politics, but let’s look at it in terms of everyday life.
Of course, everyone wants to win. But not everyone can win. There is a limited number of winning positions, at least in theory, and fair competition – or, in some cases, unfair competition – to determine who gets those winning slots.
Sometimes, showing up makes one a winner. Showing up can mean giving it a shot, which is more than some would do.
There are many who see themselves as winners, but are unsure at which endeavor they want to be winners. If you are one of those, visit You might find just the things to get your winning juices flowing.
So decide at which game/occupation/skill in which you want to be a winner. Then, go for it. You probably won’t win everything, every time, but keep at it. As for expectations, expect more from yourself than others expect from you. If you achieve your own expectations, you’ll always be considered a winner.

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