Do Want to Win? Or Just Be on the Winning Team?

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I was talking to friend of mine the other day about going and doing a clinic for the high school football team he coaches in Kansas City.  What he told me on the phone was that out of the 20+ members of his football team, only 6-7 have been showing up consistently and putting the work in to get better.  While I was trying to figure out a way to help him get his kids in the gym I took a moment and thought back to when I was in high school.
I was a 3 sport athlete and started pretty much all four years.  That doesn’t mean much though when you find out that I attended the second smallest school in the state of Kansas.  While I always wanted to win, and I was always disappointed when we lost (no winning seasons in football or basketball the entire 4 years), it wasn’t until the summer before my senior year that I actually got motivated to get my butt in the gym and do the work.  I wasn’t fully committed to what we needed to do and I wasn’t a leader when I needed to be.

The difference between the two questions that are the title of this entry is that one is an active form while the other is passive.  Those who want to win and will sacrifice to get there are the active ones.  They reach out and do everything the can to influence the outcome of the event to work out in their favor.  The others who just want to be on the winning team merely show up and let the cards fall where they may.  They are there to play, not to compete.  The passive ones often have a strong desire to play and participate in the sport itself. Yet when push comes to shove, they won’t go the extra inch, do that extra set, dig for that extra rep, or put in the work during the offseason.  Their approach to sports (and life) is to blend in, be as passive and non-outstanding as possible, so that they can coast by, hopefully on the winning team.  If they’re not they may complain and whine about where they’re at, but in the end they’ll do very little to change their situation.

Don’t waste an opportunity that you are going to regret later?  How often do you hear someone sitting around complaining that they worked to hard in high school and college and didn’t spend enough time setting in front of the TV or sleeping in until noon?  Not to damn often.  Get out and do the work so that you can be a winner, not just on the winning team.