Rare is the true champion. The one who strives valiantly. And if he fails, he at least fails while daring greatly.

In Australian Sport this last week, the women’s Football team, the Matilldas, against the odds, made it through a knock out round against Brazil to play Japan. These women have to hold down part time jobs while they commit to playing on the world stage. They consider it a privilege. They left nothing on the field. They were absolutely gutted when they didn’t progress. Now they turn their eyes towards qualifying for the Olympics.

At Wimbledon this week, two young Aussie brats, granted with prodigious talent, both threw massive tantrums for various reasons, in a very public way. They consider the support of Tennis Australia an entitlement. Given that I do not have access to the inside story, I cannot comment on the details. But I can comment on their very public response to issues they feel they have.

Oh if we could swap roles and conditions for 6 months. Give the brats the same support as the Matildas, and give the Matildas all the privilege of the Tennis world. The Brats might learn that privilege comes with a price. The Aussie tax payer is funding their steady climb to the top. The people who buy the tickets to the events are funding their continued success. To show up and play your C game willfully is to disrespect the people who enable your lifestyle. To have your emotions run away at every small hiccup is to demonstrate the remarkable lack of maturity and emotional intelligence.

Talent isn’t enough. True champions have the whole package. They treat people with respect, they never step over an opportunity to express gratitude, they know how they got to their current destination and they never forget it. This applies as much to business as it does to sport.

From Theodore Roosevelt,

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 

 

 

 

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