Crazy how the world works sometimes.
I never was much of a reader. Fantasy baseball, of all things, was the spark that got that fire burning. I’m still not to the point where I’ll grab book and take a seat, but I’ve been online searching for material to digest. Surfing Twitter over the past year hasn’t hurt either.
Today I stumbled upon an awesome quote from a former baseball player who I’ve never heard of.
“The will to prepare is more important than the will to win; because when the athletes step onto the field, everyone has the will to win.” – Chuck Hodges
You may have heard it in a different form from somebody else at one point, but it’s so true.
I immediately thought of my time as captain of an ultimate Frisbee team. I believed I could prevail in any game because my skill and will to win was greater than my opponents. It’s a nice thought, but it’s not always true. Unfortunately, that bravado coupled with arrogance rubbed some people the wrong way. Turns out I was just a selfish dreamer. Envisioning myself in moments of glory, carving out a place in sports lure, even if that sport was a local ultimate summer league.
While playing in the league, I thought I was prepared. I played more pick-up games, and practiced throwing longer than anyone else in the league. I honestly thought if I practiced throwing enough, my pin point throws would literally be unstoppable. In the end, the only thing I prepared myself for was failure. My team continually missed the playoffs.
My approach worked in other sports and activities I was playing at the time – hacky sac, golf, and bowling. Theme: they weren’t team sports. Which is probably why something wasn’t clicking when it came to my ultimate team.
At the time, I obviously blamed everyone else, because I put my time in. I knew I was a more than capable player. How could I be the problem when I was the best player on the team and one of the best players in the league? I thought trying really hard in games was leading by example, but I never led or inspired any players. If anything, I made them want to sit on the bench rather than play in the game.
I never prepared to work WITH my team. I played hard, and expected my teammates to play on a level they weren’t capable of. Instead of practicing to make all the throws, I should have been practicing how to make the right decisions. Helping the team instead of hurting the team. Taking the pressure off my team instead of putting it on.
I had the will to win, but I didn’t have the will to prepare. I had the will to be self serving.
Crazy how the world works sometimes. This will be my second year removed from Columbia Ultimate, and I finally understand and grasp why I failed.
I read a really interesting and personal blog post today by Allison Mack, who played Chloe Sullivan on one of my favorite TV shows – Smallville. Her post is why I attempted to try to write about something on a personal note instead of the normal sports observations.
She obviously is a better writer than I am. Her content is more sensitive and compelling to say the least. Maybe, just maybe, I will be able to break free and convey feelings without a sports angle! This is my 50th post since I started this blog near end of August. Maybe it’ll happen by post 100?
Thanks for reading if you got this far!