You should never step on a court or field and think that you’ve already won a game before you play the game. Coaches should never think that their players are so great that it’s not possible for their team to lose against an opponent who is not expected to win. When you’re truly a great team, you prepare in practice for every team with the same level of intensity and with the goal of getting better and better. It’s okay to step on a court or field and feel confident that you’re going to win, but you shouldn’t think that you’ve already won. Upsets happen often because teams feel like they’ve already won before the game is played.
Coaches need to make sure they teach their teams how to win and lose with grace. When a team defeats you, don’t start trying to fight because you’re so upset that you lost. If you’re a high school or college student-athlete, your unacceptable behavior after a win or loss can cause you a chance to play at the next level because people can be turned off with how you act after a win or loss. You have to understand that there are going to be times when you win and times when you’re going to lose. Always maintain control of your attitude because your character matters at all times.
Demonstrating poor character after a win or loss can make people stop supporting you and make them not want to come see you play another game. People don’t come to see you play with poor character—they come to see you display your talent with sportsmanship.
If you’re an arrogant coach, then you need to understand that your arrogance is going to cost your team a loss inevitably. Arrogant coaches need to resign from their jobs because they don’t set the kind of example they need to for their team. Arrogant coaches make everything about themselves and often close their ears from listening to good advice from others who can help them to improve their coaching and team.
Never make sports your life. There are more important things in life than sports.
Play every game like it’s your last because it could very well be your last. With the severe injuries that can and do occur during games, you have to understand that you may not have another chance to display your talent on the court or field again. Therefore, make the best of every opportunity you have.
In order for a team to win a game, a team only needs to be the best team on that particular day. As the high school and college football season winds down to their final games, don’t forget that the teams expected to win may not win. You cannot go ahead and write a team off until the game is actually played. When you write a team off before the game is played, this is when you are setting yourself up for failure. Your opponents know when you take them for granted and they seize on the opportunities your arrogance affords them.
Don’t let your arrogance cost you a win!
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison