There Are No Trophies For "Showing Up" In The Game Of Life!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119
https://activerain.com/droplet/cXq


I am so glad my sons were older when the "here's your trophy for showing up" phase of childhood sports began.  I grew up at time when the team who won the game received the trophy, and the kids who didn't left the field mad, dejected and determined to get that blasted trophy next season. 

Losing can be great motivator.  It can create a determination within you that will drive you to work
harder, practice more often and prepare more wisely.   Please, no offense to all the parents who raised their children during this new phase of things, but the truth is that kids build self-esteem when they accomplish things and succeed at tasks. 
They don't build self-esteem because you got them out of bed, and you made sure their uniform was neatly pressed and you drove them to the ball diamond. 

My parents both worked when I was a little league
baseball player.  That was the norm then.  They may have seen 1 or 2 games out of my five years of minor league and little league baseball.  Did that cause me to be a whimp?  Did it cause me to have low self-esteem?  Not at all.  I didn't need my parents there to cause me to become a baseball player.  Their presence was always an added bonus, but it wasn't the key to playing the game.  I needed my own self-determination and desire to be a ball player and to be the best ball player I could be.  I watched baseball on TV to learn how the pros did it.  I read books, played on the sandlot and envisioned doing my best.

I walked to most games alone.  I played my heart out, and if we won I walked home with a big ole grin on my face and skip in my step.  If we lost, like everybody else on the team, I walked home frustrated but with a new determination to play better next time. 
That meant I would spend the next week hitting more, throwing more and catching more.  I would visiualize every mistake I made, if any, and try to determine what I could improve upon.  My team needed me.  Not just to show up, but
to show up ready to be the best I could be.

I see a lot of business people who are shocked at how rough and tumble the business world can be.  I approach things a little differently as a broker, but as an investor, I regularly ate the lunch of the "I got a trophy for showing up" competitors.  They didn't learn how to use loss and disappointment as leverage to spur exceptional performance in the next game.  They knew they would get a trophy whether they showed up or not.  Well, that's not the way it works in the game of life.


Friends, only the winners get the trophies in real life.  And, if you're not one of those winners today, there will always be another game next week.  Take the time in between games (deals) to sharpen your skillsGet better at the

game
of business.  Show up ready to compete every time, and know that there is someone out there that is looking to beat you at your game.  Make a determination to win because you earned it and not because you showed up.

 

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mike cooper
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Rainmaker
1,459,390
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Too funny, Donna.  I might get death threats.  8-)  Or at least they may take my trophies away!!

Jun 27, 2011 02:25 PM #46
Rainmaker
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Kathleen Vetrano
RE/MAX Gateway - Falls Church, VA
Helping YOU Achieve YOUR Dreams

Mike,  Another post to print and hang up.  One of the best and some of the best advice.  I like your style....and your philosophy.

Jun 27, 2011 06:06 PM #47
Rainmaker
1,459,390
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Thanks, Kathleen.  I guess it's just some of that plan on Virginia common sense.  What'd you think?  Thanks for commenting!

Jun 27, 2011 11:01 PM #48
Ambassador
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Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Mike, like with everything else, moderation is the key. I don't like myself from being that competitive. .I;m really that bad.. .I want to create a lesser impact for my 4 year old son but . . alas . .early observations is that he will be as bad as me.

Competition gets you the biggest prizes. . .but also keeps you from the biggest friendships. . 

Jun 27, 2011 11:57 PM #49
Rainmaker
1,459,390
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Fernando, today I look at it more as accomplishment than competition.  My sons were not exceptionally great at some sports, but they have found things that they excel at, such as, music, academics and a few other things.  Sportswise, one found that he is really good at cycling.  That's an area where his only competition is beating his last best time.  The other one found that he loves to lift weights.  He too competes with himself trying to lift a few more pounds.  So, life's accomplishments can be in any field.  Sports are only one choice. 

Jun 28, 2011 12:03 AM #50
Rainer
56,110
Teresa Tedder
Carolina Realty of Wilkes Inc - Wilkesboro, NC

I totally agree with you!!  I wish you could come speak to the parents at one of our ballgames!!!

Jun 28, 2011 12:46 AM #51
Rainmaker
1,459,390
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

I don't know, Teresa.  They might throw baseballs at me.  8-)  Thanks for commenting!!

Jun 28, 2011 12:53 AM #52
Rainmaker
559,620
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

Great post.  I totally agree.  But there is something to be said about just showing up.  Before you can win the game, you have to show up and be in the game.  Showing up is half the battle.  You have to put yourself in the right position in order to have the opportunity to do some great thing to win the game.  Many never get that far because they don't show up, and that's a shame.

Jun 28, 2011 02:09 AM #53
Rainmaker
559,620
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

One other point.  Losing is indeed a great motivator but I think that having fun is even a bigger motivator to most.  In the young ages, the only goal you really have as a coach is to allow the kids to have fun so that they want to come back next year. You never know when it's going to click for any given kid.  So you want them to keep showing up hoping that they don't  get discouraged and quit the game before they really have the chance blossom in their sport. 

Jun 28, 2011 02:17 AM #54
Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Well said, Tim!

Jun 28, 2011 02:36 AM #55
Rainmaker
2,370,081
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I attended all the games for my 3 kids and I always wanted to see what they learned from all those practices and meetings while they played the game. Demonstrate your skills and talents and give to the game all you got...winning or losing is secondary were my thoughts. Yet, there are parents that had that backwards wanting the win at all costs and screaming, cursing and yelling to get it...One wonders which game to watch after a while....

Jun 28, 2011 02:49 AM #56
Rainmaker
1,459,390
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Oh, Richie, I've seen that same scenario.  It's distracting to the kids when the parents are out of control.  My parents would have loved to be at my games, but the game schedules and work schedules were often in conflict.  Your kids were blessed to have you there.  Good job, dad!

Jun 28, 2011 02:57 AM #57
Ambassador
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Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

It's always better to have your cheering squad with you than to have to walk alone. The only reason I know that is because I was like you too. My parents used losing, failures to "motivate" me. I think it's a different method of upbringing.

I want my son to know I'm his biggest cheerleader and he's very important in my life. The love that transcends was something I never felt.

I want to show up with my son.

Jun 28, 2011 03:44 AM #58
Rainmaker
1,459,390
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Loreena, my folks would have loved to be my cheering squad, but conflicts with work schedules made it difficult.  That seemed to be the norm in that generation.  Ironically enough, the one time my mother came to a little league football game I sustained a knee injury and had to be rushed to the hospital.  I felt more sad for her than pained by my knee.  8-)  Your son is blessed.

Jun 28, 2011 03:52 AM #59
Rainmaker
646,368
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

I totally agree with you.  I don't like the sense of entitlement that it generates with no motivation to do a better job.

Jun 28, 2011 03:28 PM #60
Rainmaker
1,459,390
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Kathy, I think it has the potential to it breed mediocrity.  Thanks for stopping by!

Jun 28, 2011 07:33 PM #61
Rainmaker
490,387
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants

Mike:

I would say the jury is still out on the generation that gets a trophy for just showing up. Could it be that we are over looking one of the significant issues here is the self esteem and self confidence that is very fragile when kids play competitively, after reading your post, I would say that the concept of being in a win-win situation is  something that you question?

I recall being at a local baseball game where a parent in front of a group of on lookers berated his son so badly for accidentally over throwing  the ball to a fellow team mate. I have ponder what that kids mental state must be like. So if it this child's state of mind was nourish a bit by some trophy or ribbon, or small reward that he was given for showing up-- does not label him as failure?

Jul 03, 2011 07:13 PM #62
Rainmaker
1,459,390
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Time will tell, Lorraine.  The berating parent would damage that child on or off the field.  I serious doubt ribbons will make a difference in his life.  I'm more prone to agree with some of the comments left above that believes giving false praise only breads mediocrity and a sense of entitlement.  Hence the condition of much of our country today.  Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Jul 04, 2011 01:52 AM #63
Rainmaker
884,006
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Mike - My parents were definitely old-school.  If it didn't measure up, there was no coddling.  The feedback was always straight and honest.  It was never mean.  Sometimes I would get mad because I wanted to hear that what I did was great, but they would just say, then try again and when it's good we'll say so.  As you say, that made me try harder the next time.  I resonated with everything you said.  You said it well.

Jul 17, 2011 02:58 PM #64
Rainmaker
1,459,390
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Gail, that sounds a lot like mine.  They were always honest with their praise.  They didn't give unmerited compliments either, but when they said something was really good or great I knew it really was.  I appreciated it much more, and I worked hard to get it.  Thanks for commenting!

Jul 17, 2011 09:27 PM #65
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