Champions Don't Expect Things to Come Easy

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Mortgage and Lending with Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, NMLS #138061 MMCD #1141

Champions Don't Expect Things to Come Easy

 

 

     Each and every year, I enjoy the heck out of spring time sports.  I enjoy the Super Bowl, but my favorite sporting events each year are the NCAA tournament and the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

 

     Usually, I'm cheering for UConn to win the NCAA tournament in both the men's and women's bracket.  This year, the men had a disappointing season, but the tournament is offering up a rare spectacle - potential "all time great" teams in both the men's and women's bracket.  The Kentucky Winningmen's team is going for a 40-0 historical season, which they'll get if they win the title.  To do so they'll need to get through Wisconsin and the winner of the Duke/Michigan State game.  The UConn women's team, although suffering a loss early in the season at the hands of rival Stanford, have rolled through the competition with an average margin of victory of 40+ points.  I have never seen a team as impressive as this UConn squad.  "All time great" teams come around maybe once a decade (if you exclude UConn's women, who have been "all time great" for about a decade straight now), so to watch 2 in one year is a gift for any sports fan.

 

 

     With both Kentucky & UConn playing in their Elite 8 games this past week (UConn played tonight), I noticed something about their games that translates into the business world.  Both teams have been on top all year.  Both have been dominant to the point where everyone just expects them to win without any challenge.  But both teams were challenged this week more than they have been in recent memory.  Kentucky was pushed to overtime twice this season, but never on a stage so big as the NCAA tournament.  Notre Dame took them down to the wire on Saturday and nearly pulled off a tremendous upset.  Tonight, although not indicated in the box score, UConn was in trouble early, with the Dayton Flyers putting on one of the best shooting performances I've ever seen in the first half of their game - UConn, hands down the best team in the country, played a pretty good half of basketball, and found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard at halftime.

 

 

     Nearly each and every year in nearly every sport, there's a hands down favorite - a #1 playoff seed that looked unstoppable in the regular season, only to be eliminated via upset come playoff time.  Seemingly invincible players and teams crumble and disappear into the history books as just another 'coulda shoulda woulda' story.  So what has prevented Kentucky & UConn from joining that club?  They were each hit in the mouth, they took the punch, and they kept moving forward.

 

 

     Notre Dame was up on Kentucky by 5 points with 5 minutes left.  Kentucky hit some HUGE (and difficult) shots and nailed free throws to eventually take the lead in the final minute and pull out the win.  One missed free throw, or one missed shot under pressure, and the season would have been over, and their "all-time great" chances would have crumbled.  Dayton was up by a couple of points early (unfamiliar territory for the UConn women's team), but UConn remained consistent with their game, made their free throws, played smart, and in the end Dayton's hot shooting cooled down and UConn was able to dominate down the stretch.

 

 

     Both teams could have succumbed to pressure.  Either could have let a challenge overcome them - but winners don't do that.  Winners welcome pressure.  They thrive when challenged.  They don't panic, or change their gameplan.  They've prepared.  They know what they need to do, and they do it.  They're confident in their abilities, and they know that they've already done what is required to win in practice.  They respect their competition, and work every day to get to be able to beat them. 

 

 

Is it really much different than our business?

 

 

     We face pressures, deadlines, and challenges daily.  Some people burn out, fall down, and don't get back up because the burden is too heavy.  Others thrive, learn from mistakes, make sure they don't happen again, and look forward to deadlines so they can push their performance to it's highest level.  Some people get lazy when things are good - they go on for months without being challenged (tonight marked the first time since 2011 that UConn trailed at halftime in the tournament), become complacent, and are then shell-shocked when a challenge pops up.  Others know that they can't get lazy.  There's always a way to be better, always something to learn.  Winners in both sports, business, and life know that there's no such thing as perfection - but they also know there's nothing wrong with trying to get as close to it as possible.

 

 

     In many ways, sports resemble life.  For that reason, it's not difficult to be inspired by watching these 2 college programs chase history in the tournament, and I was glad to see each team challenged this week and rise to the challenge in front of them.  Dayton was an underdog - they shocked both Kentucky & Louisville's women's teams already in the tournament.  UConn could have easily fallen the same way, but that's not what winners do.  The kids at Kentucky have what must feel like the weight of the world on their shoulders.  It didn't matter in the last minute of their game, as they played like champions often do, and got the job done.

 

 

     When the going gets tough, it's important to realize - in sports, in business, and in life - there's nothing to celebrate in everything always coming easy.  The harder the struggle, the greater the glory. 

 

 

I look forward to seeing a glorious celebration for the Kentucky men and UConn women after 2 more hard fought games each.

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Rainer
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Ashley Alred
Pullman, WA

I love this! Nothing is easy...nothing good that is!

Mar 30, 2015 04:15 PM #1
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Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
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Great post John, winning is any area of life takes a bit of preparation, dedication and work.

Mar 30, 2015 04:41 PM #2
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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

There's always a reason why somebody's not a champion in this life or any circumstance.

Mar 30, 2015 04:59 PM #3
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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

You should always strive and keep moving, I believe fully in the Power of the human spirit

Mar 30, 2015 05:00 PM #4
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Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning John. It is hard not to see UConn women not win another title, but they will get tested, they just have a lot of fire power. They were tested in the first half last night.

I see Kentucky on the mens side as well.

Mar 30, 2015 07:46 PM #5
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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
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Hi John -- there are many lessons in business and in life that have been compared to sports.  Persistence.  Strategy.  Being on top of your game.  

Mar 30, 2015 08:10 PM #6
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Roger D. Mucci
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Excellent post and great analogy John..... anyone that expects success to come easy will be terribly disappointed.

Mar 30, 2015 09:40 PM #7
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning John. You analogy is apt and I think you are right. However there are times when you do everything right and success is not part of the package. In those times the learning is harder.

Mar 30, 2015 10:44 PM #8
Rainer
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S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

Things that come easy are rarely appreciated as much as those things we've struggled and worked hard to achieve.  It's just one of the reasons why I'm so against the way children in schools are given awards even when they're part of the losing team.  We don't get a consolation prize if our transaction doesn't close.  The schools are doing these kids a disservice and the kids will have a hard lesson to learn when they become adults.

Mar 30, 2015 10:56 PM #9
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Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Well John, I'm apparently on the other side. Firstly, I don't like basketball at all, and secondly, I think that all success needs is perseverance. Just keep getting up and moving in the right direction.

But as for easy, everything is easy. That is just how the world is made.

Bill Roberts

Mar 31, 2015 12:04 AM #10
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Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

John Meussner ~ "winners welcome pressure" WOW.... John, before every tennis match I tell my oldest son that all the time... & guess what... It does not matter whether it is in a tennis match (and or) in life "winners know how to handle pressure"

Mar 31, 2015 02:17 AM #11
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John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
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Ashley - thanks for the comment & for stopping by!

 

Bob - thank you sir!


Laura - I'm with you, we're capable of amazing things if we put the work in. 

 

Joe - those girls are simply amazing, I enjoy watching them make a run every year.

 

Michael - much of life can be compared to sports - the struggle for success is present everywhere.

 

Roger - indeed, those who welcome struggle are much better suited.  Thanks for the comment

 

Sheila - thanks for the comment, always something to be learned - even when we fail, as long as we fail better each time, we're on our way!

 

S. Leanne - I am also a big opponent of participation medals/awards for just showing up.  Most of life is just showing up - recognition should be reserved for those that take the extra step.

 

Bill - I wasn't a fan of basketball until college.  Tough to spend time at UConn and not become a basketball fan.  I still don't like the NBA, though.

 

Jon - as an athlete yourself you understand this for sure.  Thanks for stopping by. 

Mar 31, 2015 07:42 AM #12
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Ed Silva
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John, it was a tough year for the UConn men, but they lost a lot from last year's National Championship team.  The girls are a different story, the UCLA of women' basketball and look to be firmly in control of their destiny going into the Final 4 knowing they have beaten the 3 other teams they will be facing

Mar 31, 2015 01:21 PM #13
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Nice analogy John. It has been an exciting tournament to watch with many upsets. Nothing ever is a given and it has taught us that you have to fight all the way to the last buzzer.

Mar 31, 2015 11:33 PM #14
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John Meussner
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Ed Silva agreed, Ed.  Even when UConn men doesn't have much firepower, I've been so spoiled I still expect a miracle run in March!  Guess we can't win every year.  The women are incredible....I expect another title in a couple of weeks.

 

Debbie Reynolds so true, this has been a fun year, especially the first couple rounds with upsets and buzzer beaters.  You really can't let up, or you risk losing.

Apr 01, 2015 03:02 AM #15
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Mindset is everything when someone is a championship moment in sports, or crunch time on the job.

Apr 02, 2015 11:39 AM #16
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