If you want to win at something, it starts with having a winning mindset.
Whether our children like art, dance, music, poetry, swim, track, sports name a field of their choice and our initiative and effort to support them, we try to do our best. Some of these interests last till they graduate, others stay for a few years and fade away. Every child who attends these activities and chooses to compete are told to enjoy themselves and have fun. As kids take an interest in any activity, parents want to support them to the best of their abilities.
They choose to participate in competitions and train for them. Weekly effort would be around 50-60 hours minimum. For a school kid who has school & homework and maintains their grades, this is a lot of effort. However, their choice to participate in activities that has competitions is interesting. Some want to excel, some just want to compete, some just want to have fun, some are interested in learning a new skill. Everyone comes in with a different mindset.
Last week I was talking to a few friends and we were discussing about the time & effort spent on competitions by school children and how parents support the same. One concern came out loud and clear. After all the effort, it hurts to see the kid put in hundreds of hours of time & effort and feel bad when they are unable to win year after year.
Participating in a competition can be taken as a fun activity in the early years. It is definitely not about winning all the time. However, if someone is putting a huge amount of effort towards a specific competition, it needs to show in the results. One does not put in hundreds of hours of effort a month, and feel dejected when they do not win. If you are looking to just have fun, then do not put in that much of effort, at least you will not feel as bad. If you are putting a huge amount of effort and are not even close to winning, figure out why, and fix it. Get yourself a tutor or coach to improve your underlying skill issue. That is when you grow, both your skills & capabilities and as an individual.
If you are consistently not good at something, do not plan to compete, or do not expect to win and be okay with getting just a participation certificate. First focus on improving your base skill level and then try to compete. Once or twice is fine. However, if you see this pattern repeating in ALL activities that you pursue, the problem lies elsewhere.
Learning something needs a mindset.
Excelling in it needs a mindset.
Succeeding in something in a mindset.
Winning is a mindset.
One individual being good at something is NOT sufficient in a team based competition.
Practice makes perfect. However, practicing with the good teacher/coach makes a HUGE difference. EVERY single person needs to bring their BEST for a team competition.
The process, people and the attitude & mindset that EVERY single person brings to the team is very critical for a team to win. If the team has tasted success once, that means as a group everyone has the attitude, skills needed for a winning team. Check the process, teachers, coaches and what might be going wrong if the team is not performing to the mark of late. Focus on the issue and fix the issue.
After putting in all your BEST effort, you may still lose. If you have put in your BEST effort and there is a better team who has won, it feels bad. There are definitely good days and bad days and you cannot win all the competitions. However, you build from there and do better the next time around. You have acquired a certain level of excellency in your skill that remains with you for life. If you have not developed that level of excellency, then realize that you may be just competing for the wrong reasons, or pursuing something for the wrong reasons. Finding your niche is critical.
In large group competitions, the whole team needs to come together and perform to their best. Team members may be going through varied challenges in their school or personal lives. However, if you are committing to pursue a skill and compete in it, make sure everyone steps into the practice field with a single common goal in mind. To learn and perform their best, and adapt and evolve while performing as a team. That single-minded focus is needed to consistently win at something.
After performing in the competition and before the results are announced, review your own performance and write down areas where you would need to improve. That is the BEST time to self-introspect critically.
So, next time you want to participate in a competition and win at something, remember, winning needs a winning mindset. Set your goals realistically and improve your underlying skills and your team’s skills to win. Build a winning mindset in your team. It makes a huge difference!