Vince Lombardi, famous former NFL football coach, once said, “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all-time thing.”
Many coaches make the mistake of believing Lombardi was obsessed with the scoreboard. I do not believe the that was the case. I recently finished “When Pride Still Mattered,” a fantastic biography of the great coach, who once had to choose between priesthood and coaching football. Lombardi was obsessed with perfection- with doing things exactly as planned every time. He was not alone in this pursuit, as other coaches have followed this philosophy, such as former 49er coach Bill Walsh in his book “The Score Takes Care of Itself“and the most winningest high school football coach in California, Bob Ladouceur wrote in “Chasing Perfection: The Principles Behind Winning Football the De La Salle Way.”
The rest of the quote reads:
“You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”
Of course, the context of this quote is within a much bigger speech, but this quote is the main thesis. Winning can be accomplished even though the score says you were defeated. When going against a far superior competitor, winning on the scoreboard may not be realistic but going all out and “leaving nothing on the field” is imperative. Why not? That is what competing is all about! Dare I say you lost TWICE if you didn’t give everything you have AND the scoreboard says you lost! A double defeat. That will for sure keep you up late at night sobbing about your “what if” story.