I have always found it peculiar when adversity comes into my life, I can always readily recall distant memories or advice from my parents, teachers, and coaches. Even when I am not exactly looking for advice, pieces of paper with a few scribbles of my disorganized thoughts magically appear, cheer me up and refocus my thoughts. Good advice can sometimes be like pictures on the wall. In the sense, that these pictures are always present in your room or office but some days the pictures speak to you and the memory clearly resonates. I recently came across an old piece entitled “Develop the Attitude of a Winner” written by Coach Edward Gibbons. On a side note, when I received this piece Coach Edward Gibbons at this time was a varsity wrestling head coach for James Caldwell High School (Caldwell, NJ). Currently, Coach Gibbons resides as Principal for Union High School (Union, NJ). After reading this piece again, I felt compelled to post it in its entirety. Originally intended for athletes any aspiring scientist could benefit from this reading and develop a winning attitude to be successful in life.
Develop the Attitude of a Winner
By Coach Ed Gibbons
Take Personal Responsibility: Whatever the result, take personal responsibility for the outcome. In defeat, never blame officials, coaches, or bad luck. Winners never allow the outcome to be determined by anyone or anything other than themselves. Develop the attitude that you are in charge. By the one who determines the pace and the action. Seize complete ownership of every situation.
Become Focused: You must have defined goals. Knowing what you desire is the first step to obtaining it. Winners are goal oriented. Take a moment and reflect on what you want to accomplish. Most importantly, aim high. Develop a game plan to help you achieve your objectives. Stay focused on the plan and your goals because; a dream with a plan is the hope of the future.
Keep Learning: The best never stop learning. Never be satisfied with what you currently know. Go to clinics, camps, and clubs. View technique videos. It is a mistake to think you already know what you need. Remember that knowledge is power. Acquire all the information you can.
Expect to Succeed: You must believe that you will prevail. If you expect failure, defeat will almost always happen. Positive thinking is important. Feel good about yourself and your goals. Only you control how you perceive yourself. Believe that you will succeed. Expect to triumph! The only limitations you have are those you place on yourself.
Avoid Negative People: When you set your goals high, there will be people who will try and talk you our of your aspirations. When you hear someone say, “Why spend the time trying to be a state champ, the odds of doing that are impossible,” be cautious. Avoid those persons. They are not winners. People who do not strive for excellence will tell you how much fun alcohol and drugs are. They are like that because they lack self-esteem. Getting others to be like them, is the only way they can feel good about themselves. Stay clear of people who are negative. Surround yourself with winners.
Turn Failure into Fortune: Great athletes learn from defeat. They never allow a set back to hurt confidence or become an obstacle in reaching their dreams. Make defeat an opportunity for improvement. Analyze why you lost and work on the weakness. Losers feel sorry for themselves in defeat. Winners grow from defeat. Most importantly, never give up. A person is not defeated when he loses; a person is defeated when he quits.
Listen to Others: Serious competitors are exceptional listeners. Listen to your parents, coaches, and teammates. Be open to the new ideas and suggestions from others. When you are having problems, seek answers from someone who might help you. Being receptive to new ideas is a plus. Make yourself coachable.
Be Good: Truly remarkable athletes are virtuous people. Be sensitive of the feelings of others. Support your teammates. Be an outstanding student. Shun drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Continuously put your family first, school second, and sports third. Wherever you are, always attempt to be a positive influence on others. Be a leader by example. Be an exemplary citizen.
I hope you enjoyed the piece.
Dr. Blog holds a PhD in chemistry and draws on his years of industrial and life experience to offer honest career advice for the advancement of young scientists.