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Prepare to Win: Nobody will lose this Super Bowl
Before I get started, let me thank those of you who want to read The Language of Losing (LOL), Part 2 because you liked the first one so much. In honor of your support, I’ll write that one next week.
Now, to this week’s column.
At the beginning of the NFL season, I called the finalists as being the Harbaugh brothers and their teams. Why? Because the Harbaughs’ histories only show winning performance, and both have been on the verge of championships at their levels for several years. If you know anything about winning performers, once they decide to win championships, they’ll pursue them until they get one. They’re like those Terminator characters in the movies. They have a target and nothing but a winning effort will stop them from the completion of their task.
With two coaches and two teams that have decided to win the Super Bowl, in the context of WIN psychology, nobody will lose. So I must teach you a new word: outwin. Listen, if we as a society can turn the word Google from a proper noun to a verb (you know, google it), then I can determine that with two winners in a championship contest, one will outwin the other.
This is why I am not a true sports psychologist. If I were, I would just accept the drabble of hundreds of years of sports babble and never think on my own or teach you something. WIN psychology is completely different from sports psychology, as you can see.
Let me give you a classic example of one winner outwinning the other. In their recent championship fight, Manny Pacquiao was outwon by Juan Manuel Marquez. Before the fight, Pacquiao said he was prepared to win and was doing so until Round 6 when Marquez knocked Pacquiao out with one punch. Afterward, Marquez said that he had decided before the fight there was no way he was going to lose. Wow. Two winners of that magnitude who had already decided they were going to win? When that happens nobody really loses, but one does outwin the other.
What do winners do (WDWD)? Winners are always prepared to win, yet sometimes, as the law of averages dictates, they don’t always have the winning score or most points. But that doesn’t mean that they lost. Winners like Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams or Usain Bolt never lose. They can be outwon by other winning performances.
Listen, if you’re planning to win a championship, as the Harbaughs are, you cannot even consider the concept of losing, because you should be busy figuring out how to win. If the game ends and the other player or team has more points because they outwon you, so be it. Welcome to the beauty of championship athletics. I’ll leave you with this thought from legendary champion coach Vince Lombardi. “The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game. They just ran out of time.” Bam!
OK, OK. You want me to tell you who will outwin the other in the Super Bowl? I’m going with John Harbaugh and the Ravens for three reasons. The first is that Ravens running back Ray Rice said “We are the team of destiny. I’ll say it again. We are a team of destiny.” Get it? Destiny? Winning destinations? Second is that Jim Harbaugh has never been able to cross over from winner to champion, even when he had the chance at Stanford. Finally, Ravens fire-breathing champion Ray Lewis knows how to win championships, as he did in Super Bowl XXXV.
Talk with you next week.
George Mangum, M.A., is a WIN psychologist and the founder of Bigger Faster Stronger- High Desert, where athletes at all levels are prepared to win physically, emotionally and mentally. George can be contacted at (760) 403-3449 or on Facebook at Bigger Faster Stronger-High Desert.