Thursday, July 2, 2009

Motivation: A Random Story About Unnamed People

I was talking to Jim Pedro yesterday about what to look for in a player to decide if he or she has potential. He mentioned "determination", and I asked how he would define determination.

I came up with three stories. Let it be noted that Jim had no stories so I win. Besides, he doesn't own a computer and doesn't read my blog, so I win twice.

Here is the first story...

Shortly after I retired from competition, I was watching a national tournament with a friend, and he asked,
"Who do you think will be the next AnnMaria?"

I told him to pick first, and tell me why. Pointing to his choice he said,
"She has beautiful standing technique. She is young, still in her teens, and she placed fifth in this tournament and she comes from a club with a good coach."

I shook my head,
"I wouldn't give her a dime. She got armbarred in the match before and didn't come out and fight for the bronze medal."

My friend protested,
"But she was hurt. Surely you can't penalize people for being injured. You can't seriously expect we will demand that teenage players compete injured and maybe hurt themselves worse."

I told him,

"I am not demanding anything. What I am telling you is that she was actually relieved she didn't have to fight in that medal match. She was happy watching the finals having gotten fifth place. I would put my money into that other kid who placed fifth. She's a teenager, too. She lost in the bronze medal match by a koka to someone who was a lot more experienced."

My friend said,
"Yeah, I remember her. After the match she threw a little fit. She stomped off, threw her belt down. Her coach had to tell her to act right. That's who you would fund? A spoiled brat?"

I asked him if he knew what she did after that. When he shook his head, I said,
"I was curious, so I watched what she did after the match. She went under the bleachers where she didn't think anybody could see her, pulled her gi over her head and cried her eyes out. Even though you and I and any reasonable person would have thought her performance against those players was more than acceptable, she wanted to win and she was devastated. She lost it a little when she came off the mat and when she got away from everybody, she lost it completely. I would take the person who EXPECTED to win and who wanted it so badly it HURT to lose in a way other people can't understand."

Incidentally, the second player went on to win internationally. The first one, she competed for a while at the national level and then I never saw her again.

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