The Result Must Count for Something

Aug 28, 2017
Magnus Norman / ATP Coach

I used to love to compete when I was younger. It was my passion to practice and then go head-to-head with another team or another player. I don’t think I would have continued with any sport or tennis for that matter, if I would not have had the possibility to compete and to be crowned the winner. Or for that matter the loser. Perhaps I would have found something else where I would have had the possibility to win and compete. I loved playing points, no matter whether it was practice or competition. Competing is the best method of player development. No drills are equal to competing!

I ended up focusing more on individual sport when I was around fourteen years old after winning the Orange Bowl in Florida. The reason why I decided to focus on tennis was partly that I liked losing more in an individual sport. Yes that’s right, because you had no one else to blame than yourself. I hated losing, don’t get me wrong, my closest friends know how difficult I was to be around after defeat. But I learned how to grow from those losses. I tried to practice harder and better until the next match. When you are doing any kind of sports, you will learn the right way to lose. I’ve had so much benefit from that in my life, and sport taught me that. During my 10 years as a professional tennis player, I only won 15 professional tournaments (12 ATP, 2 Challengers and 1 Satellite) out of approximately 200 tournaments, but still I got all the way to number 2 in the world!

When I read that we are taking away the opportunity to compete in young ages and even giving trophies to everyone involved, I’m not sure we are doing the right thing here. Sports build strong character for life, and not only for sports. Nobody in life will be a winner all the time, so we have to learn and grow from defeat. This is best implemented in early years, if you ask me, because it becomes part of one’s life. We have to inspire kids to become winners and create building platforms for the kids who are struggling and not…
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