I have acquired many different forms of competition from my family. Ever since I could do anything competitive I would do it to win. I would rarely do anything to just have fun; it would be to battle with others. I believe that if you don’t play to win then you should just sit on the sideline. This competitive nature has been literally infused into our DNA.
This belief has also been enforced in the past years of me playing basketball and volleyball. When I first started playing basketball at a very young age I always had the desire to be the best. I would play in my backyard everyday to become the greatest I could ever be. Once I started in a league I had a couple of players on my team that just played to have fun and they wouldn’t care if we lost and it bothered me so much. I would either yell at my teammates or just ignore them. I would later realize that I wasn’t nearly tall enough to compete at a very high level but I’m still running all over the court in a basic pick-up game.
Also, in my volleyball tournaments this year I had a couple of players on my team that would slack off during tryouts/practices and would only complain during tournaments because they wouldn’t play. Their lack of effort during practice was shown to our coach and the other players on our team. Even when they got the chance to play during the tournaments they would be completely out of it and wouldn’t know what was going on because of the lack of effort and sweat during practice.
In addition, the desire to win wasn’t only in sporting events, it led into the simplest of board/card games. Every year my family would get together for Thanksgiving and Christmas. After the never-ending meal, we would all sit down and play a game. This wouldn’t be your normal laid back family game. This would be a cut-throat race to the finish. We might be playing Cranium or some other kind of board game and there would be yelling back and forth for hours, allowing no kind of leeway to any team.
It has been instilled into my brain by my entire family that if you don’t want to win then you should sit on the sideline. I couldn’t ever imagine going through life and not trying to be #1 in every single thing that you do.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.