Part of being a man/adult, is owning your losses. Everyone wants to be right, to win all the time, but that is not possible. We are all human, which means we have flaws. If we do not own our flaws and constantly try to hide from them, we are not acting as adults, we are behaving as a spoiled child not getting their way. You will get what you work for, not what you whine about.
As a coach, I have to take all the blame and give away all the credit. It is the only way to stay grounded and honest in this endeavor. I don’t step into the cage and bleed, my athletes do that. There is no need for me to take away from what their hands have done in the contest. Let them have the day.
2 fight coaches bother me. Those that promote like mad leading up to a fight, but go dead quiet when they lose, are the 1st. The second is the coach who blames athletes for their losses without merit and who grandstands after victory whole taking all the credit. These are people that are not selfless or strong enough to be effective coaches. These are people that are teaching athletes and their followers all the wrong things about being an effective human.
If you are going to hype the fight and profess your greatness, be honest when you fall short. I just had an athlete lose in front of millions on TV. It happens, in fact it happens to half of the guys on the fight card every show. I am not going to celebrate the loss or diminish the pain of defeat. It hurts and it sucks, I am also not hiding. I own the experience and I guarantee we will be better for it. Say whatever you want, because we will make you eat your words next round.
If you need the credit, you do not have long in this business and you will never have a successful team. People need to be strong. Strength comes from within. The coach who needs the praise sucks the strength out of their athletes by not allowing them to own their actions. I know this because I did it for years and I lost every person I did that to. I was wrong.
If you choose to lead or to coach, you need to show people the way and support them on the path. You will never walk the path for them, you can only walk it with them. If you do it well and you do it with the right people, you will find success. If you need the spotlight, go be a fighter. If you need the credit, again, go be a fighter. The athlete gets the attention because the athlete does the deed. The athlete gets their hand raised. The athlete gives and takes the hits. If you are fortunate enough to be celebrated as a coach, never forget you owe the work of the athletes for all of it.
It all comes down to trust. If you take all the credit, no athlete can trust you long term. If you don’t own your failures, the community will not trust you. If you are transparent and authentic, you will have a trusting relationship with athletes and the fans. Trust will give you everything you are trying to fabricate, if you have the talent to actually do what you have said you can. Again, I know this because I was both of the people I hate. I was selfish, immature, and scared. The victories were due to me and the failures were due to the personal shortcomings of my athletes. How wrong I was.
My athlete who lost the other night did everything he could to win. He never stopped fighting until he went out. He deserves the credit for that. He is a warrior prepared to go out on his shield if he can’t carry it himself. I fell short in preparation. I failed as a leader to give him the training he needed to overcome this obstacle. I have to own the risk I took by not addressing certain things while hoping others would be dominant enough to make the others unnecessary. I hate to write these things, i hate that we just lost, but it is what it is and I have to own it so we can be prepared for the next battle with more than excuses, because there are none. No excuses, just ownership of the mistakes made.
Throw whatever you want at me. Come after my athletes and try to get the world to doubt me. In time all the talkers will be gone, and I will be celebrating another 20 years of doing what I do. Yes, that was a humble brag 🙂