Winning Teams & Personal Defeat
Like most of you, I was glued to the television last night watching the USA women’s gymnastics team trials. Every Olympics I marvel at how young these girls are.
The pressure. The stress. The focus. The maturity. So much for such youth!
But something else got my attention last night…
The encouragement. The camaraderie. The care. The concern. The way they supported and cheered each other on was really powerful.
Their sport is unique in that while they are a team, they are still individual performers. While competing together against the rest of the world, they are also competing against one another. Case in point for the ‘all-around’ finalists. The new rule limits two ‘all-around’ gymnasts from each country. And last night by the slimmest of margins, Jordyn – the currently ranked World #1 was outperformed by two of her teammates and will not compete in the Olympics ‘all-around’ competition.
The conflicting emotions among those girls was gut wrenching to watch. While trying to support one another, they were also trying to deal with their personal emotions. Jordyn’s heart was breaking with her loss, while Aly was trying to enjoy her victory.
This is the tension of real teams. Working together to accomplish great goals while also trying to give our individual best performance. Some days we win, other days we lose. On the days we lose, there is sure to be another team member who is winning.
It’s a crazy irony of emotions.
How do you support your team members in their success on those days where you feel like you’ve failed miserably?
How do you balance the perspective and goals of the team with your personal dreams and desires?
The strongest teams find the will to do both. As difficult was it was, once Jordyn composed herself for the press she praised her teammates for their accomplishments while graciously acknowledging her own disappointment.
Let me encourage you to not get so lost in your own defeat that you miss the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of others on your team. They need you in your strength and in your weakness… and you need them too.