I'm about 8 years old and I'm playing a new game at my favorite hang out, the Milwaukee Boys Club. The game involves flipping football cards. One person puts up the number of cards that he is willing to play and the other person matches it. The picture of the player is heads and the back side with the stats is tails. The object of the game is to match what the other player throws and then you win all the cards. This was the first night that I learned how to play the game.
I wasn't very good at it and I ended up losing all of the cards that I had. I hated to lose. I decided that I would become the best card flipper in the whole Boy's Club. I remember not sleeping that night and practicing for hours for the next few days until I was ready to go back and claim my title. I developed an unorthodox style that was unlike any other players and within a few weeks I was coming home with every pocket and my hands full of everyone else's cards. No more losing for me and eventually I got so good that no one would play with me unless I ran into someone new at the club who didn't know who I was and didn't know my reputation for flipping cards.
Those were the days. My football and baseball card collection grew to many shoe boxes full. Back in the early 60's no one knew what a big deal collecting sports cards would become. I had a ton of great cards that would have been worth quite a bit in today's market.
After I left my parents home to go to college my mom went on a cleaning rampage and decided that the cards were just taking up space so out they went. What's intensity worth? Someone might hear this story and say that I was a bit too intense for my own good. I would disagree. I would say that that same intensity has served me well as an athlete and as a business owner. I've certainly learned how to shake a person's hand if I lose but that doesn't mean that I like losing any more than I did then. Just as when I was 8 years old losing has always made me work that much harder to make sure that I would be better prepared the next time.
It's that preparation that has allowed me to go into the next situation with a great deal more confidence and belief in my abilities. When I work with my young Karate students I look for many different things. We talk to the kids about self discipline, respect, focus, and other essential life skills.
These are important things, but I always look for the kids who have a little bit of an edge. They're the one's who work harder when you give them something to work on. They're the one's who take it harder if they lose. I would suggest that we teach them how to compete with class but we don't smother their will to win and be the best that they can be. Keep their fire burning and let them never like to lose.
Intensity and heart is a good thing, Fred Nicklaus.
For tips on raising more Rock Solid Kids visit www.ConfidentKidsCoach.com for free tips on raising your child to be a leader, and for the fitness training that will sky rocket your core body strength, check out www.CombatEnduranceTraining.com