|Monday, January 1
Updated: January 12, 2:48 PM ET
Winning at losing
(Editor's note: Duke senior Georgia Schweitzer, the 1999-2000 ACC Player of the Year, will share a weekly diary with ESPN.com throughout the season.)
Dec. 30, 2000
I always take losses hard and I find myself asking, Is there something else I should have done? I am convinced the same "woulda, shoulda, coulda" argument is shared by everyone at some point in life.
In a basketball game, there are so many factors out of my control, and this is a lesson I have had to learn time and time again. I need to be in control, right? Some people tell me it's a Midwestern value, but I have always believed that hard work will pay off. You practice shooting so much that you should never have an off night. But we all know that this is not true. Sometimes the ball just does not bounce your way, the referees do not see things your way, the other team does not miss a shot, and everything seems so hard.
The best news is that most of the time, except for the NCAA Tournament, you have another game or a second chance. Our team can not dwell on a loss; we have to recover. For me, letting go is the most difficult part, but as I have matured, I realized that obsessing over a loss really is only a waste of time (easier said than done). There is nothing I can do to change the past.
Sometimes I am so concerned with winning that I forget about what is really important. But still, its always more fun to win! But I try never to be afraid of failure. I hear so many people convince themselves that they CANNOT do this or that. I have failed many times, but that is what makes me a winner.
We lost a game, and it's OK, but believe me, this is the hardest thing for me to accept. But I have to, or I will never have any success. When I think back, sure I remember some of the games, but I mostly recall the friendships I made, the connections I made with teammates who were people totally different from me. That's what is really important.
One of the great quotes I have in my room says, "The end is nothing; the road is all" (Cather). The outcome is secondary to the journey of us becoming a team.