There are so many ways in which sport and sport psychology can mirror “real life”. Whether we are looking at teamwork, work ethic, moral standards of fair play, dealing with people who are struggling with their position, bad decisions by others, or any number of other factors, sport and life go hand in hand.
Around the world, the soccer season is coming to a close with some teams already knowing they will be relegated to a lower division, while others are celebrating promotions, and others still are competing for play-offs or cup finals. Much like life, there are winners and losers. Then there are the zero to hero stories like Wigan and Blackburn.
Last season both Wigan and Blackburn were relegated from the English Championship, but just one year later they are back, dominating League One and rebuilding with strength. The picture below from Ben Mahew (@experimental361 on Twitter) shows the average age and the ages of players in each team. Wigan in particular have found success with a very young team.
So what does this have to do with real life? I’ll tell you. If Wigan had stayed up last season they would have spent this season working to maintain their position. They wouldn’t take risks and be in a mindset of building for the future. After a scare, they would be seeking to strengthen, sure, but would they have built a foundation that can be built on for years to come? Buoyant with the success of this season, and with a strong foundation, there is an argument that next season they could be even stronger than they would have been had they not experienced failure.
Here are today’s three takeaways:
1 – Neither winning or losing are predictors of what comes next.
2 – Sometimes we work really hard to maintain what we have, but it isn’t until we lose it that we can build something stronger than we ever would have before.
3 – Based on what Wigan have accomplished this season and the roots they have grown, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them challenging at the top of the Championship next season. They could have spent another year fighting for survival, but instead they spent the year building for success.
What a difference one year can make. One year devastation, and one year later success with a foundation for even more success. What can you do today to build your foundations for success?
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