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Love To Win vs. Hate To Lose



Today’s column, for Puck Daddy: (my apologies - I overestimated my ability to update Bourne’s Blog five days a week and do five columns.  Still, it’ll never be less than three, and never more than five posts per week.  Thanks for all your support!)

Love To Win vs. Hate To Lose



10 Responses to “Love To Win vs. Hate To Lose”
  1. pd comments not working at all right now, so i’m gonna post that one here. hope that’s ok.

    “As someone who unfortunately never had that deep burning fire, I don’t know where it comes from. I don’t know if it’s cultural, I don’t know if it can be learned.”

    like #1 already stated perfectly, hard work might eventually overcome talent.
    that fire comes from not being as talented as other guys, but working more than they’d ever do for making it up. it comes from the situation of almost every time being only the second choice, not the first one, and maybe also from not knowing whether your teammates and your coach believes in you and your abilities. so you’ve gotta show them. every play, every practice, every shift, every game.

    not sure whether that “can be learned” – i think it’s something that automatically comes to front when you’re faced with some team situation i described, and i’m sure there’s another thousand reasons out there for hating losing/being the second best.

    when i first went to the states, i really digged those “no fear”-shirts and caps. got meself a shirt that read “second place is the first loser” then, and while that statement always seemed to be a bit to elitist to me, there’s sure as hell more than a grain of truth in it.

    conclusion: the guys that have to work harder than others in order to win will always be the ones who hate to lose more than others, since they’re accustomed to winning. it’s normal to them, more or less. so any effort taken to win by someone who’s not used to winning it all or being #1 all the time is gonna be way more enthusiastic than the effort of someone who’s used to be amongst the elite.

    whichever sports i played on whatever high/low professional level – i always realized that blue collar stuff, endless effort and an attitude in the lines of “i may not be the best – BUT I TRY HARDER!” beats pure talent too sure of itself nine out of ten times.

    thanx for the read!

  2. mikeB says:

    I was reading the Brian Kilrea book, which everyone should read, and he said that the Isles teams probably would have won a few more cups if he was their head coach. I thought that was cool.

    Kilrea is the best.

  3. Derek says:

    Another great article. Damn you Bourne. You do such a good job of capturing all the untold elements of playing hockey. You have now entered the elite, shut the music off before I read your stuff zone.

    As for this article, I was definitely a hate to lose person. It’s really the only way a 5’9 kid with no skill could play any kind of junior hockey. Best example: my third concussion came in a practice, when the goalie gave me a blocker shot to the back of the head for going hard to the net too many times. We were doing a multi-step drill in which a the forward passes to the point, they go d to d then the forward sets up in front for the tip. Last thing I remember before waking up on the dressing room floor was passing to the point man.

  4. Char says:

    Excellent, thoughtful article. Personally, I believe hate-to-lose is something you’re born with, like great talent. What you learn to do is channel it.

  5. HockeyPhool says:

    JT – great piece. I’ve already shared it with my teammates and quoted it last night to another “volleyball parent”. Perfectly framed the idea – and made me realize I’m a “love to win” player.

  6. KarenfromRochester says:

    @rouven-good points all. That ‘have to work at it” mentality is why I love the 4th line grinders so much.. It’s why I saw many super-smart high school student crash and burn in our first semester of engineering school and the “blue collar grind it out” students prevail. If a person has never had to work to reach a goal, the first time they are faced with adversity, they don’t often know what to do.

  7. Dundy says:

    Hey Justin, first time commenter.

    Interesting article today on PD that made me think back 20 years ago to when my competitive hockey career ended.

    It was my second year playing Junior A for Kelowna in the BCJHL and we were outplayed badly in our last pre-season game. Our coach, former NHLer Eddy Beers was livid after the game for how we didn’t show up to compete. After giving the whole team a good tongue lashing, he said there would be a list of players up on his office door that he wanted to meet with individually. Needless to say I was on the list. When we met in his office he said I didn’t play with any intensity in the game or any other of the pre-season games and wanted to know why. I said something along the lines that I’m not a competitive or intense person by nature so it may show in my game. He told me there are only a small percentage of players that can get by on talent alone and if you don’t have the burning desire to compete you might as well hang them up competitively. Subconsciously I knew after my first year of Junior I wasn’t cut out to make it professionally so after hearing it first hand from someone who had been to the show, I exited my hockey centric life.

    So based on my perspective hate to lose is something innate and unfortunately no sports psychologist or self help session can instill that burning competitive desire.

  8. jtbourne says:

    Dundy – I hear ya man. My coaches spent years trying to find that fire in me – I can’t argue, when I was mad, or really wanted it for whatever reason, I was twice the player. I just didn’t know how to bring it out of me either. You can’t fake it, that’s for sure. Not every night, anyway.

  9. liverning says:

    Great article Mr. Bourne. Very interesting read (as per usual). I have found that the hate-2-lose guys are
    the guys you just hate to play against. They will relentlessly hustle, fight, and scrap for every inch of the
    ice (very annoying). Non-hockey players routinely don’t get it that the happy, friendly, easy going guy buying
    beers after the game, is the same one that just about broke your leg/arm/teeth/spleen battling you in the
    corner. I try to be the hate-2-lose guy, but even at the beer league level its difficult to be consistently so.
    My question to you is this; do you think that a seemingly love-2-win guy (Thornton) is always thus, or will
    Jumbo-Joe finally get fed up with the non-battle(r) moniker, or just want to win enough to change the
    perception of him? I’m afraid (because I do like him, he is an awesome talent) that the only way he gets
    rid of said he negativity is by winning a cup…
    Hmmm, cupcake eh???… Damn you Bourne!!! The more I think on it, I too have love-2-win tendencies…

  10. Krisky says:

    That might be your best article yet. Could not have got that across any better. The Westside midget team will be reading it!

    Keep up the good work Bourney, and nice work on OTR… haha love the chirp at landsberg

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