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Art: Playing wo/Excues
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Playing Without Excuses
by Joseph Delgado, Team Head Player 11/28/09.

It's easy to make an excuse for a bad showing, losing, or anything else we need to save face on. It softens or deflects the blow, it gives us the biggest escape clause in existence. I could have ______! If it wasn't for _____!

For example, "I could have won State Singles if I didn't work so much." "I could have won that match if that person wasn't a sand-bagger." "I could run my own business if it wasn't for my job and supporting my family." That last one is one of mine. Terrible thing to blame my family for my failures. Real easy to do and it makes me feel better for coming up short. Better still, I don't have to change anything since it's really not my fault in the first place. It's that other thing or person that I have no control over.

Bull. If we gloss over our failures and our weaknesses by attributing it to something or someone else then we lose the opportunity to learn.

Losing does hurt! They don't call it the agony of defeat for nothing. Anyone that says otherwise either didn't put themselves on the line or had one of those could-have/else phrases stuck in her head. I've tasted that defeat to a degree; I know I still have plenty could-have/else things in my mind that protect…well really prevent me from going after my goals.

No excuses, is a pretty hard course of action to follow. It means looking at the reasons we failed at our given task and then dig deeper. Journal writing and blogging have helped me. It has also shown me, as Mike Grab pointed out, that it's often the same stuff over and over again. Sometimes we don't know where that could-have/else is hiding and fall for it time and time again.

Can't write it any better than Theodore Roosevelt:

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." – Theodore Roosevelt.

Playing Racquetball or any other sport in that limbo is not that fun.

So before we blame something or someone for our failures, we should take a step back and see the real reason why we lost or failed. Answering that question could lead to some major improvements in our choices when pursuing the goals we strive for.

Hope to see you on the Courts,
Joe Delgado

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