Love to Win or Hate to Lose?

I have been crazy busy traveling for work lately, and to boil everything down into one sentence, we’re thinking about doing some reorganizing internally, which has me researching all different types of sales team structures, players, etc.

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Superbloom in Palm Springs, work is rough sometimes #ilovemyjob

Anyways, I was recently speaking with a coworker of mine, who is wiser and more experienced in my industry than I am, and we had an enlightening conversation about hiring strategies and the two types of key players to consider on any team: those who love to win, and those who hate to lose.

Both types are needed for a team to be successful. When the stakes are high and the team is on a roll, you throw in your guys who love to win. They thrive on momentum, they go into a field or ring with nothing to lose, and they not only want to beat everyone else, but every goddamn record that’s ever existed.

On the other hand, you need those who hate to lose for when the chips are against you. These are the people who are apathetic when things are going well, but the minute things go wrong, they fire up, step up, and try to make the impossible happen.

For example, I would say Aaron Vale loves to win. Every time I see him enter a ring, he gives it his all, for better or for worse. He doesn’t seem to care much for the little things, but he stays focused on the goal of being faster, more efficient, and more ballsy than every other rider in the ring. For the record, I absolutely love watching him ride. His equitation isn’t always the best, but that man rides fast and takes chances, and I have to respect that.

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#yolo #ballstothewall

When I think of someone who hates to lose, I think of Tom Brady (QB for the Patriots, for my non-football fans). That man’s team was losing miserably for about 3/4 of the last Superbowl. There are pictures of him all over the internet that look like this:

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sad sad Tom Brady

Anyways, after halftime and about half of the third quarter, he swoops in, starts taking action, doesn’t give up hope, and ends up defeating the falcons in the first overtime in Superbowl history. That man hates hates hates to lose. A turn of events like that doesn’t happen with your folks who love to win. It happens with a Tom Brady.

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happy happy Tom Brady

This got me thinking about the team structure of horse and rider. As a rider, I love to win. I used to hate losing, and then I did the hunters for ten years and learned I had to get over it, especially with the green (and I mean “cantering-was-a-risky-business” green) horses I was riding at the time competing against the broke AF warmbloods in my ring. I had to learn to be happy with the little things, such as my horse didn’t kill me today, he didn’t spook at the announcer, he didn’t kick/injure another animal in the flat class, etc. Small wins became good enough for me.

Then I got into jumpers when I lived in Florida, and that’s when I realized although the classes were bigger, I had arguably a more fair chance of winning, and an even better chance when I was on a good mount. But what was a “good mount?”

Now that I’m older and wiser, I see that it was a horse that hated to lose. I needed a teammate that could balance me out. The horse who walks out of the ring after knocking a fence and looks like it’s just happy to be done was not the kind of horse I needed. I needed a horse that knocked a fence, realized what that meant, and immediately went into overtime by picking up it’s pace, jumping harder, burning through those turns, and giving it their all just as I would.

It’s interesting to think about the psychology of the sport from a strategic standpoint, and I think it’s something to consider when horse/lease shopping (if you’re trying to be competitive and not riding just for pleasure). Not just what doesn’t scare you, what are you hoping to accomplish, etc. but what kind of rider are you? What kind of competitive mentality do you need in a teammate?

Just something to think about!

Cheers y’all

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5 comments

  1. I train with a rider who has been to two Olympics. She says that horses also have a desire to win. They love to be in the ring and to be showing. She is a dressage rider and she says this attitude can make all the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

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