This is my dad watching his defense...    

Photo by Nate Fine

Photo by Nate Fine

My dad coached in an era before Motorola headsets.  He didn’t need to consult with another coach to determine the best play to call.  Once, when I was watching a game with him on TV, he pointed out a clearly befuddled coach – screaming into the head set.  “Look at that guy,” my dad said, “he needs to talk to someone else to know why he is losing.” 

My dad carried full responsibility for the team's performance. The failure or success of his team, could deflate or elevate him. If they lost, it was his fault. If they won, they won.  He never took credit for the victories, only for the losses.  His view of success was based purely on whether he had prepared them properly so that come game day, they could run free and play their game.

The Won, Lost, Tie result can be like a mirror – an inner scoreboard – how did I do?   

Sports can be a lonely profession in this way.  The practice of allowing others to determine your success can be unsettling.

Do your practice, be diligent, remain committed. But be careful when defeat begins to gnaw at your self-worth.  Try not to take losing so personally.  And don't take 'mastering' a particular yoga pose so personally either.  Neither represent a complete definition of who you are...