Rewards, incentives, motives, prizes…… my life is bloated, bursting at the seams, leaking from the bottom, overflowing at the top with other people’s reasons why I should work my hardest (when honestly, I already am). Most of you out there have been familiar with point systems, privileges such as rewards cards for Walgreens or Frequent Flyer miles at Continental Airlines. Our school has a House system (which extends my delusion that I’m actually attending Hogwarts just a bit farther), which gives points for an assortment of deeds, ranging from community service to Field Day activities. However, every point system can step over the limit (or jump or leap or skip, specifically when someone mistakenly tried to give us House points for donating our organs last year….. long story. But that was more of a hundred yard jump over the line with a pair of moon shoes).
In sports, while incentives can be an excellent source of motivation for your team, can also push the limit. What happened to wanting to win simply just for the rights to sing We Are The Champions at the top of your lungs? Or for the pounding in your chest and the smile that, as hard as you try, can’t be wiped off your face? Like Indiana Jones, true athletes are on a quest. However, we aren’t looking for the Holy Grail, but the big W. And you won’t find it in the prizes or point systems (but feel free to double check). Being insanely competitive (which, as most of you know, doesn’t come in handy when playing friendly games of Monopoly or ping pong), is pretty much enough motivation for me. And I’m not unique by any standards; most athletes can remember at some point in their lives screaming that the “game is stupid” or “someone’s cheating”, because by all means there’s no possible way you could be losing. Although this seems like a horrible trait (and I assure you it can be), I’ve found it pretty helpful in sports. So while your coach’s incentives may be well-meaning, tell he/she that you don’t need them. You simply want to win.
On a separate note, I want to congratulate all you lady hawks out there! Winning CVCs was a major feat, and we couldn’t have done it without any member from the team. We wanted to win, and we did. We worked hard for it and I am so proud of everyone. (Good thing we found the big W hiding in the back of the net).