Winning is what defines a sports team

 Ian Whitten of Exeter Chiefs is tackled by George Furbank of Northampton Saints during the Gallaghe

Ian Whitten of Exeter Chiefs is tackled by George Furbank of Northampton Saints during the Gallagher Premiership Match between Exeter Chiefs and Northampton Saints at Sandy Park on 25 September 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK - Credit: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

After a great win on the weekend from the men in green, it got me thinking about what winning means to me and or the winning mentality.  

It has been a slow start for Sidmouth 1st team in terms of league table points, not in terms of performances, which as a coach is what I want to see, but without a victory it was stressing me out. 

Everyone I know loves the feeling of winning, whether it's as an individual, or part of a team. It brings smiles to faces and a pats on the back, something that in team sport is essential yet at the same time tempered.  

For example, if someone were to make a turnover tackle or the scrum wins a penalty, you will see the rest of the team celebrate within that moment, they won’t still be celebrating the action five minutes down the line, the team will have already moved on to the next job.  

The same applies with games from week to week, you celebrate the victories and deal with the losses but when you are next together, you move on to the next challenge. 

Winning is a huge part of an athlete’s mentality for sure and in golf you will see this in spades, individuals born to win. There are not many of the elite golfers in the world who settle for second place.  

The winning American Ryder Cup team over the weekend had 8 of the top 10 golfers in the world on board, a recipe for success. When Rory McIlroy spoke to the cameras after his last round knowing he had not quite lived up the expectation, you see what winning means for a born winner, the emotion he showed to be part of a team that isn’t winning tells me a lot about his character and mindset. 

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Confidence and belief are key traits to work on and develop when thinking about achieving or winning. Obviously, getting wins are hugely helpful for an individuals/teams belief and confidence yet setting goals are also key to help focus and ultimately achieve.  

We haven’t spent enough time setting these and being clear on what we are trying achieve at Sidmouth this year, so we will be this week at training, hopefully getting some great input from the players and gaining some real clarity after a long time away from league table rugby. 

Having been involved in sport for such a long time, from a young child, winning is almost ingrained in me. Although, I believe this attitude can differ from person to person, I find it hard to believe that someone doesn’t enjoy being successful in some shape or form.  

Watching my youngest take part in her first rugby session, I know she would love to win or score tries, yet at her stage of playing sport enjoyment has to be the main aim, with a smile on her face. 

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