Travis Barnes lives in central Victoria with his wife and two daughters. He is an associate minister with the Churches of Christ denomination. Travis loves to help people find their God-given calling and encourage people to walk with Jesus into the unique adventure he has for each person. His website is here.
Today, I like to again welcome guest blogger, Travis Barnes to my site. He recently wrote this article about how losing can be an opportunity.
Come Back Kings
February 5th 2017 was a big day in American sport; it was the NFL Super Bowl. Over 100 million viewers tuned into watch the Atlanta Falcons take on the New England Patriots. Atlanta dominated the game early leading 21-3 at halftime.
Things became worse for the New England Patriots when Atlanta scored in the third quarter to extend their lead to 28-3. At this point commentators agreed: the game was over; it would take a miracle for the Patriots to comeback and win.
Eugene Bouchard is a Canadian Tennis player who reached a career high of world number 5 after coming runner up in the 2014 Wimbledon Championships.
Bouchard is also prolific on social media with over a million followers on twitters. With the Falcons on their way to victory Bouchard told her online followers: “I knew Atlanta would win”.
One of her followers, John Goehrke, a twenty-year-old student at the University of Missouri decided it was time to declare his undying love for Eugene Bouchard. He wrote back to the 22-year-old Bouchard saying: “If the Patriots win, we go on a date?”
Bouchard was so confident of an Atlanta victory she replied: “Sure.” It wasn’t long after that the Patriots scored a touchdown; the scoreboard read 28-9 heading into the final quarter.
Atlanta had dominated the game all day but in the final quarter the tide began to turn in the Patriots favor. The Patriots did all the scoring in the final quarter and with under a minute left on the clock the Patriots converted a touchdown to level the scores at 28-28 when the siren sounded. The game was headed for extra time.
Suddenly Eugene Bouchard was starting to feel extremely nervous. She was now facing the very real prospect of having to go on a date with a total twitter stranger.
The New England Patriots scored in extra time to record the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. As Captain Tom Brady held the Vince Lombardi Trophy aloft; Eugene Bouchard was tweeting to her new friend John Goehrke; “So where do you live?”
Bouchard was true to her word; Bouchard and Goehrke went to a date together. The two of them got on so well they went on more dates including attending the following years Super Bowl; this time Bouchard said she wasn’t making any predictions.
The first half of 2020 was probably not what you predicted. Everyone loves a comeback with a last-minute victory on the siren or when an athlete is counted out and climbs their way back to the top. How can we make comebacks both on and off the field?
Losing is an opportunity to experiment
Teams are often reluctant to mess with a winning formula but when a team is losing, they’ll likely change things up and try things that otherwise wouldn’t have been contemplated.
Australian Captain Steve Waugh was on a losing streak against South Africa heading into the One Day final series. Waugh made an unconventional choice; new wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist would be elevated to opening the batting. It was a masterstroke Gilchrist made a century in his second game opening and held the opening position for the rest of his career.
Losing is an opportunity for risk taking
Watch an AFL team with a one-point lead in the dying minutes of the game. When they get the ball, they’ll often become completely defensive, they stop trying to win the game and start trying to run down the clock. Conversely the team that’s trailing will run aggressively, kick long, take risks and try to win the game.
In the 2015 Rugby League Grand Final the Brisbane Broncos were leading the North Queensland Cowboys 16-12 with just a minute remaining. The Cowboys had possession of the ball with one last roll of the dice.
On the final tackle the Cowboys passed the ball desperately, Jonathan Thurston running backwards to keep the game alive before floating a pass to Michael Morgan who ran aggressively toward the line before a last second flick pass to winger Kyle Feldt who scored in the corner to level the scores as the clock ran out. The Cowboys won their maiden premiership in extra time.
Losing is an opportunity to persist
Michael Jordon was left out of his high school basketball team which motivated him to train harder. Nick Skelton is a British equestrian rider who went to his first Olympics in 1988. It took 28 years and 7 Olympics before breaking through for his first individual gold medal at 58 years of age. Sometimes we just need to persist.
The second half of 2020 provides an opportunity for a comeback both on and off the field and just like John Goehrke who knows how the second half will unfold.