Winners Learn From Mistakes

Mariano "Mo" Rivera, NY Yankees, arguably the greatest "closer" in Major League Baseball

A real winner is someone who can win the game at the buzzer, score the touchdown in the final seconds,

and hit a home run when you’re down by one in the bottom of the ninth.

The people who close out the game are so rare and

so special that when they come along, we practically turn them into athletic gods!

Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Larry Bird, Joe Montana, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Wayne Gretzky—

these are the winners or “closers” who taught me a great lesson:

When you make a mistake or miss a shot, you don’t fix it the next day or the next week.

You fix it at the moment by being able to move on.

They can make a mistake and not let it ruin the whole game for them. 

Michael can miss seven shots in a row and not hesitate to take the eighth.

He says to himself, “I know I am not terrible. I just have to keep shooting until I hit one.”


Great athletes have incredible capacity to forget their mistakes.

So, learn from your mistakes, don’t dwell on them.


PAT O’BRIEN, former CBS Sports Host

4 Things In Common With Winning Teams

(L) Mariano Rivera & His teammates, 2009 World Series Champs (Photo by

Our John Maxwell gem today comes from his book, “Teamwork Makes The Dream Work”. In the book, Maxwell shares a story on teamwork in the most difficult of environments — during competition with each other: 

“A few years ago in Seattle, Washington, nine finalists were poised at the starting line of a 400 meter race, each planning to do his best and hoping to win the medal for first place. As the gun went off, the racers sprinted toward the finish line. But one of the runners fell down. He quickly got up and gave his all to catch up with the others. But once again, he fell. His frustration totally overcame him, and he burst into tears and began to sob loudly. Then a strange thing happened. The rest of the field heard his cries, and they turned to see that he was lying on the track. The runners began to slow down, and then one by one, they stopped, turned around, and went back to him. They picked him up, consoled him, and then together, all nine of them finished the race. In a race made for individual glory, the racers had made themselves into a team. Where in the world could something like this happen? At the Special Olympics. Perhaps that is why they are called “special”!

Maxwell, who spends all of his time working with teams, groups, companies and organizations on all levels, offered the following insights:

Look at hundreds of winning teams, and you will find that their players have four things in common:

  1.  They play to win: The difference between playing to win and playing not to lose is often the difference between success and mediocrity.
  2. They have a winning attitude: Team members believe in themselves, their teammates, and their dream. And they don’t allow negative thinking to derail them.
  3. They keep improving: The highest reward for their efforts isn’t what they get from it, but who they become because of it. Team members know intuitively that if they’re through improving, they’re through.
  4. They make their teammates more successful: Winners are empowers. As Charlie Brower says, ‘Few people are successful unless a lot of other people want them to be.”


For more from John C. Maxell visit:

Special thanks to Coach Bob Starkey who originally posted this: