Competing with “the Best of the Best of the Best”

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There is no way anyone can train an individual or group of individuals to be the “best of the best of the best” and it doesn’t matter what word you use instead of “best.” What does that even mean, anyway?  “He’s really excited and has no clue why we’re here.” Says Will Smith’s character in the original Men in Black movie. It’s an empty statement that has no real meaning. Once you “win,” you have to do it again the next morning. Winning does not mean trophies, winning is inside the individual, inside each team member. Trophies and placements ultimately don’t matter, the road to success never ends- there is no destination.

What is the overly-hyped build-up for? Why is it necessary? Is it some sort of indoctrination into a certain mindset of elitism? I don’t know. But what I do know is that when you put 100% in getting as much training and education that you can and then put that 100% into practicing as much as you can, you have already won; you are already a winner! Do you understand that? You don’t need someone else to tell you; you don’t need a plaque, medal or trophy. You have given it your all and have accomplished something that many admire and many more will not even consider doing.

“May the best man win.”
Competitors lost sight of this decades ago. What did that statement mean? It meant: ‘I’ve been trained and have practiced to the best of my ability with the resources I have.’ Whoever is better as we move to the competition field will win. One will win not because of a hatred for the other, but because competition comes from within; competition with one’s self to do the best he possibly can with the training received and the practice put in to compete at that moment in time. Something to ponder: the competition is held on Day Y and Team A wins. However, it is possible that if the competition were held a day earlier or a day later, the results could be different.

Do you think everyone in the Boston Marathon photo (thanks to Mike Elgan) above set out to win the race? Some did, sure. But the rest of the people running knew their abilities and resources and ran the rest to create a personal best time or just a sense of completion.

If your drill team cannot put in 2 hours of practice every day after school and then go and compete at every single competition within driving distance, then there is no way one should expect anything else. Some teams can only put in 2 hours of practice each week, and that’s OK! Strive to be the best at what you do and how you do it. And stop listening to the hype! A special note here: the World Drill Association is set up to recognize and reward teams and competitors of ALL levels!

Good Sportsmanship
People in our society watch today’s professional sports and look to those in those sports to set a certain standard. That standard does not exist anymore unless, generally speaking, you mean the standards of greed, irresponsibility, illegality, immorality, etc. But that’s personal in nature, what about on the competitive field or court?

Professionally we see, elbows thrust purposefully into unprotected faces, fist fights out of seemingly thin air and other misconduct that does not belong in any athlete’s gym bag.

Being a “good sportsman” means being able to congratulate or even cheer-on a competitor. I’ve judged drill competitions where teams and Drillers don’t talk with each other and I’ve judged competitions where, when a Driller drops a rifle or has a stumble in his routine, the others cheer him on and yell encouragement. That, is being a good sport.

Be motivated, practice, study and learn all that you can. You have access to the greatest knowledge base available and if you have a good instructor or coach, even better!

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