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The role of Victimoalogy in sports

Jul 31, 2015
119
43
Yes.
I'm not sure you understand high achievers at all. You just don't get it.

To make an outstanding athlete (or an outstanding anything), the person has to work harder than everyone else...and not just a little bit harder. If the coach tells the team to do 20 pushups, they do 40. If the coach tells the team to do 100 layups, they do 200. That is why they are outstanding...they have God given talent, and then a work ethic greater than everyone else's.

Athletes have to find the motivation to do those extra pushups and extra layups. They are human...they get tired, they get frustrated. So, they create a narrative so that they will keep going when everyone else has quit and gone home.

As to the MJ "getting cut" story...which is, by the way, accurate. He was cut from the varsity team as a freshman. And, you are correct, it was because he was too short. MJ wanted something, he didn't get it...isn't that the definition of failure?

He did come home crying his eyes out for being cut, and he was humiliated. So, he spent the next year practicing...so, when he did grow a few more inches he was far and away the best player on the team, and the best player in the state.

The narrative they create is, "I failed before. But, I worked harder. Then, I succeeded." When something bad happens, they go to work and try to overcome the problems.

You should read, "Hub Fans Bid the Kid Adieu," by John Updike. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1960/10/22/hub-fans-bid-kid-adieu

Yes.

Yes.

MJ wrote: “I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

Drive and eventual success come from within. And only within.
 
Oct 26, 2019
501
93
I'm not sure you understand high achievers at all. You just don't get it.

To make an outstanding athlete (or an outstanding anything), the person has to work harder than everyone else...and not just a little bit harder. If the coach tells the team to do 20 pushups, they do 40. If the coach tells the team to do 100 layups, they do 200. That is why they are outstanding...they have God given talent, and then a work ethic greater than everyone else's.

Athletes have to find the motivation to do those extra pushups and extra layups. They are human...they get tired, they get frustrated. So, they create a narrative so that they will keep going when everyone else has quit and gone home.

As to the MJ "getting cut" story...which is, by the way, accurate. He was cut from the varsity team as a freshman. And, you are correct, it was because he was too short. MJ wanted something, he didn't get it...isn't that the definition of failure?

He did come home crying his eyes out for being cut, and he was humiliated. So, he spent the next year practicing...so, when he did grow a few more inches he was far and away the best player on the team, and the best player in the state.

The narrative they create is, "I failed before. But, I worked harder. Then, I succeeded." When something bad happens, they go to work and try to overcome the problems.

You should read, "Hub Fans Bid the Kid Adieu," by John Updike. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1960/10/22/hub-fans-bid-kid-adieu
Speaking of MJ - He talks about this exact thing in “The Last Dance”. He said he would make things up about opposing players and teams disrespecting him or doubting him in his own head just to fuel his own motivation.
 
Oct 14, 2019
134
28
not sure i buy the work ethic thing. you can work all you want and you’re not going to run faster than usain bolt. hard work and talent are a good combination though.
 
Jun 6, 2016
1,205
83
Chicago
not sure i buy the work ethic thing. you can work all you want and you’re not going to run faster than usain bolt. hard work and talent are a good combination though.
You're right, but that's why sluggers said this (emphasis mine):

That is why they are outstanding...they have God given talent, and then a work ethic greater than everyone else's.
I still fail to see what the OP's issue is. Almost every example is about someone else (the media) telling stories that might be exaggerated or even untrue. Not only is this not what "playing the victim" means, it's also not the "victim's" fault.

Like someone else said, drumming up some motivation to succeed is what many, if not all, great athletes do. They're literally doing the opposite of playing the victim.
 
Oct 14, 2019
134
28
You're right, but that's why sluggers said this (emphasis mine):



I still fail to see what the OP's issue is. Almost every example is about someone else (the media) telling stories that might be exaggerated or even untrue. Not only is this not what "playing the victim" means, it's also not the "victim's" fault.

Like someone else said, drumming up some motivation to succeed is what many, if not all, great athletes do. They're literally doing the opposite of playing the victim.
again, i disagree. you cannot conclude from someone’s excellence that they worked harder than everyone else. dustin johnson is the best golfer in the world right now. i bet that other, less talented golfers than DJ spend just as much time practicing as he does. it is impossible to know how much of success is attributable to hard work and how much to talent. that being said, no one is going to succeed without hard work.
 
Jul 16, 2013
4,038
113
Pennsylvania
I will not speak for the OP, but when I read the first post, my initial thought took me to the current focus of our media. In general, we see many stories in the media about many topics (not just sports) that are exaggerated or, in some cases, untrue. All with a goal of ratings... Personally, I have lost faith in our media for this very reason. In some cases I see this same type of thing on my facebook and twitter feeds as well. If the story is not dramatic enough, let's make it more dramatic so that we can get more likes or shares. Sorry, just not a fan of that philosophy.

But then again, I'm a person that tunes in to sports radio in order to hear about sports. How naive is that?
 
Jun 6, 2016
1,205
83
Chicago
I will not speak for the OP, but when I read the first post, my initial thought took me to the current focus of our media. In general, we see many stories in the media about many topics (not just sports) that are exaggerated or, in some cases, untrue. All with a goal of ratings... Personally, I have lost faith in our media for this very reason. In some cases I see this same type of thing on my facebook and twitter feeds as well. If the story is not dramatic enough, let's make it more dramatic so that we can get more likes or shares. Sorry, just not a fan of that philosophy.

But then again, I'm a person that tunes in to sports radio in order to hear about sports. How naive is that?
This does appear to be what set the OP off, except then we went on tangents focused on the athletes themselves "playing the victim," when how the media handles a story (or a nonstory) has nothing to do with the athlete.

Look, this year's NFL Draft was pretty gross in how every single player got a "well, everyone in his family was murdered and someone kicked his puppy once" story of adversity. If the OP is complaining about tragedy porn, I can get on board with that. It's unnecessary, and it takes away from some truly horrific stories of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.

But then don't focus on the athletes. Don't fabricate a bunch of player quotes that make it clear your actual problem is with athletes whose media portrayal is completely out of their control.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
2,654
113
California
Thanks for the replies. Getting some posts for the mental side of the game.

A couple of things about the original post. The issues about being a victim or people in general trying to create human-interest stories using false pretenses. Or at least misleading by omission of facts or context.

I've read plenty of Softball related stories over the years as inspiration for the OP but will use a MJ's story for this post.
The most self-aggrandizing athlete in the world was Michael Jordan. That old story about MJ that every kid who played basketball on Earth was told.
Michael Jordan was cut from his HS basketball team. Facts didn't matter and this story spread like Covid 19 for 40+ years and it's still told in parks and gymnasiums today. People can relate to his failure and tale.

A tale of how Jordan used this setback after crying his eyes out becoming one of the best, if not the best player in world.

That story about MJ being cut from HS team wasn't accurate. Would it have made a difference in MJ's career if it were actually true? No!

Mike tried out for Varsity his Sophomore year and was put on the JV roster as another Sophomore player was needed on the Varsity team for height reasons.

The true story above isn't as compelling and wouldn't be a story at all if he made Varsity. Athletes or at least people writing about them are digging deeper, and deeper to emulate the recipe above. Pushing partially accurate stories to drum up interested readers.

Bombarding people with endless false narratives has kids unnecessarily hanging onto their own negative experiences and conflating fiction with reality.

Parents aren't helping thier kids cause either. I still hear a story from a parent about how her DD was wronged 3 year's ago. The parent doesn't understand it had nothing to do with her kid. The parent was the problem! If this kid makes it to college that story minus the truth "Mom was the problem" will be in her bio/tale!






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Good read @SuperK!
My No basketball interest didnt know about MJ backstory myths or otherwise.
Perhaps What people think is true or not puts there hero's on a higher pedestal.
(or themselves)
 
Apr 28, 2014
1,977
113
People tell stories from their own perspective and how they see things. There may be some exaggeration in every story but thats usually to emphasize how the story teller feels.
Sports in many cases is about overcoming obstacles and adversity. Looking at someone's life and trying to decide what was adverse to them compared to what you may find as adverse is impossible. I too hate when professional athletes say "no one believed in us"... of course some one did, they pay your salary. But when an amature athlete shares that people didn't believe you can bet that there's some truth in that. Those who use that doubt as motivation are intelligent and those who use it to deter them are what we call quitters.
 
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