delanceyplace.com 07/08/05 - billie jean king

In today's excerpt - Billie Jean King writes regarding the fear of failure and the ephemeral nature of victory:

"It's pretty ironic, I think, that the one thing that motivates champion athletes more than anything else is the fear of failing. On the way, there's always that insidious nagging feeling that you're not going to quite make it that in the crunch, you're going to come up just a little bit short; and once you reach the top, there's the absolute dread of the day when it's all going to end. You can never win enough titles or money or awards, because people always expect you to do it just one more time, and of course you come to expect it of yourself ...

"Maybe that's why I've never been able to enjoy a particular victory for very long ... when the match was over I ... tossed my racket in the air ... but the enjoyment ... was almost literally over by the time the racket landed. I enjoyed the victory for maybe 10 seconds, and that's the truth. I mean, I'd won. Fine, yay, but then it was behind me forever. It is true that victory is fleeting, but losing is forever and that makes all the difference ...

"The best players, I think, are always the ones who remember their losses because they remember the pain and they hate it."


author:

Billie Jean King

title:

Billie Jean

publisher:

Pocket Books

date:

1974

pages:

78-79
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