Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Playing to Win or Not Lose?

   What would you cause more pressure, a shot to win or a shot to not lose? A great example of this is when soccer players take penalty kicks to settle a tie.  The odds of making a penalty kick are at 85%, for professional soccer players. So there is a high expectation that the kick should be made.   

   Imagine taking the last penalty shot for a professional team.  Which situation would you prefer?
1-Your team is down by one, and you have to make it to tie; if you miss, your team will lose.
2-Your team is tied, and you do not have to make it, but if you do make it, you will win.
 According to the research of Geir Jordet and Ester Hartman, when missing the kick will cause the kicker’s team to lose, professional kickers make on those shots only 62% of the time. But when making the goal will result in a win, they find the net 92% of the time.  It is the same kick, the same twelve yards every time, but there is a 30% gap in the success rate. The difference between the two kicks is the first is labeled as a threat (to not lose) and the second is labeled as a challenge (to win).  The psychology behind the kick is huge.*

 Let’s apply this lesson to our spiritual lives. Is our mind set to not lose or to gain? Our regret of the mistake or the chance of our success?  What should our attitude be? In Philippians 3:13-14 we read, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”. Paul want us not to focus on our mistakes but keep looking forward to what lies ahead. This is an attitude that is more likely to bring success. In Christ, the victory is already won! Instead of adopting the negative mindset fearing loss, let’s have one that knows we win if we keep moving upward! 

*Credit Matthew Modine "Musing On Spiritual Matters" for illustration 

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