“A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.” -Larry Bird

    Winners win, plain and simple. If you’ve never heard that phrase, it might sound simple and repetitive and you may be thinking well duh, winners win. The point of this phrase is to reinforce the mindset and grit that it takes to be a winner for the long haul. Not one time or a few times, but for a lifetime. If you have a great game, congratulations because that’s awesome. A great season is exciting too, but this article is for those that want a great career and a great life. This is for the players who want to maximize their career and be a winner at life. In order to be a winner, you’ve got to be willing to do whatever it takes to succeed and avoid what losers think, say, and do.

   Winners are always on the attack. They’re not timid or apprehensive. Winners set the goal, determine the sacrifices that need to be made, and then do it. They do the work, smash their goals, and feel the satisfaction of winning. Winners are ever the optimists and think how can I? or how can we? And they’re solution oriented. They don’t see problems, but they do see situations that need to be handled, so they handle them with the right solution.

    Losers are always making excuses. They’re loud about why they can’t and are quick to blame. The last thing a loser wants to do is to take responsibility. Taking responsibility for a loser is like kryptonite for Superman. It kills them because then they can’t blame or complain or make excuses. Losers will do whatever they can to get out of the work, yet still expect to win and be good.

    Winners take 100% responsibility for their life and their actions. They understand that if it’s meant to be then it’s up to me. Winners seek out the best way to do things, and they are constantly searching for a competitive edge. Winners are constantly striving to improve and have enough humility to never think they’ve “made it.” They are never satisfied but still know how to celebrate themselves and stay motivated. Winners are optimistic, and are confident in their abilities because they’ve put in the work and have earned that confidence.

    Losers want things handed to them. They don’t want to put in the work it takes to be a winner. Losers hope and wish and expect someone else to do it for them. They lack the self confidence and grit to succeed because they would rather blame someone else. Losers hide when times get tough and get very quiet when a game is on the line. Losers give up and rarely push through the soreness, the pain, and the haters. They would rather lose and go home than fight and put themselves at risk.

    Winners do whatever it takes to win. They do not back down from a challenge and they aren’t afraid to lose. They play to win and focus solely on the necessary steps to achieve success and attack those steps. In order to be a winner, you have to be obsessed with it. Losers will call you names, make fun of you, and try to pull you down. Winners use that as fuel and know that they don’t have to try to be different… a winner owns the fact that they already are.   

Your life can either be an example or a warning. Will your legacy be that of a winner? You decide with your daily choices and actions. Show up. Step up. Make history.

Stay Relentless. Play the Optimum Way.


Article by Brandon Cochran

Co-Founder Optimum Basketball