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You Win More by not Keeping Score: Why do we play sports?

Here is a question to ask yourself. Why do we play sports? What makes sports so exciting? I think for me when I ask myself that question, it’s the thrill of the unknown. You have a general idea of what might happen, but you never know how it’s going to happen.  There is a level of suspense, excitement, and if you’re playing sports, there are also health benefits as long as you have the right approach.

Love to Win

However,  we have seemed to overemphasize the importance of winning over the last few decades. I’m guilty of it myself. I’ve loved to win my entire life, and when I was younger I was the worst loser. I hated losing to the point where I used to get really emotional about it as a kid.  I was so focused on the score and who won.  Because of it, I missed so many opportunities to learn from not my losses but from my wins as well.  I was the kid that always knew the score and the guy at pick up games that shouted the score every time someone made a point.  These are all important things right? Knowing who is ahead, knowing the score, knowing who won or who lost… While that is all fine and good in sports, we also tend to do this as well outside of sports.

Have you ever had this dialogue go on in your head

“If I do this for “Bobby Athlete” then I think “Bobby Athlete” will do this for me.  Our motives for helping others actually turn into a motive for helping ourselves.  I’m not saying that is a good or a bad thing, but I am saying we should check our motives. Are we truly helping because we have another’s best interest or is it because we see an opportunity to try and get something from someone else.  Are we helping only the people we know can help us, or do we lend a hand to those who will probably never be able to return the favor?

Here is my point

When offering help to others, don’t keep score. Whether it’s in your professional or personal life, you actually win more by simply not keeping score.  The if then model is not only outdated, it is also limiting.  This also allows you to check your motives.  Why are you helping others? Are you expecting something in return from those that you have given assistance?  If that’s the case you might not only find yourself disappointed, but also closed minded to potentially greater opportunities with others who would be able to help you far better than those who you expect something in return.  

The Example

If two people come to my mind that I think would benefit from knowing each other, I send them a group email explaining why I think they should connect. If they decide to return the favor and connect me with someone great, but if not I don’t worry about it.  I never allowed myself to expect something in return directly from them.  However, what I have learned though is to expect the unexpected.  Be open minded when you are seeking help and allow it to come from the best source, not necessarily a source that you feel might need to return a favor.

Here are 3 tips that can help us win more by not keeping score.

  1. Offer assistance to someone this week that has no way to return the favor.
  2. Look for opportunities to connect 2 or 3 people that would benefit from knowing each other.
  3. Expect the Unexpected: Be open minded when you ask for help, it will more than like come in ways you never expected

The more I am willing to help others the more likely others are willing to help me and it may be in ways I never thought possible.  In other words… Helpers get helped. What if we all worked on being just a little more helpful?  What if we reached out every once in a while and gave assistance to those who we probably know have nothing to offer us back?  Whether it’s in or out of sports, I do know that if more people developed this mentality our world would improve quickly and dramatically.  Finally, remember this… In the game of life, you win more by not keeping score.

It’s go time! Be someone who willingly helps others without expectations and feel yourself improving! Make the choice to get a little better today, so you can win in the game of life!

About the Author – Part 1 in a 3 Part Series

About the author, Jason Holzer – Growing up in Taos, Missouri, Jason was raised in a small town with a loving family that gave him every chance to succeed. His parents were supportive and provided everything this 17-year-old could ever want. That is until his life changed forever on May 8, 2003, when his dad unexpectedly passed away by suicide leaving him, his mother and two younger sisters behind.  

Through hard work, dedication, and a strong faith in God, He is now a certified teacher,  accomplished basketball and mental fitness coach. He is also a Post-Traumatic growth storyteller and the Co-Founder of 4D Athletes. Get the 4D Athletes Free Demo Course or get a Certified Thought Coach Program.

His book “Shattered by Suicide, Renewed by Resilience: How to Move Forward After Being Left Behind” is an Amazon Best Seller and is positively influencing thousands of readers every year.


Follow Jason on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram today.

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March 1, 2022

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