Goal-setting. We are often taught that goal-setting is the key to success, both for individuals and for teams. That overcoming the obstacles and adversities that get in the way of that desired accomplishment is what it takes to build our minds, bodies and hearts. We are taught it is the key to loyalty, dedication and commitment among team members.
The world of sports relies on this idea to push individuals to do and be more than they have been before, and to do it not only for their own good, but for the good of those around them. Over and over again, the pursuit of those goals has led to some of the greatest triumphs in sports and usually, when one team triumphs, the disappointment of the other team drives them to be better still and brings them back next time wanting their goal even more.
This past weekend of sports brought us two examples of triumph, but in these cases, there does not appear to be disappointment:
On Thursday, Sept. 20, the Cleveland Browns ended the longest streak of games without a win in the modern NFL by defeating the NY Jets 21–17 and marking their first win in 34 games.
They did it behind a former walk-on quarterback that just happened to win the Heisman, and they did it in front of a home crowd and the city went insane.
To follow it up, on Sunday, Sept. 22, Tiger Woods, after a drought of five years, won the PGA Tour Championship (falling one stroke shy of winning the FedEx Cup) in the straightforward, dominating fashion that he had shown in his youth.
He won in front of a raucous and almost uncontrollable crowd at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, and the world went insane.
As mentioned, neither of these events seemed to have produced an equally disappointed opponent. On the field, despite the loss, several members of the Jets hugged, shook hands and congratulated the Browns on their victory. At Atlanta, a dozen golfers already finished with their rounds, came out of the club house to congratulate Woods on his win.
No one was upset, because we had come to want these goals for the athletes involved as much or more than they wanted them. We watched over the years as they spent every day fighting through the obstacles, overcoming the adversity and striving to be better until in the end, we couldn’t help but to give our support, and that is where the true magic lies in these goals.
The good times for the Browns probably won’t last past Sunday, and who knows how much longer Woods’ back will last? But for now, this unlikely pair is the most motivational duo of sports land, and through their accomplishments they will give somebody else the desire to be better.
By striving for, and accomplishing their goals, and doing so under the most trying and public of circumstances, these athletes clearly demonstrate that not only is goal-setting the key for individual and team performance, but it creates the environment necessary to give everyone the ability to be successful and that is what it is all about.
Congratulations to both Tiger Woods and the Cleveland Browns, and thank you for the inspiration.
Bob Christian is the sports reporter for the Dawson County News.