Should you strive for perseverance, or, the killer instinct?
Without the killer instinct can perseverance get you far?
I believe it can.
Perseverance is tangible; the killer instinct less so.
Then there is the question of skill.
What good is perseverance or the killer instinct without the right skills?
Here’s an example of what I consider perseverance.
It’s not just about squash and tennis.
Sure, I have lost more matches after leading 2-0 than I care to remember. I blame it on fitness. That’s my excuse for lacking the ability to put away games when I am ahead.
Or, like I would like to think: not needing it badly enough.
It’s kind of a Steph Curry vs. LeBron James thing.
I remind myself that it happens to the best of us. The Golden State Warriors’ meltdown – losing the NBA championship after leading 3-1 in a best of seven series – is fresh in my memory.
I am inspired when Milos Raonic claws his way back from a 0-2 deficit to the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
But then, was that due to his skill, killer instinct, or, his perseverance?
Do you need the killer instinct to succeed in sports, or, life in general?
The online Oxford Dictionary defines killer instinct as “a ruthless determination to succeed or win.” There is scant regard as to whether it hurts others.
Should you pursue your goals irrespective of the how?
Can someone be coached to develop the killer instinct?
Apparently, it can be done. Check out this post titled “Developing the killer instinct.”
Though, the tips sound more like common sense to me.
If you are wondering where you stand, try asking yourself these questions.
Have you won more matches than you have lost, after being up by two games?
Have you won more matches than you have lost, after being down by two games?
When you play squash against weaker players, do you try to beat them 11:0?
Are you a player whom people prefer to play when there is a referee around?
If your opponent at the club inadvertently makes a bad line call, do you make a scene?
If your tennis partner makes a bad line call, do you keep quiet?
Would you hit your opponent with the squash ball to get a point?
Would you hit your opponent with an overhead tennis shot to make sure that the ball does not come back?
If you are out of breath, would you make an excuse to delay the game?
I am not a psychologist, but, if you answered “yes” to five or more questions above, you might be doing fine on the killer instinct front.
And, my inability to close out matches may have more to do with opponents’ skills and perseverance than my lack of the killer instinct.