WINNING ISN'T EVERYTHING

this year i co-captained the salisbury inter soccer club to their first ever wnpl trophy. we made history for the club. and we would go on to do it again, and again, and claim the treble - something only one other team in the WNPL has ever been able to accomplish. achieving something so rare should feel amazing - we made history and i played a significant contributing role in that. for some people, this could be one of their greatest highlights of their lives. so why don't i feel any of that?


whenever i experience an emotion contrary to how i feel i'm supposed to feel, i immediately internalise and i question myself - is it because i don't value winning? don't value awards and achievements? is there something wrong with me? did i not enjoy my season? not get along with my teammates? or is there something more at play here?


last year when we were knocked out of the final series, i wrote a post on achievements look good on your resume, but connections look better on your eulogy. and i wrote this to highlight that the connections we made with each other were more important than whether we won or loss. but shouldn't it stand that to win with people you enjoy playing with, would be one of the greatest feelings? why then do i still feel very apathetic about our achievements this year?


this year, we were the team to beat. we undeniably had the best squad on paper. that doesn't mean our wins were guaranteed nor that we didn't have to work for them - we did. but we were expected to win. and something about being expected to win takes away from the sweetness of victory.


and our team - we all got along. we didn't have any drama. and we had a strong culture. but despite all of this, despite ticking all of the boxes of what you'd want from a strong team and culture, i still felt detached from my teammates. i didn't feel like i knew them. and it's in those moments of knowing others that i really remember, that i hold as a greater achievement.


so despite winning three championships this year, my highlight of the season was still our pre-season trip. getting to not just see teammates outside of soccer, but getting to know them too. and maybe that's just me - maybe it's just because i value connection more than winning and achievements. but i also suspect i'm not alone in my thinking either - i think our most treasured moments have been experienced through something you can't measure, through moments of mutual love, understanding, and vulnerability.


so what have been some of your greatest highlights in your life? winning a championship, or connecting with someone?

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