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How to Win

Learning from Losing

By falling to Dallas over the weekend, the New Orleans Saints lost a streak but gained a chance to fix what is wrong with them.

Every team has problems, but victory has a way of hiding them. And losing has a way of spotlighting those problems.

“You can learn a line from a win and a book from a defeat,” said legendary football coach Paul Brown.

This makes the streak by the Penn State women’s volleyball team all the more impressive. The Nittany Lions have gone 102 matches without a loss and completed their third straight national title over the weekend. They haven’t lost since a five-game match against Stanford on Sept. 15, 2007. They must have learned a lot from that one!

Only one team in the history of NCAA Division I sports has compiled a longer winning streak. The Miami men’s tennis program captured 137 straight victories from 1957-64.

Somehow these teams managed to avoid the bad habits that slip in when teams are winning. Somehow those athletes avoided the temptation to take any opponent for granted. Somehow they never beat themselves with a lazy approach.

“Winning is the science of being totally prepared,” said football coach George Allen.

With the streak out of the way, and nothing hiding the flaws, New Orleans can focus on preparation.


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