A couple of weekends ago the New York Giants took on the undefeated Carolina Panthers. The most anticipated individual match-up was between Wide Receiver Odell Beckam Jr., of the Giants and Cornerback Josh Norman of the Panthers. Odell Beckam Jr. has quickly become one of the best Wide Receivers in his short career by his dazzling acrobatic catches. Unfortunately this game got a lot of attention not for the football but for the fighting between Odell Beckam and Josh Norman. Odell Beckam received 3 personal fouls during the course of the game. One of the fouls was for launching himself at Josh Norman’s head. Because of these actions the NFL suspended him for one game. Now, I am sure Josh Norman did his part to instigate some of Odell Beckams actions but i want to focus on Odell Beckam, specifically his words after the game.
Odell Beckam said, “We are out there playing football. We are competing. You are a competitor. I’m a competitor. We are always going to go at it. Anybody who has played sports, you are competitive, and you are going to go as hard as you can.” These are the words I want to focus on as I have heard similar excuses for bad behavior in sports and in business. Anytime someone acts up they think saying they are competitive or just passionate about the sport/business is a viable excuse but I am telling you those excuses are a hiding place for people with little self control. I am reminded of a proverb in the OT that says, “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” You see, controlled aggression is the key to success, not letting it loose whenever you get upset. Harnessing your passion and aggression to achieve your objective whether in sports or business is the key.
Losing your temper also shows you are a poor loser, not that you are competitive. When you lose your temper you give others control over you. In an interview before the season started Odell Beckam was asked how he would slow himself down if he was an opposing team and he said he would try and make himself mad. Even though he knew this was a weakness he let Josh Norman get under his skin and he gave him control.
Showing self control will lead you to respect yourself more and gain respect from others. So don’t be the guy who kicks the basketball once you lose or slams or screams at your coworker and try to use the excuse of competitiveness and passion.
Matt King, Co-Founder