In Others’ Words: Start or Finish?

Beth Vogt competition, In Others' Words, Quotes 12 Comments

I’ve watched many a volleyball game since my youngest daughter started playing back in fifth grade. I’ve got to admit, I like it when her team comes out hot, all the players fired up and ready to go, knocking the team on the other side of the net off kilter.

But I’ve learned over and over again that, while fired up starts are fun, how the team finishes makes all the difference in who wins and who loses the sets, and ultimately, the overall match.

In sports, if you start strong, you still have to finish strong to win. If you start off as the underdog, on the defensive against a team that’s playing better than you, then you have to finish better than you started — better than the other team — if you want to win.

How you finish wins the game.

The same is true for life, isn’t it? (So many lessons learned in sports are applicable to life.) You started life a certain way … a certain “who.” But here’s the question: Who are you going to be when you finish it? 

That just may be one of the most important questions you ever answer.

And here’s another thought to encourage you: God says He started something good in you … and He’s going to complete it. (Philippians 1:6). God’s no quitter. He’s all about completing what He started.

What about you?

In Others’ Words: What life lesson have you learned playing sports? And do you consider yourself a starter, a finisher — or a bit of both?


In Others' Words: Start or Finish? #quotes #athletics Click To Tweet It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it. #JohnWooden #quotes Click To Tweet


Comments 12

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  1. I’ve learned by watching sports that the players I like the most are the ones who are team players and they don’t make it all about them.

    I’m definitely a finisher! Give me an assignment or list of projects and I’ll do my absolute best to get them done.

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      I agree with you. I admire athletes who are team-focused, who don’t grab all the fame and glory for themselves.
      And you know what, in the old fable of the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise definitely knew something that the start-out-of-the-gate-fast hare didn’t. 🙂

  2. I remember as a kid when first hearing of the race between the tortoise and the hare thinking it was ridiculous. Of course, the hare would win. But through the years, I’ve seen many tortoises crowned winners and hares drop by the wayside. As for me, I’m hopeful to still reach the finish line on a few more life goals important to me, but have to say the journey itself and the company along the way has already made me and us winners! I’m grateful.

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      I’ve seen many different versions of the tortoise and the hare race. At first, I assumed the hare would win, too. Now, I’m always rooting for the turtle — and wondering why the bunny doesn’t catch on.
      And yes, you’re so right: the people we meet along the way is such a valuable part of our journey.

  3. I love the point you make in this post, Beth. It’s true, it the finishing that matters most. Life lessons I’ve learned in playing sports is that it takes a team to win. When I played volleyball as a girl, the ball hogs on the team actually made it harder to win, hurt feelings and created division among the team. When we played together, we played stronger.

    In life, when we lean on others, when we encourage others and come alongside each other, that’s when we can all finish strong.

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      Jeanne: When I was in school, I always avoided team sports because I was so certain I wouldn’t benefit the team. One of the things I love about my daughter is that she is so sure she’ll be an asset to her team — she she loves her teammates, too.
      And yes, encouraging others means we all finish strong!

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  4. Short on time today. Alas, I’ve always been short. It was my job to rotate in to serve and play back court defense for our star center blocker. Neither the quickest, nor the most talented, I’d stay after practice often and take hits from coach. I’m not sure where I’m going with this… I learned at an early age to take hits? Actually, volleyball was the one place where I chose to face the hits and learned to pass as many as possible.

    Hmm… I have a feeling I’ll be mulling over volleyball analogies all day.

    A while back, I chose the bench. More recently I’ve remembered the many times I’ve declared wanting to finish well. So I’m back in the game. The hits are still coming, but I’m re-learning to trust my Coach, move to the ball, and pass it.

    Short on time. Apparently not short on words.

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      Bernadette: You’re a volleyball player, too? How fun is this! I’ve learned the value of the back row — the defense — and how well they pass and set up the front row. Once again, the team makes the difference in finishing well.
      And yes, trusting the coach is so, so important, too.

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