B-Side Blog: Winning Equals Haters

Six-time defending state champion Cahokia has had to fend off many haters during their journey

Hater= A person that simply cannot be happy for another person's success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person. 

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, Coach Nick Saban and Alabama, Lebron James, even the championship Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls currently deal or dealt with the same issue. Winning! And Winning=Haters.  If you're a great athlete or coach at some point in your career you will deal with haters. Only a select few deal with haters. The funny thing is if you're not successful, you will never have to deal with it. I'm sure some of the recently crowned indoor champions have seen or heard it at some point of their journey to the top of the podium.

The athletes who have become consistent winners have already caught the hate and still do. Usually when you win title after title as an athlete or coach, the haters crawl back into their cave with a contracted disease called convenient amnesia. "I didn't say that", "I don't remember that happening" are just a couple of the lines haters say.

The freshman athlete or one who was around the year before but really didn't make a lot of noise, really deal with the hate. It is rare that the athlete of today is embraced and accepted like they were when I was in high school. The haters of today may feel like the freshman hasn't earned their stripes to be the best at the school or in their event. The athlete who improved big time from the season before is hated because that person chose to work their ass off to be better. Then they get an extra dose of hate because they reaped the rewards of their hard work.

The haters back in the day when I was running were different than today's because they stayed hidden until you lost or was at your lowest point after a huge defeat. Then they'd pile on hater after hater. The haters of today have the huge advantage of social media, so they're talking daily. My dad used to tell me 'Son everybody that comes to these meets and pats you on the back really don't want to see you win. A lot of them pay money and come with the hope that you will lose and they will be able to say I was there and saw it. Son, your job is to go to that track and take care of business, and make sure they've wasted their money.' 

The most difficult thing that comes with haters is that they are no certain race, color or creed. They look like any and everybody. Haters come in the form of family (which is the worst). Why? Because they're a special type of hater. They have the ability to go both ways. They can hate on your success because in most cases they don't understand the process of your success. Then after the athlete has become big time whether it's with the media or in the streets, they switch up with love and support. There are some family that, even after you have made it, continually try to bring you down mentally or discredit what you have accomplished. They act like  anybody could've done what you did or competed at the level you did.

ITT Boys 60m champion Ron Reed (Decatur MacArthur) has had deal with a sore ankle and hate in his own back yard this season

The school coach can really be a hater. Why? Because months before the school team even had their informational meeting or first practice, the club athlete was already successful. The athlete was already in shape, traveling to big time meets all over the country with the club team, receiving state and national recognition, in the state rankings before the first meet, and already qualified for the state indoor meet. The school coach had nothing to do with the athletes' success of reaching the title and winning.

Teammates are the ones you really have to watch out for. The teammate is around you everyday at practice and may be somewhat happy for your success but at the same time hopes you fail. Why? So they can become the one everyone talks about and get the articles and media attention. The messed up thing about the teammate and their hate is that even if they aren't as talented, the opportunity to put in work and practice hard is there for everyone. While the winning athlete was coming to practice everyday focusing on their craft, the teammate chose to go to the mall, the basketball game at school, or just plain skipped the practice all together.

I've told my son since he started playing sports, and all my athletes -- if you don't have haters, then you aren't doing your job on the track, football field or basketball court. The more haters you have, simply means you're doing a lot of winning like the names I mentioned above. Personally, I love haters. They are a great motivation. I love when they get quiet and give you the look of hate and disdain. It's priceless!

Every athlete may have to deal with haters. Just win and watch them come like zombies on the Walking Dead. As Y2J of the WWE would say." Do you know what happens when you win?" Do you know what happens?" (Clicks his pen)..... You just made the List! The Haters List. 

This is dedicated to my boy TStep who lost his mom yesterday.