West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker, National Wrestling Hall of Famer
and Rick Welker

…on the Champion vs. the Winner
by Bill Welker, EdD

What is the difference between a champion and winner? Believe me, there is a difference.

The champion is a man of character, whereas the winner is just a character. The champion respects his adversaries while the winner belittles his opponents. The champion is thankful for his success. On the other hand, the winner is self-centered and arrogant. And finally, the champion accepts defeat with dignity, but the winner makes excuses and blames others.

Below are the personal qualities or positive traits that true champions always demonstrate:

C - Commitment: The champion is dedicated to improving his athletic skills.
H - Humility: The champion attributes his success to those around him.
A - Attitude: The champion always exhibits a positive attitude - win or lose.
M - Maturity: The champion keeps his composure at all times.
P - Perseverance: The champion never quits even when he falls short of victory.
I - Integrity: The champion always plays by the rules.
O - Obedience: The champion always accepts advice and positive criticism.
N - Nobility: The champion presents himself as a positive role model.
If you want to truly be respected by others as a wrestler, compete as a champion - and not just a winner. The poem below suggests that there are champions in life that go beyond standing on the top of the podium:

He's the one loved by his peers,
Though on the bench -- he always cheers,
He keeps the first man on his toes,
And never quits - why, no one knows.

He puts the champion where he's at,
By making him work to earn his plaque,
His name's not found in big headlines,
But he's always there come practice time.

I often wonder -- were the champion second team,
Would he keep on trying or lose his gleam,
Would he give his all if there was no fame,
And not give up for the good of the game.

There are no questions in this man's mind,
THE CHAMPION'S CHAMPION -- in life -- will do just fine.

Wrestling Words of Wisdom
"Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings."
- Dr. Samuel Johnson

(Dr. Bill Welker is the editor/author of The Wrestling Drill Book, 2E. It can be purchased at www.humankinetics.com or www.amazon.com.)

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