Win Like Winx, Ash and Louise

October 2019 

In celebration of the winners and inductees at this year's Australian Sporting Hall of Fame awards, we take a look at what it takes to win. 

We look at three of this year's notable winners:
Ashleigh Barty took home The Don Award, the first female tennis player to win the award.
Louise Savage became the first Paralympian to be elevated to legend status.
Winx and her connections were presented with the Spirit of Sport Award.


The questions are why did Winx keep winning? 
How has Ash Barty managed to reach number 1 in the World while it continues to elude some of our talented males. 
And what made Louise Savage overcome physical challenges to excel as a Paralympian? 
Being the best and having and promise, doesn't always guarantee success. Every competitor has their unique set of gifts.

What were the characteristics that stood THEM apart?

1) Natural Ability
You could argue that Winx had natural ability with a high stride rate and the ability to accelerate quickly at any time during the race.
Ash Barty is a natural sportswoman, also making the women's' cricket Big Bash League, despite having no formal training in the sport - interestingly in a recent interview she said that says she was not a good cricketer. 
Louise Savage was born with a severe  congenital spinal condition rendering her wheelchair bound, yet she upper body strength and found wheelchair racing.  

2) Determination & Attitude
All three of these winners had amazing determination and the will to win.
Overall Winx won 33 consecutive races including 25 Group 1s (a world record). That’s determination.  Even drawing a wide barrier didn't impede Winx, she always made her way around it and first past the post.

Ash Barty keeps her cool, head down and quietly backs herself to win.  She is ranked world number 1 and is the second Australian WTA singles No. 1 after Evonne Goolagong Cawley.  Her attitude defines her and separates her from other talent.

Louise Savage won nine gold and four silver medals at four Paralympic Games and eleven gold and two silver medals at three IPC Athletics World Championships. She won four Boston Marathons, and held world records in the 1500 m, 5000 m and 4x100 m and 4x400 m relays.   In a recent interview she said that she was always active and knew no different, she also said that she was confident as a young teenager and very competitive, to the point her coach had to lecture her about humility. 
The key take out is that she backed herself and didn't see second place as an option. 

3) Nobody told Winx she was just ‘a girl’
Is it possible for a horse to be sufficiently aware of her surroundings for a winning mindset to have any relevance?
Without all that baggage, Winx was free to be herself, and that’s in the lead. Nor was she aware that frequently, commentators preferred to compare her with other outstanding fillies like Black Caviar, rather than mention she was possibility the best race horse, of any gender, on the planet.  Similarly, Louise never knew any different, and just got on with being active.

These winners don't appear to have been handicapped by attitudes or stereotypes about belonging in the background or as a follower.

You'll relate to this if you've ever doubted yourself or lost your confidence when you've had a chance to take the lead. For many of us there's an internal commentary saying: ‘I’m not experienced enough’, ‘others can do it better’ or ‘if I step up or speak up, I’ll look stupid’. 

What a different world it would be if all women were like Winx, Ahs Barty and Louise Savage. They would be aware of their own strengths and capabilities. Comparisons to others would have little relevance since we each have a different set of talents. And we would be free to pursue our own dreams, be the best we can be and make a difference in the world.

Winning is an attitude and a state of mind. Grasp the reins,  enjoy the ride and back yourself.
Apply for that Board position!

For more on the 2019 Sporting Hall of Fame Award recipients visit here