The opposing team came from a low-income part of the city. Our team’s coach warned our players not to be fooled by the fact that the other guys didn’t have nice uniforms or fancy equipment. If I remember correctly, he told our team, “If they beat you, it will be because they have greater mental toughness.”
I don’t even remember who won that game. And I think it was a generalization to suggest that all kids from low-income families necessarily have more mental toughness than kids from middle-class families.
But his point was a good one, and I tucked it away in the library of my mind. Because mental toughness matters.