"No Risk Baseball is Second Division Baseball"
In sport, as in life, the safe play won't make you a champion.
It might help you avoid a loss, maybe even get you the odd win here or there, but it won't propel you to the top of the league.
In football (soccer), it's called "parking the bus". Throw up a line of defenders, be extremely conservative (or nonexistent) in attack and hold the opposing team off. Your goal is to stop the other team from playing. To thwart their tactics. To make sure you don't lose.
It's a common tactic deployed by teams that don't believe they're as good as their opposition. So they, enabled by their managers, work to smother their opponents so that they don't score. A draw is as good as a win for them. Not losing is paramount.
What they're essentially saying is, I'm not good enough to take the game to you, so the only thing I can do is stop you from playing, and maybe steal a chance when/if I can.
Because not losing is paramount.
It's a fundamentally negative way of playing. And it's one that ensures that those teams will always remain second rate teams.
Because they don't have the guts to do something adventurous, to think differently, to outmaneuver their opponents.
Because they cannot or will not accept that the key to achievement is to push outwards and break boundaries, not throw up walls and obstacles to stop others.
Because they don't believe in themselves.
And because they don't believe in themselves, they remain second rate. Mid-table. Second tier.
And as a result, history will ensure that they are forgotten. Because they deserve to be.
The implication, for you and me, is simple:
Do we want to play a game that's focused on not losing, or do we want to win?
Or perhaps, more precisely, do we believe in ourselves enough to want to win?
If so, what are we willing to do about it?
(Title of this post is a quote by Ed Stanky.)