You don’t want your goal to happen at all costs. You want to make your goal happen. If we didn’t want to make it happen, then winning would be enough. Winning is not enough in itself, because then why do some wins mean more than others? Beating opponents we perceive as our equals, or better than us, are the wins that mean the most. Winning a tournament means nothing to us if we cruise through every match.
We know that not all wins are created equal, yet we teach winning as the main goal. Winning big games should be the goal. Big games are different for different people; for me, it’d be a Futures Title, for Federer it’d be another Grand Slam Title. But the feeling is the same; in our own worlds, we’d consider those big wins. We want to beat worthy opponents because those opponents test us and make us perform well, which is fun. Any player can experience a big win if they get in a match where they have a 50%, or less, chance of winning.
To win Wimbledon, a tennis player must put in insane amounts of practice and have a natural minimum talent level. But if a high school player can perceive any of their wins as “big wins”, then those who play at higher levels are really just better at doing the same things. No high school match matters in terms of being a professional tennis player, but they still matter to the high schooler playing, and that’s valid.