ALTHOUGH it's just two letters - if - carries huge significance in our world.
Small word carries a lot of weight in sports world
The importance of the word is summed up brilliantly in Rupyard Kipling's poem.
The inscription "If you can meet with triumph and disaster / And treat those two imposters just the same" is etched above the entry to Wimbledon's centre court.
In the world of sport there is triumph and disaster every day.
Dealing with those is a challenge for every competitor and sporting fan.
What if, if only are thoughts that often spring to mind, especially after a loss.
A tennis player I always enjoyed watching was Boris Becker (pictured).
He had charisma, skill and a way with words.
Becker won the first of three Wimbledon titles at the age of 17 in 1985.
At the time he was the youngest winner of a Grand Slam final.
While Becker wowed the Wimbledon crowd and the tennis world in July, 1985, yours truly was studying year 12 at Bendigo Senior Secondary College.
That someone just a few months older than me was dominating Centre Court at the world's most prestigious tennis tournament was incredible.
Becker had passed under Kipling's message near the hallowed grass at Wimbledon many times.
He had met triumph and disaster as well as he endured the pitfalls of glory and fame.
Becker was the Wimbledon champion in 1985 and '86.
The bid for a hat-trick was halted in the second round of the 1987 tournament.
In the aftermath of defeat, Becker showed remarkable insight.
“I didn’t start a war. Nobody died. I only lost a tennis match, nothing more.” Becker said after the second-round loss.
A couple of years later and he held the Wimbledon trophy aloft once more.
Enjoy the victory and learn from the defeat are words uttered by hundreds of coaches, players and commentators over the years.
Being humble in victory and gracious in defeat is always important.
In this summer's Ashes series we have seen some over-the-top celebrations when wickets have fallen.
Waving goodbye to a departing batsmen, no matter whether he scored many runs or none at all, is not a good look.
The same applied when Harry Kewell missed from the penalty spot by a long, long way.
An opponent who is yet to reach the heights Kewell has did himself, his club and the game no favours by running in and chastising Harry.
Some will say it's all part of the game.
Send-offs, clapping when a catch is dropped, abusing opponents are not what sport is about.
It's more than game is blared out before each episode of The Footy Show on Channel Nine and the WIN Network.
But when it's all said and done it is just a game.
I only lost a tennis match, nothing more.