I have been coaching for a long time—since 1979. I have coached from the youth leagues all the way to the college ranks. I still say, “Losing Stinks!” I can remember watching Wide World of Sports on Chanel 7. That was the ABC station where I grew up. I can always remember the announcer, Jim McKay, saying in the introduction, “The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.” Believe me, when you lose, it is definitely AGONY!
So what do we get out of losing? I know it feels awful, but within any loss or setback lays the seeds for success. I know losing can be used as motivation. Remembering how badly it felt can encourage you to work harder and to get better. Where does this start again? It all starts in practice…again.
Once again remembering how badly you felt should propel you to work harder, to push yourself further, and to get more out of each and every practice. There is a quote I always say to my teams, “You play like you practice.” Remember, it is the quality of your practice that counts, and keeping that goal in mind to win will help ease the pain of the loss.
But keep in perspective that someone always has to win and someone always has to lose. That’s the sad part of any sport or competition. You know that you played like the winner. Just remember you are also the victor for taking the chance to lose. Learn from it, because success is never final, and failure is never fatal. Keep working hard, and success will come. All athletes take chances, and this is what makes all athletes WINNERS!