8 Practical Tips to Help Your Player Overcome a Loss
Any athlete who plays a sport long enough is going to lose their share of games – and sometimes lose badly. Handling these losses is actually a more important lesson than learning to handle wins. A player’s reaction to a loss has a huge impact on their long term success. Here are eight great tips to help your player when the game just doesn’t go their way:
- Focus on their own contribution to the effort and the things they can improve.
- Don’t blame teammates. Blaming teammates is a sure way to create team dissension, which can poison the remainder of a season.
- Learn from the other team. Steal their best ideas and approaches.
- Lose with class. Sportsmanship is easy after a win, but more accurately reflects the person after a loss.
- Don’t blame coaches or officials. Blaming those in authority implies a lack of power on the part of the players. It is important to remember that the coaches and officials weren’t the ones playing the game.
- Ask what they can do to support the team. The more players focus on themselves and the less they focus on the team, the more likely problems will get worse and not better.
- Ask what they can do to support lesser skilled players. By definition, half the players on every team are less talented than the other half. Those players with better skills have a great incentive to see those with lesser skills improve.
- Rally teammates who take the loss harder. On certain teams, positions such as goalie or defensemen may feel they have more responsibility for a loss. Yet every game is a combination of preventing points and getting points.
Losing a game is a chance for players to work on the things they can control while also trying to positively influence the things they do not control. A positive attitude directed toward each gives a player the best chance of turning a loss into a future win.
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Sports Esteem for this great article.