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Learning How to Lose


It may come as a shock to some youth sports parents, but sooner or later your child is going to be on the losing team. It doesn’t matter what happened or whose fault it is (it’s no one fault by the way); your child’s team didn’t come out on top. What do you do? Do you blame the coach? The officials? Your child’s teammates? Here’s a crazy idea—don’t blame anybody! While no one likes to lose, it’s only a 50-50 chance every time you child has a game that their team will win. Learning how to lose is actually an incredibly important life skill that youth sports can teach our kids. (And sometimes parents need a little refresher.)

This won’t be the only time things don’t go their way.

There is a lot of life ahead of your 8 year old soccer player. Losing a few games here and there isn’t going to be the only time things don’t go their way and it’s important that children learn what to do after they don’t come out on top. You need to know how to move on after a loss and not let it hold you back. Do you look for someone to blame? Do you pretend like you didn’t care? Do you quit?Learning How to Lose

Of course no one likes to lose, but it’s a fact of life that sometimes things don’t go your way or turn out the way you planned. The real lesson is learning what you do after a loss. Do you learn from the experience and keep at it? Does losing push you to work a little harder? Or do you give up when it gets hard and call it quits? This lesson doesn’t just apply to youth sports either, but learning to deal with losing now will stick with a kid throughout their schooling and into their professional career.

In the end it’s just a game.

Too often sports parents are the one’s putting all the pressure on their kids to win. There is nothing wrong with wanting to win, and a little healthy competition is great motivation, but you have to remember that at the end of the day this is a youth sports league, not a life or death situation. Sometimes you are going to give it your all and still fall a little short, but that’s what youth sports is for! It’s about learning and growing and improving with time, taking pride in the progress you make as you make it. Belonging to a youth sports team should be fun for the players! If you can’t learn how to shake off a loss when it doesn’t really matter, how can we possible expect our kids to bounce back from serious disappointment?


Another wonderful article! This past season we had parents on our team who were stressing winning over having fun. Those families will no longer be on our team as we (the coaches) have decided to focus more this coming season on developing the kids and having fun. I'm looking forward to it. Thank you for the great article!
Posted @ Thursday, July 05, 2012 9:35 AM by Bryan Devore
Excellent article. I'm sure you are familiar with the american verse: "For when the one great scorer comes to write against your name, he writes not whether you won or lost but how you played the game."  
I found this written in elaborate graphics, framed and hung on the wall of my parents' bedroom - feel free to share it '
Posted @ Thursday, July 12, 2012 3:06 AM by paul smith
Sorry I mispelt great sportsmanship in my email address & web address - shoul dbe & web
Posted @ Thursday, July 12, 2012 9:11 AM by paul smith
"Here’s a crazy idea—don’t blame anybody! While no one likes to lose, it’s only a 50-50 chance every time you child has a game that their team will win." 
Good article with decent sentiments. I do take a bit of issue with the above, perhaps it's just the emphasis. It's right that no one is to blame, that doesn't mean the loser doesn't take responsibility for the loss. That perhaps seems a bit brutal, all it means is you learn from the loss and work to eradicate whatever was at the root of the loss. Saying it's 50/50 is frankly absurd - it would mean it's not sport, simply a game of chance and surely we all accept that the team that works hardest in all aspects of their sport will ultimately triumph, otherwise what's the point?
Posted @ Thursday, July 12, 2012 9:45 AM by Mainser
@Mainser - There is a big difference between looking for someone else to blame and learning how to take responsability for your own actions. Sometimes parents, players and coaches aren't willing to admit they made a mistake, so it's a lot easier to place the blame on someone else. Part of playing youth sports is learning to admit where you went wrong and then figuring out what you can do to grow from it.  
And you're right that sports is not just a game of chance. Obviously the team that practices harder and pushes themselves is much more likely to win over the team that isn't committed, but even the best teams have "off" days or a key play doesn't go their way. When two teams are evenly matched sometimes the smallest things are what make the difference.  
Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!
Posted @ Thursday, July 12, 2012 10:52 AM by Jodi Murphy
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