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How To Deal With Losing

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I recently answered a post regarding a parent whose son is struggling with being a very good player on a not-so-very-good team.  Its a problem that all parents have to go through sooner or later...dealing with the pain of losing...

"I'm just wondering if playing on bad teams sucks the life and love out of a player. I personally never wanted to sit and would even play hurt if need be. I played on some very bad teams and some championship teams. Are today's kids different and will not mind riding the pine instead of losing? I guess I just cannot understand the willingness to sit."

With so many competitive travel ball teams (and LL) here in SoCal, I see this situation daily.  One of my best 12yr old players is playing LL and though he is the best player on the team, the team is challenged with lesser-performing players and losing has become a hard pill to swallow for him.  He is not happy, he loves playing the game and for a 12yr old player, he really "gets the game".  However, he is not having the best of times truly because the team is not competitive enough.  There are other kids whose parents have completely pulled their kids out of LL for this reason.

My response to both my player's parents, and to you long as I was playing, it never mattered to me whether we won or lost.  There's much character building in situations such as these.  It's so easy to give up, quit, find another team that wins...but what is that teaching you?  What lessons is it teaching your boys?  Part of this life lesson is the ability to overcome the dread of losing with the joy of PLAYING and learning all you can...including how to maintain character and work ethic in tough situations.  Learning to deal with losing is just, if not more important with learning how to win in my opinion.  

To clarify...some people are so put off from losing, that they actually QUIT the game or team...definitely showing a lack of character.  Some people view losing as a to get over that work make your teammates learn how to FIGHT, BATTLE, COMPETE.[quote][/quote]  The difference in these two examples is the life lessons taught to them by their parents.  So many parents think they can protect their kids by keeping them away from losing situations, but in my opinion, they are hurting their children more than helping them to grow as a fighter, and as a human being.

Losing can suck the life out of your kid only if YOU, the parent, helps suck it out by becoming a "Debbie Downer" right along with him.  Stay positive, focus on what you can control, and take an active role with the team by becoming that leader, not just by performance, but by work ethic, personality, and strong character.  

That makes winners...regardless of the circumstances.

Hope this helps,

Coach Corral


Last Updated ( Friday, April 10 2009 09:28 )