Getting Over Losing

Posted: April 25, 2017 in Coaching, Opinion, Sports
Tags:

We had a tough loss in our state district tournament a couple months ago, and the other day somebody asked me how long it takes to get over a loss like that. The answer?

Never. You never get over it. Not really.

Ask any coach or player in any sport and they’ll say the same thing, if they’re a true competitor. I remember the very first year I coached, and it was Junior High basketball. We lost a tough game early on, as as I looked back at the team from the front of the bus most of them were quietly chatting, smiling and having casual conversations. However, there were a couple who were sitting by themselves, a serious look on their faces, just staring out the bus windows.

Guess which two players ended up being the best high school players? You guessed it.

Nearly every kid I’ve ever coached has loved to win, but the best players I ever coached hated to lose. There’s a big difference.

I coached in a very successful program early in my coaching career, and we lost in the regional final game. One of our players missed a shot at the buzzer to win the game, and it haunts him to this day. He told me it still crosses his mind more than anyone would imagine.

Back in 1993 I had one of the best teams in Ohio, and at one point we were ranked #2 in the state. We lost a key player a little over halfway through the season, were never quite the same, and ended up losing our very first game of the tournament. It doesn’t bother me as much as it used to, but although it happened over two decades ago I still think about it probably once a week, just going over in my head what I could have done differently.

Trust me, coaches and players are much harder on themselves than any fan could ever be.

That game we lost back in early March? I’ll never watch the game film. Too painful. Same for that game 24-years ago. Won’t watch it, can’t watch it.

Listen, I know some people won’t understand, they’ll say it’s just a game, not life and death, and they’re right. As I’ve said before, ultimately coaching and playing sports is about relationships and not wins and losses.

But that doesn’t make losing any easier. In fact, being close to your players makes it harder.

Losing? We learn to live with it, but we never, ever get over it.

Advertisements

Gimme a holler.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s