Winning is important. Most of the time it is the goal, but winning is easy.
Losing is hard. No coach or player has ever said after a win,”man than was tough. I just feel horrible after that win. I’m not sure what happened or what to do about it.”
These statements are not made after a win, but they are said after losing. Losing in sports and in life is hard. Extremely hard!
A few years ago I finished my doctorate and was ready to make the move from assistant principal to principal. When I apply for a job, I go all out. I was applying for everything in sight.
My resume and application must have included something good because I was a finalist for 4 jobs in a 6 month span. Unfortunately for me, I could never close the deal. Time after time, I received the call notifying me I was not selected for the position.
This is losing in real life and it is hard. It stinks to get the call and hear they selected the other candidate. Every time I got that call, my confidence was shaken. I questioned my abilities and purpose.
I actually hurt physically after one call in particular when I was certain I was going to get the job. I was losing at something much more important than any game and it was hard to keep trying.
Ironically, it was my experiences in a game, as a player and a coach, that helped me make it through these tough times. Sports helped me learn how to keep going when things get difficult. They taught me how to analyze what went wrong and how to try to fix it.
Looking back, it wasn’t the winning in sports that taught me these lessons as much as it was the losing. Competitors hate to lose and we try everything in our power to prevent it from happening again.
I learned these lessons in a game, but I had to use them when it counted most – in real life.
Losing causes real pain. My stomach would hurt and my spirit was broken, every time I got that call telling me I did not get the job, but I did not give up.
This is why I want my daughters to know how to lose. I don’t want them to like it or accept it, but they must experience it to learn the lessons it teaches. Winning is easy. I want my girls to understand losing is hard, but it is not fatal. Quitting is fatal.