Winning the game is great, but is it everything? There are lessons to be learned from a loss
By Travis Armideo
At nearly all levels of athletics—from high school to college to the pros—winning the game is the main objective. However (especially at the youth level), that doesn’t always need to be the case.
Sure, sports are competitive and everybody wants to win; and in many youth leagues across the country, everybody does win (that’s another story). But there may actually be some benefits to losing, particularly for younger athletes.
When it comes to learning life lessons, and growing and developing both as a person and as a player, which is more beneficial: winning or losing? Let’s take a look:
The Pros of Winning the Game
While winning the game may not be everything, it sure is a great ego boost! There’s nothing more valuable than feeling good about yourself, and winning is the easiest way to build self-confidence.
That’s because winning is validating. By winning, you know you did what you were supposed to do, your methods were sound, and you have a blueprint for success moving forward. It keeps you excited and motivated to continue playing—and to continue winning.
And not to mention, winning is the quickest way to make a connection with a sport. Especially one like ice hockey.
The Cons of Winning
So if winning the game is so great, what about the old saying, “winning isn’t everything?” That’s because eventually, winning becomes boring and makes you complacent.
When you become content with how things are, it becomes easier to stop learning. You’re more vulnerable and apt to be going on autopilot, and that’s when bad habits begin to develop.
Constantly winning, or winning early on, could also be detrimental because it may give you a false sense of your own abilities. Just because you’re winning, doesn’t mean you’re the best; and, you may stop striving to be or working as hard.
The Pros of Losing
Sure, at first losing doesn’t feel all that good. But it does build character.
Learning how to deal with loss is one of the most important life lessons, as loss is simply a major part of our life experience. Losing a game isn’t the only time you’ll face defeat, and how you respond and pick yourself back up says a lot about you, both as an athlete and as a person.
Losing also gives you drive and purpose. It makes you want to strive to be better and achieve what you previously couldn’t. Losing also forces you to learn how to evaluate yourself. The only way to make adjustments and improve your game is by looking in the mirror and fixing what doesn’t work. When you’re winning, you tend not to look.
The Cons of Losing
What’s the worst part of losing? Well, that’s pretty simple: Losing!
No one wants to lose because no one wants to feel bad. And losing constantly has the potential to turn you off from a sport for good.
Does winning feel better than losing? Of course it does! Is losing the end of the world? Far from it. Winning the game isn’t everything, and losing doesn’t have to be either.
Winning isn’t everything: while it may feel good to win, losing actually goes a long way to making you a better person. What do you think? Do you learn from your losses?
Travis Armideo is the Lead Marketing Specialist at Gladiator Custom Mouthguards