As a competitor, I’m going to start this off with letting you know how much I absolutely hate losing. I hate it! Standing there after the game, looking at the scoreboard, and watching the other team celebrate is one of the worst feelings in the world. And I’ve experienced this feeling too much recently, as our team (Charlotte Independence) has recorded a dismal 0-4-1 (W-L-T) record over the past month.
“You either win or you learn.”
I read this recently, and as I reflected on it I couldn’t help but apply it to my own life. I used to take losing so hard (it still stings don’t get me wrong) but ever since I saw that quote, I’ve realized there’s something to learn from every loss. Let’s be real, no one person or team is perfect or unbeaten all the time. For proof, even the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team (one of the greatest teams of all time) takes a loss every now and then! But it’s not necessarily the loss that matters, but what we take away from and improve on from that loss.
“Is there anything I can learn or improve on from losing?”
This is a question we must constantly ask ourselves.
Let’s dive a little deeper, what exactly can we learn from losing?
Here are some examples of the questions I ask myself after losses:
“How was my overall energy going into the game? Could I have prepared better?”
“How was my mindset during the game? What can I do better next time to make it stronger?”
“How was my first touch/passing? Could my first touch have been better to set up my next pass?”
“How was my offensive, defensive, and transitional positioning?”
“There is no education like adversity!” (Benjamin Disraeli)
Losing is never fun, but it’s not the end of the world. In fact, setbacks can absolutely make us stronger, better and more resilient.
When you lose a match or even a game in practice, stay constructive and reflect on it to find the lessons. Don’t get discouraged or disappointed in yourself. Let it act as a teacher, preparing you for something even better next play, next game. Resilience is all about facing challenges and overcoming adversity, and then learning from those experiences to improve performance and overall wellbeing.
You can learn something from every day – win or lose – but it’s the losses that really teach us the most if we have a growth mindset.
Practice being a winner, having a growth mindset, and building resilience by finding the lessons in the losses!
#13, Charlotte FC