How to Deal With Losing in Sports

By Ty Wright

Winning and losing go hand-in-hand when it comes to sports. ABC's Wide World of Sports described it as "the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat." Great athletes never let the highs get too high, or the lows get too low. The outcome of a match is uncertain. The only thing that is certain is the competition itself. Great athletes love the competition. The outcome is just the result of all the hard work put in.

Congratulate your opponent after a loss. Respect that the opponent put in as much work, or more than you. This shows respect for the opponent and respect for the contest.

Accept the fact that the loss is no one's fault. This is harder to do in an individual sport, but absolutely crucial in a team sport. Don't assign blame to anyone. Don't get down on yourself. If competing in an individual sport, accept that losing is all part of competing and move on.

Examine why you lost the competition. Ask yourself if you did everything possible to prepare for the competition. Ask yourself if you gave it your all during the competition. Analyze any mistakes you might have made. This is crucial if competing in an individual sport. If competing in a team sport, recognize that everyone isn't perfect and examine the loss from the team perspective.

Work harder to get better. Practice more, or practice better. Correct whatever mistakes were made during the match. Get bigger, stronger, faster, smarter and do whatever it takes.

Seek out the support and encouragement of teammates and coaches. Don't allow yourself to think negatively. Avoid negative people. Stay positive and trust in your work ethic.

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