Our losses in sports or martial arts become life lessons

Our losses in sports or martial arts become life lessons

Our losses in sports or martial arts become life lessons

Our losses in sports or martial arts become life lessons Everyone loses at some time in sports or martial arts. I lose, you lose, we are all losers at one time or another.  In martial arts, especially in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), we are taught that the only one who never loses is the one who never fights. It is hard to know the true joy of winning if you haven’t lost first. The truth is, that no matter how terrible, excruciating, heart breaking, or life changing, a loss is, it can be a good thing. I often find my competition team students learn more from a loss than a win. Losing can be a good thing as long as you know how to use it to your advantage.

How can I help my child?

Parents can help their children, young or in their teens, see the benefits of playing a sport or martial art and winning and losing. A side benefit can be them learning to manage time by getting their homework done quickly so they can attend practice/class or games.and setting personal goals. Your kids can also develop healthy exercise habits that they do for the rest their lives. Losing also opens the door for character development. One of the best things I like to do after a loss is to first ask the team what they learned from the loss. What could they have done differently? Is there anything we need to improve on to be better next time? Allow them to evaluate the loss. Teach them it’s OK to lose and to make mistakes. Improvement will only come from trial and error. Practice makes perfect.

Strategies for dealing with losing

Let’s be honest. Losing sucks. It’s never fun or easy. Forming a strategy that can help your deal with losses positively will be helpful. How do you do that? Here are some examples

  • Encourage your child to set personal and team goals. I make all my students give me goals before the year starts and then I evaluate those goals at the end of the year. It’s a great way to show people how much progress they made that year.
  • If your child loses, let them decide how much they want to talk about it right away. Sometimes, giving them the space they need and talking about it later will be more effective
  • Never disrespect your child’s coach, in private or public, in front of them. If you don’t show them respect, your child won’t either and they won’t learn from him.
  • Be sure your child hears a positive voice when everything seems to go wrong. Only hearing criticism all the time will make them hate what they are doing.

Lessons Aren’t Just for your kids

Loses also present a lesson to learn for the parents too. As adults,we should ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Why is winning so important to us?
  • Am I bringing my past personal athletic success or failure into my teens’ experience?
  • Is too much pressure being put on my child from me or my spouse

Pressure can lead to quitting and that is the last thing we want to teach our kids. Once we allow them to start quitting, they will quit everything. One of my favorite quote is from the great football coach Vince Lombardi and it goes “it’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”  Approach a loss with that attitude and it will make you invincible.