If There’s a Winner, Then There’s a Loser

Obviously, every team wants to win; however, not every team will win every match they play. It’s disappointing when you put in the hard work, but don’t get the outcome you want. Yet, if teams did not lose then they would never learn their weaknesses, and they would not be able to adapt and change their tactics. It sounds weird to say, but losing actually helps a team to learn and adjust their play. The coach might be able to see something that did not see before, and now they can adjust our tactics for winning.

Whenever your team loses you need to resist the urge to blame outside factors. For example, in field hockey whenever we lose it’s hard not to blame the referees even when they make horrible calls (which seems like it happens often). You may be thinking to yourself, “Is that ref blind?” But that is an outside factor that me as a field hockey player cannot control, so I should not waste my time trying to. It is more important to focus on the game and what the other team is doing. If you get distracted by the referees, the other team can take advantage of that because you are not focused on what they are doing. Another factor that people like to blame is the weather. It can be annoying to play in rain, snow, or hail, but that is not in your control. A good field hockey player (or any athlete) will learn how to play their best no matter what the circumstances. You have to learn to control what you can control and what you cannot. However, you are always in control of your attitude as a player. In addition, you should learn how to encourage your teammate so they are not distracted by uncontrollable factors. Bring one another up, not down.

When our team loses, the first thing we do is to reflect upon the game and what we could have done better. Even if you are standing on the sideline, you too need to reflect because even if you are on the sideline, you still have a part in this lose. It’s a team sport for a reason. Maybe you weren’t encouraging enough or maybe you didn’t push your teammates hard enough in practice. What we want to avoid in that reflection is playing the blame game because at that point we have already lost and they is nothing we can do to change that loss. We focus on the next game and move forward.

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