Today, I want to continue talking about sportsmanship but in a different light, I want to talk about what it means to lose.
Losing sucks, don’t get me wrong. I hate writing articles about losing games just as much as athletes hate being in them. But we can’t let it get in our heads. If we spend all of our lives thinking about our failures then we are doomed to repeat them, or so the saying goes.
Negativity ruins the effort of everyone who greatly cares about the sport, throwing out blame and thinking that a game is purely unwinnable will only bring down the morale of those around you. And like any athlete can tell you, morale is key.
Morale wins games. Energy wins games. Positivity wins games. Granted, strategy and skill are extremely important, but they mean absolutely nothing if a player doesn’t want to win. It’s like going to class at 9 a.m. on a cloudy day to take your midterm while you are absolutely convinced that you are going to fail. You would be very likely to. But if you are positive about your test (and if you study of course) then you are more likely to succeed.
The same thing applies to sports in every scenario. Even the crowd greatly influences the morale of the players; that’s why I always encourage students to attend homes games and cheer for the Ichabods. We are more likely to win if our players feel like they are going to.
Sports are meant to be enjoyed, not to be grieved over when you lose. Every game is another experience to learn, whether you win or you lose.
This is all just a note as we head towards the end of the fall season, as we get caught up in the last couple games and hashing up the final scores of the season. Don’t lose yourself in the idea that you have to win every game.