Everyone likes to win. But last night, during the football playoffs, some people on social media needed to get a grip! These are only games people!
Yes, I get intense during those games too, but when time runs out and a winner is declared, it’s time to give it a rest and lose with grace.
What does it mean to lose gracefully? For some of us, this review might help!
1) Remember, it’s only a game. Unless you gambled big on this game, the cost of losing just means our team is out of the playoffs. OK, we don’t like it, but this isn’t hunger games! Put it in perspective.
2) Are your kids watching and observing you when you lose? Don’t forget you are modeling for your kids how to handle losing. They are watching and learning. Hot headed kids usually come from hot headed parents. Think, this is a teaching moment.
3) The shrink is me likes to look at WHY we lost. Last night, horrible defense was the culprit. And personally, I think it is time for a new quarterback. But no on in the Chicago Bears organization is asking my opinion. This is one of those times I have no control over why we lost. In those cases, you have to let it go and not ruminate on what went wrong. When you do have control (e.g., the coach), it helps to look at what could be different next time. We can learn from losses if we use them to review what could change. Failure is a chance to learn.
4) Let off steam during the game but don’t get out of control. When my son was playing soccer in middle school, the parents became so out of control that we were asked to be completely silent for one game. We could only applaud when a child scored a goal. The rest of the game, parents could not comment or talk. It was a little weird, but the parents got the message. Too many were over the top with their yelling and screaming. I’m thinking some of those kids were going to have major daddy issues over the comments yelled at them. Again, it’s only a game and not worth damaging a relationship.
5) Acknowledge the winner. At the end of the 2010 Superbowl, Peyton Manning left the field without shaking the hand of winning quarterback, Drew Brees. Really, Peyton. If you get the chance to do this again in 2014, let’s have a little better attitude. Ok, maybe Peyton was disgusted with himself for the loss, but shake the hand of the opponent and show some respect. Don’t sulk! It’s not becoming.
In the end, losing brings out character–good, bad and the ugly. We’ve got a few more games to go. We can all practice our losing skills because only one team eventually wins! And how we accept loss may be remembered as much as the winning.