We have all heard the term “sore loser”. But what creates a sore loser? Well, probably never being told that losing is not the worst thing that could happen. When our children, and even ourselves, play sports, it is important that we lose every now and again. Why? Because losing has a lot to teach us. Many times we want our children to be the best, but do we want them only to be the best athlete, or do we want them to be the best people? In this age of “everyone gets a trophy,” we can prepare our children to be well-rounded adults by helping them learn the valuable lessons that winning and losing can teach them.
Losing Builds Character
This sentiment is not a new one. It is often something we say to console a disappointed athlete after a lost game. But there is a lot of truth in these three words that are worth re-exploring. Losing gives anyone a chance to identify mistakes and growth areas and then begin to target them. It can show them where they need to improve. This improvement process will instill humility within your child, and even yourself! Humility is one of the most important character traits that your child can learn.
Losing Makes a Better Winner
Sometimes the worst winners are the ones who have never lost. This is often because they do not have the empathy that is needed to treat the losing team with respect. Someone who has lost a game before will know what it feels like to be in that position and be able to handle a win with more grace and less taunting. Children need these chances to respect their peers and learn how to not only lose gracefully but win gracefully. So instead of teasing the losing team, they can help them learn from their mistakes and push them to become better.
Losing Sets Up For Success
If we prepare our children to face the world with a “you deserve to win” attitude, we are not setting them up for success. This is why it is important that we involve our children in competitive sports that they have the opportunity to experience defeat. Resilience is not an inherent trait, it is forged in the fires of mistakes and setbacks that losing and coming up short can create. Losing a sporting event and then needing to reassess and work harder next time instills hard work and determination in children that they will benefit from their entire life.
Winning is great and we should encourage our children to strive for it and work hard but if they lose, it gives us even more opportunities to teach them about life and building strong character. Humility needs to be learned, resilience forged, and compassion taught and losing a sport can help you teach all three; all the while helping you raise a better human.