Pardon the use of the somewhat crass, but completely accurate verb in the title. This post follows a weekend of frustration by a team that I follow with great enthusiasm. It’s early in the season and this weekend’s results were preceded by a superb showing a week ago that earned national recognition for the team. However, those early results were counterbalanced as a new group of players have been thrown into the mix so they and the coach have been figuring out each other, and the team dynamics. The good news is there were clear signs of progress throughout the weekend and I believe the future is very optimistic for this team. That doesn’t negate the fact that a full weekend of losing still sucks.
I’m not sure if most people who know me now realize how much I HATE losing. Over the years, I’ve learned how to appear gracious in defeat or even pretend I don’t care because “ïts just a game”. When I was a kid, I did not have those abilities and my frustration with losing was compounded because the teams I played on when I was in grade school generally won a lot. That didn’t last long after I started middle school and the losing, along with other factors, led me to move away from sports. I wasn’t confident or strong enough then to persevere through the losses to build body and mind to get better. Things change though as we get older and while its too late for me to use my four years of NCAA eligibility, I’ve learned enough from friends, colleagues, rivals and family to approach a loss as an opportunity to get better. That has made me a better friend, colleague, rival and family member. The team I watched this weekend is full of veterans that know this lesson better than I do and they will handle the challenge with aggressiveness and grace leading this team to better performance as players and people so in the end, the losses will not overshadow their leadership or the team.
But losing still sucks!