Basketball is a cruel sport to this extent: Unless you are the champion, your season ends with a loss.
If you have watched the NCAA tourney, you have seen the tear-filled, heart-felt disappointment at losing the last game. When you care, whether you win or lose matters. But, basketball tourneys remind us that no one wins all the time. In fact, we frequently fall short.
So, how do you process that last loss?
- You can accept it better if you’ve given a full effort. Losses that result from broken concentration or subpar preparation are harder to take.
- You can accept it better if you learn from the process. Sometimes my setbacks occur because my competition is better. That’s when you have to tip your cap to a job well done, take note of the edge that was apparent and go to work to close the gap.
- You can accept it better when you consider the alternative, which is not playing at all. To be committed to achieving has an advantage that beats watching. It makes your senses acute. It makes your heart sing. It builds your confidence. It makes you hungry for more.
Most of us don’t like losing. But the pain of losing a high-stakes game is nothing compared to the dissatisfaction that comes from not trying.