Valuable Life Lessons Losing in Sports Can Teach Your Child
One of the great advantages of getting your children involved in sports is that game dynamics can teach them so much about the harsh realities of life. For instance, losing in competitions is inevitable.
Losing is often perceived negatively by young children. It is seen as a discouraging situation. However, in the right environment or conditions, such as a sporting competition, children learn that losing is not just a matter of being beaten by an opponent; it means so much more.
Such instances offer valuable life lessons for children, and everyone else as well.
Four are discussed below.
1. Value of continuous learning
Even if the young ones had undergone years of tennis lessons under the best coaches, it can take a painfully long time before they snag a win in an important event. Therefore, they should always work on improving themselves.
Loss usually signifies that there’s still room for improvement.
It’s the same thing in other aspects of life, such as schooling and social relationships. Young kids will come to understand that “learning and applying” should be continuous to develop muscle memory and to grow with confidence in the pursuit of success. With this kind of attitude, victory is sure to come eventually.
2. Fortitude and resilience
Losing is never the end. This is a fact.
Some people like to call it “the setback that paves the way for a strong comeback.”
Children can become quite resilient with the help of sports. They learn that after losing in a competition, the following day, they can go back to their training routine and look forward to the next competition. They need to keep standing no matter how many times they get beaten.
This lesson is particularly important especially in school where some kids get so fixated on getting perfect marks that they beat themselves up when they do not get a hundred percent in the exams.
Children involved in sports do not stay in a frustrated mode for long. They jump back into action to achieve their established goals in the different areas of their life, including in the next sporting event.
3. Perseverance trumps “failure”
This is a very important lesson for children to learn – a loss does not always mean they were not good enough, but they do need to keep trying for a win.
Most of the time, other variables are to blame. Say, for example, the limited time for a game. If a game was extended for five minutes longer, or if someone had not been injured, the outcome could have been different. There are so many things that can happen in one event, most of them unexpected.
The bottom line is that some things are simply beyond one’s control. Thus, it does not make sense to ever consider oneself a failure.
Losing in sports teaches that nobody is a failure until they actually cease trying. People who continue to put in the work and give every try all the “oomph” they can give do not fail. They just wait for their triumph to finally come.
And during the wait, they can be proud of themselves because they are making a conscious effort to keep going despite a previous outcome that wasn’t to their liking.
4. Inspiration to play smarter
A great example of this particular sports lesson is how Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors emerged as one of the best basketball players of all time.
As skilled as he was, he knew that at 1.9 meters (which is considered small in the NBA), it would be difficult to fight for the ball and shoot under the net, which was what most basketball players are wont to do.
He knew the method was not going to work beneficially for him and so he decided to hone his long shots even more.
The realization that some methods do not work is important, and great minds refuse to let losses or mistakes discourage them. Instead, they use losses to become better. Thomas Alva Edison, refused to admit defeat, saying: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Losing shows you that there are methods and strategies that do not work; instead, give up those strategies and try something else until you find the one that does. When kids learn to establish what does not work, they see losing as a stepping stone for achieving their other goals, including doing well in school, taking up other hobbies or making new friends.
Indeed, losing is a wonderful teacher.
It comes with all kinds of realizations and understanding, as painful as they may often be. However, when young children learn to deal with losing, especially in sports, they develop a healthy perspective of situations. Losing, for them, is never a reason to quit. Instead, it is motivation to keep moving forward and working hard until victory is in their hands.
Possessing more than two decades of experience in the leisure and hospitality industry, Tony Kouris joined Zayed Sports City as General Manager in January 2018. With extensive career experience, a value on interpersonal relationships, and strong negotiating experience, he is positioned to support Zayed Sports City’s strategic growth and continue to innovate the site as an internationally recognised sport and entertainment destination.