It happens to the best. Whether it’s the championship grappling match for six-year old kids or for the UFC Heavyweight Championship of the world; someone is going to walk away as the loser. What is yet to be seen is how that moment affects that person. Losing is an important part of our growth as athletes. How we react to it, says a lot about how far we will go.
“The ref cost me the match.” “He poked me in the eye.” “Outside circumstances were affecting me during the bout.” All these are excuses that fighters can use to deflect the pain of losing. While it’s easy to point the finger somewhere else that behavior will only make things worse over time. As an athlete, it’s imperative that you first look within yourself to find the answer to key questions. “What didn’t you do correctly?” “Did you stick to the game plan?” “Are you training correctly?” “Can you eat better and treat your body right during training?” We should all look within for the answers to the questions because when it comes down to it, only we can determine how far we do or do not go during our time competing.
Losing an important match can be a blessing in disguise. This opportunity can help you change how you train or how you approach everything that you do. I know of individuals who have used losing out on their moment as inspiration to reach greatness. One of the most famous examples is of NBA great and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, who was cut from his high school basketball team but uses that failure to go on and become one of the greatest players of all time. How would you respond to such a lost?
The next time that you suffer a defeat, use it. Take your time of grief and anguish, but don’t let it consume you. Instead, rebuild. Look at what you could be doing better. Study the tape. Seek out advice. Do whatever you can to use this moment as an opportunity to get better, rather than one that holds you back. Losing isn’t the end of the world unless you allow it to be. Take this moment and not only make it a learning lesson, but make it into a champion’s lesson.
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