How To Get Over A Devastating Loss In Sport
From 2000 to 2004 my team had to play the same powerhouse team in the finals.
And every year, we LOST.
In 2005, we entered the finals optimistically: “It’s going to be
our year!” we proclaimed.
But our hopes were dashed AGAIN when we lost two games straight.
It was enough to kill our sports motivation completely.
There was, however, an important wrinkle to this competition: if we won our next game–against a different team–we could still earn a birth into the National Championships.
We had exactly 45 minutes to re-group.
At this moment that my body took over and instinctively prepared me for this next game.
Upon entering our dressing room, all the wretched disappointment
inside me over losing for four years came bursting forth.
I sobbed bitterly, and couldn’t stop.
Images of old losses flashed before my eyes, and I sobbed some
more. At one point, I went to the bathroom and put my head under
the dryer so my teammates didn’t have to listen to me.
Three minutes before our next game, our goaltender (who knows me really well), calmly handed me my helmet.
She looked me squarely in the eye. “You have three minutes,” she
I put my helmet on. Suddenly, I was filled with energy. My mental
strength was BACK.
We won, and to this day, my team insists it was one of the best
games of my career.
How To Heal Yourself From A Devastating Loss In Sport
Healing yourself means letting yourself experience your
disappointment when you lose.
It’s the same thing you did when you were 9 years old.
Your body knows how to heal itself. You just need to let it.
It’s one of those sports psychology secrets nobody tells you.
Instead, your Dad, your coach, and your teammates will try to cheer
They’ll say things like, “Don’t worry, it wasn’t your fault.”
Or they’ll try to get you to focus on the next competition right
The problem with this approach to sport psychology is that you stuff down your
You try not to think about it.
But it eats away at you.
You start to doubt yourself, and you lose your motivation.
“Why bother?” you think to yourself.
Of course you should draw the lesson out of the loss.
But you can’t even think about that until you’re over the
Oh, and another thing: if you stuff down your disappointment too
many times, you’ll end up choking.
Your body will CREATE a loss just so you can cry a little.
If you’re too cool for school, and think you’re above feeling
disappointed, I beg you to consider you may be wrong.
So do yourself a favour and let yourself heal.
You don’t need to do it in public the way I did.
In fact, it’s better if you do it alone.
Then you’ll feel more free.
Once you’re done that, figure out what you did wrong out
there…and do a better job.
And if you more mental toughness and to start winning in sport, go here for sports psychology and mental toughness tips.
Light it up out there,