Victory feels so good, yet losing feels like agony. As expected, the winner experiences many emotions in different intensities e.g. confident, superior, satisfied, humble, empathy for the loser, happy, relaxed. Similarly, the loser experiences an array of feelings from distraught, depressed, anger, resentful, anxious, sad, like a failure, cheated and even sometimes success. Sports competitions can come with many powerfully emotional experiences from massive high of victory, and the agony of defeat. However, in life, we sometimes have to lose to know how good it feels to win. We have to experiences lows to be able to enjoy the highs.
We all like to win. Results of victory usually make us feel good. Although sometimes, we learn a lot more from defeat rather than victory. Our perception to the defeat is what is key. Do we allow it to crumble? or do we use it as a motivator to say, "next time, I am going to be the winner". Its important for people to learn from defeat, deal with the emotions that come with it, not pointing the finger, find ways of improving, and look at the positives and how you can build on them.
How can we channel the energy in the right way?. Do we want our players/team-mates to have bounce back ability or do we want to kick them when they are down? What is helpful and what is not? What can we do, each and every one of us, to make a comfortable environment for players/team-mates to be themselves and play to the best of their ability. To play relaxed and to play free.
Pride - "I am proud of you - not only for your talent but your effort, your desire, your attitude and hardwork" If a player has all of these qualities, I believe they are winners. By having the ability to make players feel good, then in my eyes, you are also a winner. If you have the ability to make a person play to their strengths, play to the best of your ability, and having a calming influence, you are a winner.
We all want to win, there is no doubt about it. And so you should. Having pride in your performance, and believing that you should be other there on the pitch, and competing to the best of your ability are reasons that we enjoy the sport. Believe that you are good whether its in a winning or a losing situation, whilst learning from mistakes. Sometimes teams lose games with a dodgy goal, or unlucky bounce but that is football. Would we play if it was predictable? Sometimes the best team doesnt
win, and sometimes the luck doesnt always fall to the best players.
Defeat gives us the chance to learn - learn about ways to improve, learn about others emotional responses, learn who is calm in defeat, learn who takes defeat personally. and finally learn from the winners. What do they do that you would like to be able to do? Instead of having rage against the winners, embrace their strengths, and be in awe of excellence. Use this as your motivation, "I will become better than you".
What did you do today to make you feel proud? Use that and believe that you are a winner!!!
What did you do well in the game to make you feel proud? Use that and believe that you are a winner!!!
A winner is someone who will take defeat and turn it around.
Tracy Donachie, MSc in Performance Psychology.