Monday, October 28, 2013

How to lose graciously

Dallas Aleman | Towpath Tennis Owner | Tennis Guru

Did you know that if you play this game you are going to have to learn how to lose? There is a difference between losing vs. taking a loss and finding a purpose. In order to improve when you're beginning to play tennis, you are going to have to accept so many losses that it seems like there is no end to it.

Nobody says they like losing but you have to be able to enjoy the process, which is more important than a particular win or loss. You have to learn how to overcome the setbacks and see that progress comes over a period of time. You also have to learn how to be a gracious loser and congratulate the winner, while always keeping in mind that there will be another day and another meeting that just might have a different outcome.

So how do you learn to lose and like it?
  • Your losses reveal your true competitiveness. After a loss, are you ready to throw in the towel or get back in the ring? Champions like Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams have short memories of every loss and are ready to return to the arena with a more determined attitude and will.   
  • A loss can reveal your weaknesses (even if you don't want to admit to having any). But this can embolden you to work on those holes in your game and avoid making the same mistakes.
  • A loss can challenge you. You win alone, you lose alone. Take responsibility for the reasons that you lost, and look at how you can change them in the future. 
  • No tears in tennis. You have to go onto the court knowing it's not the end of the world if you lose. The score is only one small measure of the outcome for your effort. 
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  1. Losing can be good for your game! After a long string of losses one year, I learned to relax and enjoy the game itself, not the outcome. As a result, I played better and starting winning again. Now, in a match, I don't get tight if I am losing and it makes it easier to pull out a victory. And if I don't win, I still get to keep my day job!

  2. Thanks for the info Janet and you're absolute right! We don't want to admit it, but we've all been down that road. The problem we see our players run into is the overall attitude of a team, parent or coach, where the pressure to always win makes a loss that much worse. We all want to win, but is a win worth it when you're not having fun?

  3. Winning and losing is the part of the game. Therefore, we must train our mind to accept the things both positive as well as negative. In tennis also due to lack of consistency and lack of game plan, we are facing defeat. So we need to develop our game plan and playing strategy to deal with failure. But first of all, we should learn how to deal with failure. Here this article provides some essential ingredients about how to control behavior after losing a game. Thanks for such a wonderful post.
    Court Surfacing