It may come as a shock to some youth sports parents, but sooner or later your child is going to be on the losing team. It doesn’t matter what happened or whose fault it is (it’s no one fault by the way); your child’s team didn’t come out on top. What do you do? Do you blame the coach? The officials? Your child’s teammates? Here’s a crazy idea—don’t blame anybody! While no one likes to lose, it’s only a 50-50 chance every time you child has a game that their team will win. Learning how to lose is actually an incredibly important life skill that youth sports can teach our kids. (And sometimes parents need a little refresher.)
This won’t be the only time things don’t go their way.
There is a lot of life ahead of your 8 year old soccer player. Losing a few games here and there isn’t going to be the only time things don’t go their way and it’s important that children learn what to do after they don’t come out on top. You need to know how to move on after a loss and not let it hold you back. Do you look for someone to blame? Do you pretend like you didn’t care? Do you quit?
Of course no one likes to lose, but it’s a fact of life that sometimes things don’t go your way or turn out the way you planned. The real lesson is learning what you do after a loss. Do you learn from the experience and keep at it? Does losing push you to work a little harder? Or do you give up when it gets hard and call it quits? This lesson doesn’t just apply to youth sports either, but learning to deal with losing now will stick with a kid throughout their schooling and into their professional career.
In the end it’s just a game.
Too often sports parents are the one’s putting all the pressure on their kids to win. There is nothing wrong with wanting to win, and a little healthy competition is great motivation, but you have to remember that at the end of the day this is a youth sports league, not a life or death situation. Sometimes you are going to give it your all and still fall a little short, but that’s what youth sports is for! It’s about learning and growing and improving with time, taking pride in the progress you make as you make it. Belonging to a youth sports team should be fun for the players! If you can’t learn how to shake off a loss when it doesn’t really matter, how can we possible expect our kids to bounce back from serious disappointment?