Life / Sports / July 6, 2013

The importance of losing

From my weekly article at

photo credit: United States Marine Corps Official Page via photopin cc

I played on a lot of bad teams growing up. My first park district baseball team was part of Minneapolis’s “Cops for Kids” program. We played at the dirt field Elliot Park in the shadow of downtown, and our team was comprised mostly of kids who had never played ball before and barely knew which end of the bat to hold. That was the year I learned what the “mercy rule” meant. My High school football team won 3 games in my two years on varsity and in one memorable homecoming game managed to turn the ball over thirteen—that’s right thirteen—times. On top of all that, I have three older brothers and a rather competitive dad, so I lost and lost again. 

Losing isn’t easy whether you are competitive like me or simply care deeply about what you are doing. It’s not fun despite what little league coaches try to sell. (“We’re just out here having fun. Right, kids?” Wrong, not if we’re losing all the time.) Few of us are good at losing, nor should we aspire to that. But we can learn from our losses.

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Losing is important because it’s inevitable. If we never learn to lose in small things we will be crushed by losing in the big ones, and there will be big ones.  

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Read the full article HERE.

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