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Are Non-Winners the New Losers?

Do you consider yourself a non-winner or a loser? Are non-winners the new losers? At practice, we were practicing Queen of the Mountain. The winner advances while the loser either stays or drops back a grid, making it an excellent 1v1 drill for any sport. You compete against your opponent—in this case, your teammate—in each exhausting round to see who advances. 

The drill is disliked by all because it is difficult and reveals your identity as a player. However, it improves and sharpens your athletic skills. There is supposed to be a winner and a loser in this drill. Then it happened: one of my coaches said we now call the losers non-winners. Hold on, what? Admittedly, I was taken aback. After all, there are winners and losers on a score sheet. 

What does the term “non-winner” even mean, and why must we now refer to the loser as one? Feeling like the word non-winner was a mouthful, I chose to just continue with calling the non-winner a loser in this drill. I am using tough talk, but that is life. 

Here is why I won’t change my wording from loser to non-winner. 

Acknowledging and Managing Success and Failure

That is life, and yes, I am speaking harshly. But if you battle it out and you don’t win, you lose. That’s it. It’s very simple, and in life, you will deal with both winning and losing. And that’s the key; you have to learn how to deal with both. No one goes through life winning all of the time. Even though it hurts to lose, what matters most is not the loss itself but rather what you decide to do after.

Learning From Your Mistakes

You need to know how to learn from your mistakes or when you lose. Losing is not always bad. While it is true that everyone likes to win, losing can teach us a great deal as well. 

You must understand how to prevail. In academics, business, or sports, you need to understand what it takes to succeed and what winning looks like. 

Dealing With Your Lack of Control

In sports, you can control how you prepare, but there are a lot of things that you can’t control. The game’s outcome is out of your control. Even if you and your team perform flawlessly, you may still fall short. This happens in real life too. 

A non-winner dampens the emotion. Why stifle that emotion? The best things in life do not come easily; they need effort, commitment, fortitude, and persistence. Even after putting in a lot of overtime behind the scenes to reach their current level of success, sports legends still suffer setbacks. For our young, why are we sugarcoating this? Our children ought to understand the value of perseverance and hard work since they will require these traits to succeed in life. Indeed, it hurts to be called a loser, but it also makes you more driven to succeed and handle life’s challenges. It is ok to be comfortable being uncomfortable. 

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About the author: 

Amy Masters is a sports mom, coach, and club administrator. She has been coaching youth sports for more than 10 years. She started Jr Lions Field Hockey, the youth recreation program for the Hunterdon County community growing it from 40 players in year 1 to 150 players by year 3. A few years later, she saw the love and competitiveness grow then started Omega Field Hockey Club serving NJ and PA players. Before coaching, she was a collegiate field hockey player for Lock Haven University. In her spare time (lol), she is head of marketing for iSport360 and the co-editor of the Youth Sports Survival Guide. The Youth Sports Survival Guide is the largest youth sports newsletter in the world. 

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April 25, 2024

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