Get our exclusive report. Download the iSport360 Club Switching Report Here – For Club Admins, Rec Leaders and Coaches.

Why did you lose? Tips on how you can learn from a loss

Losing, like any other setback or failure, should be looked at as a learning experience and a way to grow and improve.  The best thing you can do is learn from a loss.

As Coach K has said, ‘You can’t win every game… but you can learn from every game.’

That is obviously easier said than done… and certainly easier swallowed when you win a lot more than you lose.  It’s tough when you have to learn from a lot of games (especially in a row).

But it is imperative nonetheless.

What you learn from every loss can be used as a stepping stone for future victory.  

However, in order to learn from it… you must honestly and accurately identify why you lost.  

In my opinion, there are 4 primary reasons you lose a game:

  1. You weren’t as talented. You played hard, played smart, played together and even played well – the other team was simply better. That’s life.
  2. You didn’t execute. You played hard, but you didn’t necessarily play smart or play together. You didn’t make the plays you needed to make to win.
  3. You didn’t shoot well. Some nights the ball just doesn’t go in the basket. You took good, high percentage shots, but the hoop had a lid on it. It just wasn’t your night.
  4. You played with less effort. The other team simply outworked you. They got the 50/50 balls. They beat you in transition. They didn’t let you get second shots.

Determining which of these reasons is why you lost is the most important factor when deciding how to handle it and how to bounce back.

While the loss will still sting, if you lost for reasons #1-3, it is understandable. It happens. It’s part of the game.

However, there is never an excuse for letting another team out work you.  That is absolutely unacceptable. If you lose a game, or worse, multiple games… from lack of effort… something needs to change and change fast.

And I hope you noticed I didn’t list referees as a reason for losing. While missed or incorrect calls at the end of the game are an easy scapegoat, you win and you lose based on what you did on both ends of the court for the first 31 minutes.

Play hard. Play smart. Play together… and learn from every loss.

Alan Stein

Hardwood Hustle Blog

Read more by Alan Stein at

Learn more or request a demo of our youth sports software that is helping teams improve communication, organization and player development.

March 28, 2021

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

youth lacrosse