A Loss is a Loss is a Loss

One thing that really stuck with me from the lecture given by Tracy on Thursday was the focus on sports psychology. I have always been fascinated with the idea of psychology in sports because as an athlete I know that I often think or behave irrationally in sports, yet do it anyway. For instance, Saturday night my team suffered a loss in which we played well as a team and executed our game plan well; however, our shots didn’t fall and the other team’s did. They held on at the end and we ended up with a big fat Loss. It is interesting to me because rationally I know I shouldn’t be that upset about one game. One loss. One forty minute period of my life. However, as an athlete there is so much more emotionally locked up in that “one game.” One game resembles everything you work for and work at, not only as an athlete but as a person. Sports are such a metaphor for life and competing as a collegiate athlete has taught me that the psychology in sports is extremely applicable to the psychology in life.

The loss sticks with you so badly as an athlete because of the investment of time and energy and love. The loss is as public way of announcing a failure. A failure where you may have even sometimes outperformed your opponent, but a failure nonetheless. Such is life. The psychology in sports that is often most trying for me as an athlete is sometimes knowing you outwork or outperform your opponent and you have nothing to show for it. No trophy, no championship, no glowing accolades of a “winner.” Yet, this is life. Competing as an athlete will demonstrate this to you time and time again. Sometimes the game isn’t fair. Sometimes life isn’t fair. This is what is most difficult to grapple with.

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4 Responses to A Loss is a Loss is a Loss

  1. I think that sports psychology is a critical aspect of competition and working out. Every sport from running to basketball to tennis involves mental focus. Unfortunately psychology is often overlooked as an important or necessary part of exercise. It is sorely lacking in high school sports, which is stupid because that is the point where talented athletes are really working to excel and developing their own performance zone. Depending on how you approach loss psychologically, it can mean improvement, demise, or stagnancy in your game. I prefer to confront loss with curiosity and positive energy and then manipulate it to help me become better for my next try.

  2. I completely agree with this. I get irrationally depressed after every loss, and being on a team that is extremely talented but just can’t seem to get a win, just makes it worse. With the losses piling up, and everyone assuming that our team is somewhat of a joke, I get more and more frustrated. It’s a tough situation because you don’t want to be so emotionally drained and dependent on games, but at the same time it seems the only way to not be so effected is to care less, and in caring less you lose passion for the sport, which can be just as devastating.

  3. striva says:

    Hey, thanks for saying all of this. I, too, believe the mind and soul are intertwined with our bodies in ways we cannot ever fully comprehend. But this connection is something that certainly deserves our acceptance–it is something that we should consistently recognize, appreciate, and Let Be. I don’t think I will ever understand the extent that my body is a part of my soul’s existence, of my mind’s ideas, but that is totally okay by me. I will let mind, body, soul interact and be thankful that they do.

  4. tunesquad says:

    I agree with you totally. I am very interested in sports psychology and how to deal with it. As an athlete I know that all my comptetion is working as hard or harder than me, so the only way to have an edge is the mental game, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. I am a firm believer that a good athlete becomes a great athlete when they can take that loss and improve from it without getting too down on it.

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