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2012-366 Day 65 – Losing

This may or may not have anything to do with recent soccer results . . .

There are people who handle losing well and those who do not (alternatively there are also those that handle winning well and those that don’t, but that’s a different issue). I personally believe that I’m pretty good at handling losing, and that’s largely due to the perspective I keep on the activities I participate in. I have played A LOT of games and sports over the course of my life so far, and I know that it is impossible to win them all (especially seeing as I have already lost some of them). By keeping this view of things I can very quickly move my focus to the next game or activity and not dwell on the feeling of loss.

There is one situation where it is more difficult for me to lose with composure, and that is when I feel that I or my team am not being given a fair chance at winning. Whether it is the other team cheating or some deficiency on the part of the officiating (being an umpire myself it takes a build up of bad calls to trigger that reaction in me, I understand how hard it is to call single plays of a bang bang nature), if I have the perception that my side is being denied a chance at a rightful win my blood will get boiling. In fact, the last time I came near to an all out rage was a situation where bad officiating and “liberties” taken by the other teams combined and I was pushed to my breaking point by a final bad call. I stuffed the reaction nearly instantly, but could easily have tipped the other way in the moment. However, since most games that I play are cheat-free and controversy-limited, it has been very few times which that side shows up.

I would imagine that this would be a harder case to make (myself being a good loser) should I participate in activities with higher stakes. I have no problems losing board and card games because you can always just play again later. The sports that I participate in carry no more importance than a yearly championship title, and since the teams get reshuffled every year, there’s basically a reset each season where you get to try again. I’ll admit losing the last game of each season is a little harder, but that’s usually more due to the fact that you have to wait so long to try again (though the one time my team won the last game of the season was really awesome).

One thing that helps me have such a balanced attitude is that in most cases I will have developed a strategy for dealing with whatever game or sport I am currently involved in. Most of the time that strategy will allow me to be competitive enough to be in the position to win should the opportunity present itself, and if that opportunity never arises then at least I was close. I have nearly as much fun on draft days for our sports leagues as the actually games just because I get to setup my strategy for the year. That’s why I read the soccer rules several times before my first game, so I could develop a bit of a strategy going in. Some worked (drilling into my head not to handle the ball if passed to me by my teammates), some have not (baseball style passes to midfield to try and get my forwards a jump, the first one was picked off and I was scored on shortly thereafter. For now, better to maintain possession than try that again).

As for losing with my first foray into the world of soccer, the losses are currently somewhat phantasmal, due to the fact that I’m writing them off to my inexperience. As I get more experience then I can take more responsibility and perhaps feel more connected to them, although I do feel a degree of guilt that my teammates have to endure my learning curve. I suppose then that the secret to losing well is the same as thing that gets you closer to winning: Leave it all on the field.

Weight: 233.4 Max: 240 Min: 233.4 Body Fat %: 24.7
Yearly Mileage: 47.7 miles
Current Belt: Orange – Next Belt: Blue – Next Test Date: 5/12
Fitocracy Level: 14 (22729 points, 3129/3250 to next level) – ID: disciplev1
Soccer – Last Game: L, 7-11 (Record: 0-2) Next Game: 3/11, 9:10 pm

Posted in Matt 2012-366, Matt General. Tagged with , , , .

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