“My favorite part about losing is that it gives us a focus on our passion.”
We’re coming into the toughest part of the season so I really recommend that you take a few minutes (seven, to be precise) and watch this video. It’s from Natalie Dell’s Ted Talk at Penn State a couple months ago. Losing, as much as it sucks, is an important part of competing and it’s also an important part of winning. It’s something you have to (and inevitably will) experience in order to appreciate the races where your bow is the first to cross the line.
There’s something to learn and takeaway from every loss so don’t waste that opportunity by solely focusing on the fact that you didn’t win. It might take a few days, weeks, or months before you can sit down and analyze what happened (and that’s OK) but in order to improve as an athlete, it’s something you’ve gotta do. And like she says in the video, you can win a race without coming in first. If it’s the first time your team has medaled in that event, a PR for your crew, etc., that’s a win. Some wins come with tangible rewards but the majority are mental, emotional, and psychological – sure, the tangible ones are easier to display but most of the time it’s the rewards you can’t see that keep you coming back for more.