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The agony of defeat is the opportunity to learn

By: Temarrio Thomas

“You can’t win them all,” these infamous words from Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack ring true to anyone who has competed in anything.

A loss is painful but can prove to be one of the best learning opportunities a student has outside the classroom.

Accept that there must be a winner and a loser.

How someone reacts after a loss is what will help define them as an athlete.

Anyone who has played any form of competitive sports has heard this before.

Winning and losing in any aspect will always evoke a range of emotions in athletes, coaches and parents.

Everyone has experienced an upsetting loss one way or another.

The key to learning from a loss is to take the pain and emotions attached to the loss and readjust yourself.

No athlete likes that feeling and does not want to experience it again.

There’s a lesson to be learned in every situation.

Losing does not equal to failing.

The true test is if an athlete can get up, dust themselves off, and give it another shot.

When I played baseball, my teams were not always sitting atop the league standings.

We won most of our games, but we lost some, of course.

In crushing defeat, we congratulated the other team and shook their hands out of respect.

We learned that the other team did not defeat us; we defeated ourselves.

This meant that we would practice more and train harder than before.

We went back to the basics and found the weaknesses in our game.

We focused on the weaknesses and improve in those areas as we improved our overall game.

My biggest defeat actually happened when I was playing summer league sandlot baseball with my dad.

There was an annual summer tournament, and one particular year, we were set to host the championship game.

Our team made it to the finals and had home field advantage.

We definitely brought our A-game but we did not walk away with the trophy.

Not only did we lose, but we lost on our home turf.

The team’s physical skills didn’t diminish; the opponent just happened to be better in that game.

More satisfaction can be found in someone playing their favorite sport simply for the love of the game rather than the obnoxious jock that has to win at everything.

Even the star player of the number team in your league should know about Mack’s advice, “You can’t win them all.”

About Farhin Lilywala

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