When you win a competition, things seem so great. You are on top of the world.
But, if you are serious about the sport, a loss can be very hard to swallow. Indeed we learn more from our losses than we ever could from victories, but only if we choose to. It is really easy to just shrug off a loss and make a bunch of excuses.
We have all heard them:
“He was stronger”
“He was faster and more athletic.”
“He had four stripes.”
“He comes from such and such team.”
The list goes on and on. While I may not like Team L.I, I do like what they refer to this as “BJJ BitchAssNess”. Making excuses does not serve the purpose of getting better; it only makes us accept mediocrity.
So what should we do when swallowing our defeat ?
Admit It, But Don’t Except It !
First we must admit that we were defeated and that on that day our opponent was the better player. This step is most important because it will allow move on to the next steps in our list. Admitting our opponent was better on that day does not mean he or she was inherently better than us. We need to believe that with more training and a new day, we can be the better fighters.
We need to take a good look at everything. We need to think about what factors led to our defeat.
Did we get tired and give up?
Did we get put in an unfamiliar situation that we need to work on?
Did we psych ourselves out and defeat ourselves?
All of these questions need to be answered. We also must watch any video footage we have of our loss and see what improvements we can make. Sometimes we might need to watch the footage over and over again.
Lastly, we must work on our downfalls. Whatever they may be, we must actively seek perfection while knowing it cannot be reached. We must push ourselves harder and smarter than before. Whatever your issue you found while analyzing your performance needs to be addressed.
For many people I know this seems obvious, but most people will not do the aforementioned steps. Most people really do make excuses, but this can be fixed through practice.
What do you do when you lose a tournament that you really wanted to win or podium?