How Do You Handle The Heartache Of A Season-Ending Loss?
Even after finishing 2nd in the state, the kids were really down after the game. And like us, many coaching staffs have to face many tearful faces in the locker room at the end of a season.
So what do you do? What do you say? Here are some ideas:
- Teach life lessons. Up until the very end of the year, it's very important to continuously teach life lessons. You can emphasize
all the core values (honesty, teamwork, hard work, etc.) that talked about throughout the
year and possibly give them quotes to back them up. It'd be nice to have some quotes ready for a loss and for a win.
Here are some great quotes for perseverance:
"The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges."
"Why do we fall? -- So we can learn to pick ourselves up."
- Batman Begins
"The only real failure in life is one not learned from."
- Anthony J. D'Angelo
"When you are down on your back, if you can look up, you can get up."
- Les Brown
"In order to succeed, you must first be willing to fail."
"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
- Henry Ford
"When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
"Fall seven times, stand up eight."
- Japanese Proverb
"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did."
- Newt Gingrich
"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."
- Albert Einstein
"Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go."
- William Feather
- Tell them you are proud of them. Most teams pour their heart into the final few weeks of the season. The great ones pour their heart into their entire career. Either way, you should tell them that you are proud of them.
- Focus on the good qualities of the players. Most likely, each kid that is still in your program has some good qualities as a person. You should tell each player about their good qualities whether it is in front of the team or individually.
- Tell them that you love them. Our head coach was always great at reinforcing that we love each other on and off of the court. Showing support and love for people helps them get through tough moments.
- Focus on good things that happened during the season. We were fortunate, because we ended the season 23-2 which was a school record and we got 2nd in the state. Even if you don't have a great season, there are certainly highlights that happened during the season that you can talk about.
- Be there for them. Tell the kids that you're there for them and that if they ever need anything, they need to let you know.
- Put things in perspective. Even though the loss is tough, you need to let the kids know that worse things happen in life. We're very fortunate to be able to play a game that we love. And we need to realize that in relation to things like the Japanese earthquake, this is very minor.
What are some things that you have done to help the kids get over a season-ending loss? Please add your input.