How You Lose Matters More Than How You Win

Strike three, you’re out.  End of the inning.  End of the game.  End of the series.  End of the tournament.  It’s over.  The season that is, but not the lesson; the learning has only just begun.

Today’s Daily Prompt suggests writing about this:

In your own life, what would be the equivalent of a walk-off home run? (For the baseball-averse, that’s a last-minute, back-against-the-wall play that guarantees a dramatic victory.)

I know very little about sports.  Never participated much in them and rarely watch them.  Don’t know much about guarantees either, other than the printed kind that come with electronic gadgets I buy to make coffee, or the ones I hear others giving away for free on commercials.  I do however know about these kinds of things:

Last-minute:     changing my mind suddenly to follow my gut and avoiding catastrophe

Back-against-the-wall:     quitting a job, with no other job in hand, to stay true to my values

Dramatic victory:    giving birth to three children

I also know about clichés and will admit, I like them.  I use them in my writing, despite the experts suggesting they be avoided.  To me, clichés are almost a language in themselves.  One definition of a cliché is ‘something that has become overly familiar or commonplace’.  To me that implies understood by so many such that the phrases can be used between complete strangers, of different backgrounds, with varying intellectual levels.  Or, to use a twist on the cliché, “love is the language of the heart”, “clichés are the language of the commons”.

One of the clichés I am fond of is:

“It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”

I have said this to my children, to staff members, and to friends facing adversity who believe they have lost their game.  Heck, I’ve even said it to myself, standing in front of the mirror, feeling like a loser for not achieving the win I was after in my own life.

But I recently stumbled across a way of expressing those words, unlike anything I’ve ever been able to say to myself or others.  And it’s all said by a coach of an American Little League team from Rhode Island.  He is an excellent example of leading from the sidelines, inspiring his players to offer their best to the game, helping take them to a win and also invigorating them with pride after a loss.  That’s the kind of leadership we need.  On the field, in our companies, on the streets, and in our homes.

Highlights of Coach Dave Belisle’s motivating speech to his team are included in the ABC News clip above.  His full speech is worth a listen to as well.  Just a few minutes of your time could change the way you view your position in the game of life, or even better, also help you change how another person plays their game, regardless of the outcome.  It starts with “hey everybody heads up high” and ends with “okay boys good job”.  Powerful words even on their own.

That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but now we lose and how we’ve changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games.  Losing, in a curious way, is winning.   –   The Bridge Across Forever

Richard Bach, author, seagull admirer, and plane crash survivor


12 thoughts on “How You Lose Matters More Than How You Win

  1. Thank you for posting this. The message about “Back – Against – The -Wall” resonates with me. I am going through a huge transition in my life and finally realizing staying true to myself is the most important thing. Again, thank you for inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your post ,”How you lose matters more than how you win.” I’ve read the coach’s speech. he made the kids feel good who wouldn’t, when you are blessed with a coach who didn’t come down hard on them for losing, instead he praised them for their effort.
    No one wants to lose but if we can forget this part and tell yourself, I’ve done well, may be I’ll do better next time, it’s only a game.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Coach Belisle is from my home state of RI. We’re very proud of him here. A few months after that speech, his wife died. She had been ill for a while but was inspirational, herself, as she continued to support her family in all their endeavors. Her husband is a person who understands what is really important in life and because of that, he is a marvelous role model for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

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