What Losing Taught My Child This Year


Last night, I watched my child pour his heart and soul into winning his soccer match. I watched him sink into the ground, defeated when they lost in a shootout! (ps. The hardest way to lose!)

Watching it was heartbreaking and gut-wrenching, and I wanted to sink into the ground with him. I tried to run all the “what if” scenarios, replay every tiny detail of the game, analyze how we lost, where I failed his team as the coach, and each play that got us to that loss.

But I couldn’t. No matter how much I wanted to cry with them, I had to hold it together. Because the moment I saw them, completely defeated, I knew what I had to do.

See, my son, and his teammates, learned an invaluable lesson last night. They learned that sometimes you put everything you have into something, and it still doesn’t work out the way you want.

Sometimes you lose.

Sometimes you don’t make the cut, get the grade, or get into the college you want or the promotion or job you deserve.

Sometimes things don’t go the way you fight for them to go. And that’s life.

Watching them, I knew, as their coach, it was my job to make sure that they understood this lesson and comprehended at the age of ten what they had just learned about life (thank you, Ted Lasso – my hero, my idol – if you haven’t watched the series, do it now!).

Sometimes you get knocked down and feel defeated, but you have to pick yourself up.

I was so proud as each child helped pick each other up, literally off the ground, because that is where everyone was, huddled together and chanting their team name.

In that moment, again, they learned an invaluable lesson: when you get knocked down, those around you will be there to help pick you up. That it’s hard to pull yourself up, but you have to do it. You have to accept it and keep moving forward.

These lessons you can’t teach. Your child has to experience them.

Following the devastating loss, the team went to Cici’s Pizza; they laughed, played arcade games, and every single kid left with a smile on their face and every single kid asked to play on the team for the next season. Because they all know that come the fall, they will put it all out on the field again, and this time, maybe we will win.

Disclosure: I wrote this article at 6 am the following morning because I couldn’t sleep, going over all the “what ifs” in my mind and cried. Because, yeah, it hurts. But tomorrow, it will hurt less, and eventually, it will just be a memory that fuels my drive for the next season.


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