How To Overcome The Big Loss in Sports?

Throughout the course of a season, losses will most likely occur, but this is about The BIG LOSS IN SPORTS.

The loss that ends a season, or a missed opportunity so bad, that it causes the worse type of feeling in sports.

If you are in the game long enough, you’ll experience it.

Really good teams and athletes possess a different mindset. They are so confident, that there is little doubt that they will win!

This type of belief is actually what makes them so successful. So, here are five facts of the big loss and five things to do if you experience it.

Five Facts of The Big Loss

  1. It is a shock that the loss happened, and yes, there is sadness and anger, but the overriding emotion becomes a lack of any feeling.

    The immediate feeling is complete numbness or shock

  2. The BIG LOSS in sports is more mentally and emotionally painful than any physical pain encountered throughout conditioning or an injury. It hits the core self.
  3. “Success has a thousand fathers, failure is an orphan.” When you win, “everybody” will want to be a part of it, from pats on the back to phone-calls and text messages.  However, when you lose, it’s just you.  You’ll then realize who is really there for you. 
  4. The loss may stay with you. There is so much emotion involved, that it actually becomes time-stamped in our memory.
  5. What follows in the days and weeks ahead is part of the grieving process: Denial, anger, depression, and acceptance. It is a healthy, but painful process and there is no executive, speed course.

5 Steps for overcoming the big loss in sports:

  1. Read & Re-read: The Man in the Arena & The Man Who Fights the Bull(below).

    “Bullfight critics ranked in rows

    Crowd the enormous Plaza full

    But only one is there who knows

    And he’s the man who fights the bull.”

    It’s you that put in the hard work, the sacrifice, and the one who played.  Refuse to give anyone else the power of how you’ll feel.

  2. This is how we overcome The Big Loss in sports. Some of those emotions like “letting people down” or “embarrassment” serve no positive feedback. You’ll have to remove that type of mind-garbage as quickly as it arrives.
  3. There is nothing that can be spoken that will ease the pain. The Big Loss although very painful, will not kill you. It is an inconvenience, not a tragedy. What happens is that our inability to move on is what causes the mental strife.
  4. The ball bounces funny sometimes, and usually with great teams and players, it comes down to a hinge moment: One shot, play, or catch that makes all of the difference.
  5. You have to know that “it is okay.” Remember Raisers of the Last Ark and The Last Crusade initial scene “ You lost, and you don’t have to like it”, but there is nothing that you can do about it now, except, move-on.
  6. A larger piece of how we overcome the big loss is your faith and acceptance as a person outside of your sport. It is difficult to accept, but if all you consider yourself is “an athlete”, then how to overcome the Big Loss in Sports is not even the real issue. You have to believe that “you are not only how you play, but you are also so much more.”
  7. Okay, one more….
  8. “People have no idea how many times you have to finish 2nd in order to finish 1st.” – Jack Nicklaus


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

overcome the big loss in sports