How to Bounce Back from a Loss


You are a human, you make mistakes. You can’t win every game.  In fact, if that were possible, you would likely get bored with your soccer since it was not a challenge to you.  There is a simple but effective way to deal with ALL losses, errors, mistakes, etc:

extract the lesson, commit the lesson to memory, forgive yourself, and move forward with confidence.

It is important that you do not repeat your mistakes, so you should note your shortcomings and downfalls. It is counterproductive to live in denial and suppression is almost never long term efficient.  Don’t fall prey to making excuses.  If you play the blame game, you will not learn from your mistakes, or bounce back from losses easily.  Recognize your flaw first and commit it to memory.

After you recognize your mistake and commit it to memory, you must, must, must forgive yourself. Successful people forgive themselves. Unsuccessful people do not.

Now I must draw a distinction here. Many successful people send the seemingly contradictory message- “never accept failure” or something similar to that.

It is important to note that these people are probably referring to not denying reality as we spoke about above. They are also telling you never to quit and to always keep moving forward and striving to get better.  If a rival team beat you in the first meeting of the season, acknowledge your team’s shortcomings. Then, devise a practice plan to improve on those shortcomings. Do not accept that your rival team is better than you.  Work to raise your game and not be defeated next time!

To be successful, you must put mistakes behind you so you can proceed forward toward your goals. You cannot preoccupy yourself with “the last time you tried”. Many athletes and teams have made this mistake of letting another team or individual, “beat them again.”

Also as a soccer player, you have to remember that you are part of a team.  Your attitude, negative or positive, is contagious. If you are looking defeated because you have not forgiven yourself for letting a defender get by you and score, your teammates will lose confidence in you and so will you.  Even if you are not “feeling it”, it is important to show that you have moved on. Move on quickly and exude a positive, can-do attitude to your teammates. 

Professional Soccer player Harry Kane explains: “All goalscorers go on droughts. It is how you cope with that. And it is not just about scoring, it is about what you bring to the team, bringing others into play and getting assists.” Perhaps your scoring isn’t on that day, so you need to focus on being a great passer, or great defender.

Don’t let someone beat you twice. Don’t let a mistake cause another mistake. Recover. Forgive yourself and move forward confidently.

Do not let a mistake or loss end your effort. Do not let it hurt your confidence. It is easier said than done, but necessary to learn.

Remember, successful people make more mistakes than unsuccessful people. You will miss every shot you don’t take. Successful people go for it a lot. Unsuccessful people hide behind fear, excuses and past war stories.