For those of you who haven’t seen Batman Begins, little Bruce Wayne falls down an old well (and discovers he’s terribly afraid of bats flying at his face). After his dad hauls him out, he comforts Future Batman by asking, “Why do we fall?” Answer: to learn to get back up.
My home team, the Psych Ward Sirens, lost their April 20th bout against fellow home team, the Bayou City Bosses. It was a great game with good plays on both sides. Ultimately, the Bosses came out ahead. This was the Sirens’ first loss in a long time.
At our next practice, the captains took some time to let us vent and reflect on the game. While many of us were understandably frustrated, none of us blamed another teammate for the loss. The majority named things they would have changed in their own game play, certain skills they wanted to work on, etc. We went around in a circle, each player taking a minute to voice her opinion until it came around to a member of our bench coach team, Drrty Sanchez. He reminded us that it’s okay to lose as long as we learn something from it.
Think back to the last time your team lost. I’ve already covered how to lose with grace, but let’s talk about what happens after you lose. What are you, as an individual or as a team, learning from each loss? There are a few questions you need to answer in order to move on.
- What went wrong? It could be that your team is lacking somewhere. Narrow down what cost you the game. Notice I said what cost you the game and not who. Never blame a loss on a player. She is one part of a whole. Part of our Sirens’ chant is together we stand, together we fall. You are a team. You win as a team, and you lose as a team. While you may have a star player or two, it takes an entire team to get somewhere.
- How can you improve? Whether it’s developing new strategies or improving endurance, figure out how to fix what went wrong in the last bout.
- What are your individual goals? Yes, you win and lose as a team, but you also need to be doing things on your own to be a better team player. Declare to your team where you as a player fell short and what you are going to do to improve before the next game.
One loss does not mean the end for you or your team. You’ve begun your derby journey, and you had a fall. Now it’s time to return and rise.
Shout out to my teammate Maul McCartney for making this sweet graphic.