WINNING is Very Important! But, What Do You Do When You Lose?
One of the things that I have always loved about Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Muay Thai and the martial arts in general is the fact that in competition there is a winner and there is a loser! No man, woman, or child will receive a participation trophy or medal just for showing up.
Some people love winning and that creates in them the unstoppable drive to win at everything they do. Their drive to be the top performer propels them to victory. Others, like myself, absolutely hate to lose! I hate losing so much that it forces me to become a winner. Discovering this motivation took time, and learning how to harness it took even longer, but you must learn to control and direct your motivation to win on the mats and in life.
Now that doesn’t mean that I win all the time. Like most people, you win sometimes and you lose sometimes. If you are like me, you hate the loss and you will spend some time beating yourself up over it and that is not only normal, it’s great! But then, STOP! Now it’s time to learn!
So you lost – what do you do next? First, accept the fact that you lost because of YOU! Don’t sit there and make excuses in your mind and try to justify the loss to yourself and others. Don’t blame the referee, don’t blame an injury, don’t blame the rules, don’t blame anyone or anything, it was you! Once you accept total responsibility that it was you and hold yourself accountable, you can begin to learn.
Second, analyze everything that you did in the match and before the match. Did you train as hard as you could have? How was your diet, did you eat clean, stay away from alcohol, and fuel your body for performance? How was your mindset, did you visualize yourself running through your opponent? Did you fight like you know you should? Like you know you could? Did you go into the fight to play your game and win or were you afraid to lose and took no action. Did you fight well and with all your heart? What mistakes did you make in preparation or the fight?
Now that you have accepted responsibility, analyzed your match, your mistakes, your training, and identified all the holes in your game, you can begin to grow and improve. Some things you will know how to fix and some things you will need help fixing. This is why you have a team, a professor, and a trainer. If you lost because your opponent was more technical than you, go to your professor and work on your weak areas. If you gassed out, talk to a conditioning coach and figure out how you can improve. If you were lazy and didn’t train like you should have, well you know what to change there.
Most people in Jiu-Jitsu or Mixed Martial Arts have heard the saying that “you win or you learn” and that is 100% true! However, it’s not guaranteed that you learn if you lose. You need to accept responsibility for the loss, analyze your mistakes, and put the time in to improve your game and grow.