This was a quote I came across yesterday, and I could not agree more with the message. Young athletes all the way to pro athletes need to follow this quote. I am a believer in you play the game, match, contest until the end as hard as you can, no matter what the score might be. Losing, and how you handle losing, can be a great character builder. It shows a great deal of the make up of an athlete in how they play when things are not going the way they had planned. Do they continue to play hard, and be a good teammate, or does the player give up on the game and just decide to not play hard? This is a very tough concept to teach youth athletes, not to give up on a game just because the score seems out of reach. They have a harder time realizing that a game is never over until its over. Young players also have a tendency to become demoralized if the other team appears to be much better. It takes a special coach to get them to understand that they need to not be upset about the score, but continue to work hard and get better as the game goes along. High school athletes have an easier time with this idea, but from time to time, they can lose focus and quit if they are losing by a large margin.
It also can be a great teaching moment for a coach. How does a coach build his/her team up during a game or contest of this nature? Do they continue to coach, or do they give up themselves? A coach needs to lead by example. They need to coach all the way through the game no matter what the score is or how their team is playing. A great coach will find the positives in a game of this nature, and find a way to get their players to see the improvement they made, especially at the youth level.
It is a great quote that all athletes and coaches should understand!!