Losing is never fun. It doesn’t feel good. It’s disappointing, and if you’re not careful, a loss can zap your confidence. However, if you have a child who plays youth hockey, the occasional loss is going to be inevitable. Sometimes, even entire seasons may not go as planned.
Since losses will happen in your child’s life, it’s important that you know how to see the positive side of things. Yes, when you lose, there may not feel like there’s any positive side. But, there is. You just have to see it, and, when you do, your child will too!
Focus on the Experience
When your child is feeling down in the dumps after a loss, encourage them to look back on the entire experience, not just the outcome of the game.
Did they have fun traveling to the game? What was the best part of playing in the game? Was the experience exciting?
If you can get your child to think about the positive and fun side of their experience, in spite of the loss, you can help them to focus more on the positive and feel better.
Celebrate What Was Learned
In addition to talking about the fun parts of your child’s experience, ask your child what they learned by participating in the game.
Could they have skated faster? Gotten more rest the night before? Attended more practices?
Don’t encourage your child to blame himself or feel bad after a loss, but do encourage him to think about what might have been done differently. Then, celebrate the fact that your child has this new knowledge to carry to the next game.
Finding things to feel happy about after losing isn’t always easy. But, if you and your young athlete think carefully, you can usually come up with plenty of things to celebrate.