How Mizzou Football Learns From Setbacks


Even the greatest performers fail, but they have developed strategies to learn and benefit from these experiences. They certainly don’t like falling short of a goal, so they try to put setbacks in perspective and do careful evaluation to prevent similar occurrences in the future. They might conclude that this time, this particular approach or game plan didn’t work, or their focus wasn’t fully absorbed in the task, or the cards weren’t falling in their favor that day. They don’t tear themselves apart for long in response to a loss.

1.    They Simply Prepare Better

To lose is to be human, and we are all human. Every thinking, feeling, living person experiences loss.

2.    No one Escapes Loss, Not Even the Greatest of the Great

Your task is to make the journey from immediate loss to eventual gain as rapidly, smoothly and comfortably as possible.

We tend to be most susceptible to feeling down when we expect to do well and do poorly instead or when we expect to win and we lose. In such cases, our expectations have been unrealistic; sometimes we have not prepared or focused as well as we could have, and we can work on this. Sometimes we have done everything in our power to make things happen (given the constraints of our time and resources) and, for reasons totally beyond our control, events do not go as we had hoped or planned. It is important to recognize the difference between circumstances that are within our control and those that are beyond it.

3.    There is No Advantage in Dwelling on the Negative or on Things Beyond Our Control

It is better to use your limited energy constructively by directing it toward positive ends. Loss can make you feel miserable, inadequate or helpless. But it can also challenge you to draw upon your strengths, persist through the obstacles, get to know yourself better, examine your priorities, put things in perspective, and reflect on where you are going, why and how. A time of loss can widen your perspective or redirect your course in sports or life. As unpleasant as it may be, loss can result in you learning how to better prepare for, influence, avoid, embrace or cope with situations that could arise in the future. If you can draw anything good out of your loss, it can have a positive side; it is no longer totally hopeless.

If you can view difficulties and setbacks as a challenge, as a test of your inner strength, as an opportunity for personal growth, then you can turn these experiences into advantages. Finding the lessons in loss has an interesting way of putting you back in control.