We all know that losing can bring opportunities for growth and improvement for athletes. There are lessons to be learned and character developed when a team that ends up on the wrong side of the score allows themselves to look forward and learn from it.
But that does not mean that winning is void of growth opportunities. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for a winning team is how to win like a champion. The mark of a true champion is not just how they handle losing, it’s also how they handle winning.
Young athletes who have faced the hard fact that losing is no fun have been told that there is actually a “right” way to lose. Yes, the score shows a loss, but even then, athletes may achieve personal goals and find smaller victories.
There is also the right way to win. Scoring more points may make a team the victor, but it doesn’t necessarily make them a winner. Winning like a champion goes beyond the scoreboard to include these traits:
Respect for your opponent
No matter how lopsided the score may be, they deserve respect for giving their all and not giving up. That takes guts, especially if the score is heavily lopsided.
Acknowledgment of the team
No matter what star a team may have, the win is never accomplished by one person. A champion winner stays humble in knowing that it always takes a team, no matter who scores all the points.