Accepting a Loss

We all know them… the players who always have a “reason” why they played poorly and lost.  The sun. The wind. Loose/tight strings. Bad back. The list goes on and on; but it is the smarter player who just accepts their loss and learns from it.

Look at Rafa

Thanks to Scoot Dimon for relaying this telling comment from Rafa after his tough loss at the Aussie Open to Tsitsipas ….

Sometimes things go well; other times the things go worse.  Unfortunately for me in this tournament I had more injuries than in the others. Then matches that you lose like today against one of the best players of the world is something that happens.

“(I’m) not at all feeling unlucky for me; not at all (am) I complaining about my luck here in Australia. Everyone has what (they) deserve…. I have what I deserved in my career, and over here in Australia I had chances but I was not able to convert it. That’s all. I didn’t deserve more.”

Learning From Losses

If you really can be objective about it, you can review your misses and your losses to see what you could have done differently that might have changed the outcome.  It could be something major like lack of conditioning; or it could just be a grip change.

But tennis teachers always say, “You can learn more from your losses than from your wins.”

There are also times when you are just out-matched by a superior player or team.  A few years back, I had the challenge of playing then #1 in the country Jimmy Parker in singles at a National Tournament.  He dominated and beat me 6-2 6-1 … but I played great (for me) and came off the court very satisfied with the match.

Are YOU a “yes, but” loser or handle defeat objectively?

Heart Update

As planned on Wednesday, DeDe and I had our first Covid shots in the morning and I went for a two-hour lung drain at noon.  My right lung was OK; but the took another quart of fluid from the left lung sac. My heart surgeon doesn’t know why (happens in 10% of bypass cases); but has put me on extremely high dosage diuretic to try to suck all the fluid out before it can migrate to the lungs.  Right now, I am peeing like a sailor and breathing great!

Know someone who should read this?  Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at GeorgeWachtel@gmail.com

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12 thoughts on “Accepting a Loss

  1. The great Roy Emerson had a saying about those who always made excuses after a loss-“Funny. I never beat him when he was well”.
    Also, “If you’re injured, don’t play. If you play, you’re not injured “.
    Cheers!
    Jim

  2. Glad to hear your post operative care is under control.
    Re: those losers with every excuse imaginable. What’s sad is these people do not have the ability to compliment their opponent which is most likely the reason for their loss. He/she won because that day they were the better player.

    Ken, i agree… it is always about them. thanks, george

  3. It’s difficult to say to an opponent at the net “I’m going to learn a lot from this defeat”. Much better to think it, and just say “Well played” to the victor.

    Andy, after the match, there are several ways your victor can handle it… say, nice match and walk away … volunteer “how i beat you” … or answer any questions you might have how to improve your game. obviously, i like the last. thanks, george

  4. Good luck, George! I hope that diuretic temporarily dries you up like a prune so that you can then return to normal.

    Ron, can they re-hydrate dried out prunes??? thanks, 🙂

  5. George,

    Interesting that Ron Musick also reads your blog. Good luck in your recovery. My thoughts and prayers for you.

  6. Can anybody tell me how many gold balls Jimmy Parker has won at this point? Thanks

    Woz, read it and weep ….
    Winner of 150 USTA National Championships (Men’s all-time record) and 27 ITF World Championships and has achieved the #1 National ranking in every age group from 35 – 75. george

  7. Rafa made no excuse! Though I believe the two overheads he missed in the tiebreaker (if I am not mistaken here) may have been due to his back injury – it got better and better during the tournament – but the injury was not completely healed and did he take something off his overhead that went long?

  8. George, I believe tennis helps shape who you are, how you feel about yourself. It’s a great learning experience for life. You learn how to handle pressure, disappointment and frustration. You have the potential to learn much more from a loss than a victory. When I play tournaments, it’s just like a test. I like to grade myself immediately following a match
    to see what needs work. It gives an insight and evaluation of my strengths and weaknesses. You learn by competing. I remember a quote from a sport psychologist that said: “Every time you win,it diminishes the fear a little bit. You never really cancel the fear of losing; you keep challenging it”.
    In my mind, I don’t dwell on a loss (in a negative way). You either win or improve.

  9. I was teaching after school and summer camp programs for the USTA before the pandemic.We always had a time in the program for things like fairness,teamwork etc.
    and I would give the children my The only reason you lose is the other guy played better shut up nobody wants to hear it!!! I always told them as soon as you hear the word BUT stop listening the rest is just an excuse. That goes for apologies as well.
    I hope your recovery continues going well.The only thing about getting old is it beats the alternative

  10. Losing with graciousness and NO excuses are just two of the many reasons that my two sons and I love Rafa. He consistently says, “the other guy played better than me today”….end of story. Get well soon!

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