Knowing how to lose is a life lesson most of us learn very early in Rugby. Losing hurts, it’s not fun, it matters and you can tell an awful lot about a team by how they deal with it.
The new season has started well for all our teams, there is a bit of a buzz around the place and a fresh commitment which gives the whole club a lift. However, this weekend both our senior men and senior women teams were beaten by a fair margin, it happens of course, you don’t win every game and some weeks for many reasons you end up losing by a few more points than you’d like. At this level it only takes a couple of players to make a real difference either way and we wont be losing any sleep over it. It’s part of grass roots rugby, I’m not saying it’s a joyous experience or something we as a club are ever happy about but it’s not the end of the world either.
So when the final whistles went it was really good to see the way the teams dealt with it, yes as individuals there was a little frustration and some disappointment in themselves but as teams, as groups of people there was no blame, no distress, no finger pointing just an acceptance that it happened, “Now lets see what we need to do to improve, how are we going to beat them next time”. The focus was not on the last 80mins, the focus immediately turned to the next 7 days, there was not one negative comment made.
It’s maybe old fashioned but knowing how to lose well is an important part of rugby, and something that is impressed on players from day one. It’s a good lesson for life. Not that I think for a moment “win or lose everyone gets a medal”. There will be times when you lose because you didn’t put enough in or you tried to do it all yourself and wasted chances maybe you totally deserve a few stern words from the coach or team mates at the appropriate time.
Arguing, blaming and telling players they need to work harder in the huddle on the pitch 2mins after the match is finished is just pointless, every member of the team needs to look out for each other when it actually makes a difference, during the match. Encourage, push and demand of each other during the 80mins that matter then as a team deal with the result. Seems to me a good sign of a functioning team, a team that is working properly and heading in the right direction is when in defeat they act as one and the full team take the responsibility.