Which Is It …..A Loss Or A Defeat!

Ami Turner breaks out of the midfield
Ami Turner breaks out of the midfield

I love team sports because of the lessons it teaches real time. The athlete expose themselves every game to the real world. Unlike being part of a classroom, a club, or even a musical ensemble your mistakes on the athletic field or lack of preparation are exposed for all to see. Certainly, the group in the aforementioned activities suffers as well, but the individual almost never has to face the scrutiny of the world. Good athletes, good coaches ( they are after all, part of the team), and good administrators, should reexamine a loss to see what can be done better. A good team member, realizes they are not doing it just for themselves, but to further team goals.

Amanda Magadan and Ellen Colbourne closely guard a UConn player
Amanda Magadan and Ellen Colbourne closely guard a UConn player

I always preferred to hire team athletes, all other things considered, because they understood the concept of examining your own efforts to make the whole better. I hate the excuse makers, and the people who accept a loss. I cringe when I hear a coach or a player say, ” Oh, they were just better, or the refs were bad” instead of saying we learned some things today and our experience will make us better.” How about, if we just had more money, we could have better sneakers, then we would have won. Excuses can be just that absurd. That is how you turn a loss into a defeat.

Aliza Furneaux powers her way through two Uconn defenders
Aliza Furneaux powers her way through two Uconn defenders

Giving into weaknesses instead of working hard to strengthening some aspect of your game, and learning from a loss, will result in defeat. Administrators have to learn to articulate weaknesses in the infrastructure, coaches have to make sure they give their team an opportunity to prepare themselves, and mentor a good attitude, and individual athletes have to ask themselves, everyday, have I done enough today to make myself, AND MY TEAMMATES better! Is there a skill I must spend some time on, that will make me be a contributor? Do I play hard  enough in practice to make the other athletes on the team better?

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Meg Lillis, Amanda Magadan and Aliza Furneaux surround a UConn player in the second half

A season has many ups and downs and there are opportunities and traps, and the true athlete and team member must avoid being defeated and learn from losses.

The Leopards will play number five ranked Albany friday night, and then the following Monday will be traveling to Phialdelphia to meet Drexel. It will be the following Saturday they will resume the all important league schedule with nearby rival, Lehigh in a must win game!! Coach Stone has always told me she recruits athletes of character first. I believe this IS a team of character who will not be defeated!!! Go Pards!!

Published by

William Rappolt

I am past chairman of the Lafayette Friends of Field Hockey and a former BOT member at Lafayette College. My wife and I are members of the Board of Trustees for USA Field Hockey Foundation. I am the retired treasurer of M and T Bank Corporation and a 20 year fan of Division one field hockey

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