Perhaps now is the time to talk about losing. It may not be obvious, but losing is the reason you want your kid to play high school sports. We all dream about experiencing a big win. Beating your school rival. Winning a region championship, or even a state title. In reality, you should hope your kid’s team loses. Pray she must sit the bench. Hope he shanks that penalty kick. The pain and embarrassment that come with these types of losses and failures allow our children to learn big life lessons. There is not much life growth in a win.

Of course, I hope your kid wins, too! I hope they win that title. And I hope it’s your kid who makes the game-winner. But losing is what high school sports is for. By definition, more of us don’t win the title. Losing teaches lessons our kids need to learn. When everybody wins, nobody wins.

When she leaves school, your daughter will NOT get every job for which she applies. Players who lost a big game know what this feels like. They learned how to deal with that kind of frustration after losing a big game. If she played a sport, your daughter knows life goes on after a loss. The sun will rise.

When a coworker gets that promotion your son wanted, it will hurt. Players who sat the bench have already felt that pain. If he played a sport, your son learned that earning a starting spot takes patience and hard work. He knows he’ll get another chance. Sport teaches everyone that second chances are real.

I’m sure you won’t hear many parents hoping for a loss. Or asking Coach to take their kid out of the game. The good news is there’s no need for that. The secret to sport is this: your kid will lose. Everybody loses. Your kid will miss the shot. The big shot. It happens to everyone. Learning to deal with that hurt and frustration forces kids to grow. That is why sport is still in school. It is a lesson best taught in the arena.

I’m sorry your kid has to lose. It is never fun. It hurts. But do not run from it. Losing a game might be the best growth opportunity your child has. No matter how dark the night, losing teaches us the new day dawns. The losing that comes during high school competition prepares kids for the real world. Sport losses are small hurts and they happen in a controlled setting. As parents, we are aware of exactly when the hurt happens and we can support our children through the associated emotional pain. That won’t always be the case. Some of life’s losses occur in secret and are born alone.

So losing is good. Not fun, but necessary. Kids need to lose. But not all the time. I hope your kid gets to win. I hope they win the title! Champion Supreme! Unless they’re playing my kid. Then I hope they get a huge chance to grow.

Recommended for you