4 Ways to Keep a Winning Attitude Even When You Lose the Game

Wouldn’t it be great if we could always be guaranteed a win? Imagine the medals and ribbons and sense of exuberance after every single competition! You’d be confident in the face of your toughest competitors. You’d radiate certainty every step of the way. There would nothing you’d be afraid to attempt. It’s easy to keep a winning attitude if this were our reality.

In these scenarios, winning at the scoreboard is the only consideration. If there are two players, there’s a first place and a second place. There’s a winner and a loser. And this fact alone is what keeps us long at practice. It keeps us researching our competition so we know the best plays to try. And keeps us up at night visualizing every move.

But how do we keep a winning attitude in the face of potential loss? Or when we’re in the fourth quarter, twenty seconds to go and 20 points down, and loss is a certainty?

1.   Growth Mindset

One of the biggest contributors to a winning attitude, even when you’re experiencing a tangible loss, is to choose a growth mindset. Your talent isn’t static. You aren’t stuck at a certain talent or ability level. You can always grow. Stronger, wiser, and capable of doing more. This optimism leads to a win every time, even if you don’t win at the scoreboard. Because this growth mindset is what keeps you practicing, believing in yourself and your team, and moving on an upward trajectory.

2.   Self-Confidence

Hand-in-hand with a growth mindset is a firm belief in who you are and what you’re capable of. Knowing you can become better and actually pursuing it are two different things, and the biggest difference is self-confidence. Believe that you are in control of who you are and where you’re headed.

A self-confident person can look themselves in the mirror and speak positively to themselves. Don’t beat yourself up or berate yourself. Keep telling yourself what you’re made of and what you’re going to accomplish. This skill is a must if you want to play college sports!

3.   Commitment

Commitment requires clarity of who you are and where you’re headed. Don’t give up. Don’t make excuses. If you want that winning attitude, do what you need to do, be proud of your work, and keep pursing your goals. Commitment means getting up early, staying late, and putting in the work. It means facing a loss head on and strategizing a better outcome next time. And it means bringing your teammates along with you each step of the way. This type of commitment helps you learn sports leadership skills, too!

4.   Gratitude

Keeping a winning attitude means focusing on the positive things. Being thankful for the good things in life. Being generous with praise for the talents of others.  Gratitude is one of the fastest ways to build a positive attitude. It doesn’t mean ignoring the difficult things, but grateful people choose to spend their time ruminating on what is good instead of stewing on what is bad.

Did a teammate flub a play? Instead of berating them, remind them of what they’re good at. This positivity not only helps you keep your head in the game, it keeps the team from dwelling on mistakes. It reminds that they’re capable of more and better. This skill will also help you develop a stronger team mentality.

When you practice a growth mindset, self-confidence, commitment and gratitude, you’ll foster a winning attitude that helps you win every time, no matter the score at the end of the game.

Learn more here about why attitude is so important.