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Are You a Sore Loser?


Yeah, guilty as charged. I hate to lose, and during any competition from cards and board games to you name the sport, I’m in it to win it. I’m constantly competing if not against others then against myself and my last performance.


Dave Larsen, the athletic director at my high school, used to say that all you can hope and ask for is to perform at your best, and if that’s good enough to win, you’ll win! He also stressed the importance of good sportsmanship meaning that you didn’t cheat to win and at the end of the match, you shook hands with the opponents from the other team.


Any time you went through the line shaking hands with the other team members and someone from the other team didn’t offer that handshake, they were considered a poor sport and a bad loser. But there was a difference between a sore loser and a bad loser.


The poor sport and bad loser would be in the park playing football and if things didn’t go his or her way, they’d take the football and go home. We didn’t like playing with those kids. But a sore loser had a somewhat different connotation. Being a sore loser meant that you hated losing and you’d give everything you had to win. On the occasions that you lost, it wouldn’t feel good and you’d be somewhat upset about it but you didn’t cheat to try to win and you would shake hands with your competition. Who could ever forget Vince Lombardi’s quote, “Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser.”


Every winner also experiences those losses whether it be on the playing field of sports or business. Here are some ideas to keep in mind that will keep your classification as a diehard competitor (sore loser) instead of a poor sportsman who will manipulate anything to win (bad loser).

  • Earn your next win by putting in the time and effort needed to improve your performance.

  • FOCUS! Nobody likes to stack up losses so really focus on your next outing.

  • Always practice good sportsmanship. In the stress and heat of the battle, your competitors will respect you for a lifetime.

  • Don’t forget what Charles Swindoll said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

Maintain the healthy attitude that several top performers do, you might have bested me in this contest, but I’ll be back for another shot. Next time, I’ll be better prepared!


Go, Fight, Win, people!

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