Sooooo this past weekend we lost.
We've lost games before, and even lost by more points than in this one, but for some reason...this one had a lingering sting.
Oh, and it was basically in the middle of a typhoon. Tons of rain and mud (I actually LOVED IT). In the end when all was said and done, we were left feeling completely miserable in every way, shape, or form....chilled to the bone.
I think what made the loss most painful for me was that many of the mistakes we made were in our control. Sure you can blame the referee or the weather or the scrappy opponents all you want, but in the end no one causes your own defeat except for Y-O-U.
I also couldn't stand watching teammates get angry at each other. Things seemed to just fall apart, and for inexplicable reasons. It probably hurt even more because it happened after coming off of a streak of progression - we just won two games before this and have been showing massive improvements at practices. We made all this forward progress and then fell flat on our faces. hard.
How do you pick yourself back up from that?
After the game, I wanted to cry - actually, I wanted to sob uncontrollably. I came close, but not a single tear was shed. Because crying wouldn't change the score, wouldn't have made me miss fewer tackles, or made the outcome of that game any different than it was. It wouldn't make that loss hurt any less, and it wouldn't help make anything right afterwards.
Inside my brain, I began conjuring up some questions on the long two hour ride home sitting in damp muddy clothes:
What are you going to do about this?
How are you going to get back up on your two feet after falling, and move forward stronger than you ever were before?
Where are the areas in your life that you can dedicate more time and motivation towards improvement?
Specifically, what areas can you work on that were lacking in today's game performance?
When did you start to lose sight and focus this week (and may not have even realized it)?
What aspects of the game do you need to study more and what questions do you have that need to be answered?
HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATES NEVER FEEL THIS WAY AGAIN.
I didn't have any answers to those questions at the time, but this was a very interesting week for all these happenings to occur. I'm very lucky and fortunate to be a sports fan, because following what has just occurred with the New England Patriots completely inspired me and starting pointing me in the right direction towards answers.
With less time than usual to recover from a devastating loss and more harassment and negativity from the media than ever, the Patriots were still able to completely turn around their situation and create a learning experience out of a travesty. Instead of being crushed, the Patriots knew they needed to rebuild and get RIGHT back to work. No time for tears.
No bashing, no blaming or pointing fingers, no wallowing in self-pity....just ON TO CINCINNATI. I have never seen anyone lose with such pure class. And I think that because they were able to lose with dignity and poise, they were able to come out STRONGER THAN EVER BEFORE. It's not a matter of how many mistakes you make or how many games you lose, it's how you handle it and channel it into something constructive rather than destructive.
It's not that I don't ever want me or my teammates to lose a game again, but I never want us to shoot ourselves in the foot and deteriorate from the mistakes we've made. I don't ever want us to have that losing state of mind, where you feel defeated by yourself more than you were physically defeated by an opponent.
SO - we're on to Worcester.