Is Being Undefeated Always a Good Thing?

Article by: Sally Jang

Who wants to lose? No one. In the sports world, medals and trophies are considered symbols of greatness and hard work, while second-placers are generally perceived as having come short of their best. But what if you are on a team that never loses? Is it still a good thing?

Realistically, all the hard work and effort only pays off when a team wins. A losing team can get taps on the shoulder and encouraging words to try again next time, but unless a team wins, a team cannot claim that it truly succeeded. This concept has been instilled in the minds of young athletes, and while there is some truth in these students’ claims, many others believe winning in competition is not the only representation of success. One limitation to always winning is that it possibly hinders teams or athletes from developing sportsmanship, resilience, and perseverance. Coach Roseleip of JV girls soccer remarks that, “we always ask players to give their all every time they step on the field, so if our team plays their hardest and the game still results in a loss, I certainly think there are some lessons that can be learned, namely, learning about facing defeat graciously, that sometimes, despite giving our hardest effort, things don’t always turn out the way we want… but it is about the positives we learn and how we come back from that defeat that defines us players.”

Another limitation of always winning is that it could potentially make players lose the drive to improve and become much greater than they already are. Teams can easily become complacent and relaxed. What is the hard work for, if you’re always already a winner? In contrast, a player with a healthy attitude after a loss generally has a stronger will to win, a bigger goal to achieve, and a greater desire to be better and to improve. All these positive dispositions build a player’s character. “Losing is essential for any growth. It provides a space for reflection and how to bounce back from defeat,” varsity boys volleyball coach, Mr. Berg, claims.

The reality is we cannot win at everything. This is one of the bitter pills many have to swallow in life. Winning can be good thing, but losing may not be as bad if you know that you gave it your best shot, and losing does have its benefits for team morale. A true player knows how to accept defeat the right way and can stand up again and again after a fall, so next time you lose, take it as a challenge to become even better, and stand up once again!