rebelling against low expectations

What can you do when losing becomes an attitude?

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MARY WRITES: At my school, our basketball teams rarely win games. This past season we didn’t win any games, and last year we only won one game.

In past years, people have had really negative attitudes to our school’s sport teams and joked about them. This year, we didn’t have this problem. No one joked or talked negatively about our losing streak. But I think no one expects to win.

What I mean is, we don’t play to win because winning seems out of reach. We tell ourselves it’s possible and on the surface of our mind we are positive. But I think in our subconsciousness we are always going to lose. We don’t fight like winning is possible.

What can I do to help my team and me? Words don’t help any more. Losing has infected my school deeply. What can I do?


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  • I’m a taekwondo competitor on the team from the USA to World Championships. Every year, we go and get killed in most events, for about the last 12 years. This was my first World Championships, so this was the first time I saw it, but it’s true. So I know what you’re talking about!

    But rather than taking the losing and let that define your game from then on, take the loss and use it to push you to train harder. Come back with the attitude that you are going to push harder and train harder. Push yourself past your limit. You will come back, and you will prove to the other teams that you are competitive in the sport! πŸ™‚ Just stick in there. Push through it.

    Our team has slowly been pushing through the same feelings you’re having, and now we’re starting to take big steps forward on this stuff. The point though is to push it hard!

  • Hey, don’t apologize, Sam! Good thoughts! πŸ™‚ I’m glad you wrote them! I didn’t get any hidden lessons from them, but they’re good anyway!

    • That’s really what a lot of Hard Things are like. Even when we still lose, the difference is that we went down fighting.
      Now I’m really wishing I was going to TLC! !

      • Yep, that sounds like a fairly easy job. Unfortunately I’ve never played dodgeball the way most people do… we always had a circle of people throwing, and one person in the middle trying not to get hit. (No, this was not some form of intra-sibling punishment!)

  • When I play basketball losing is not my option and found out it wasn’t such a good choice. When I start losing I feel like I will lose it all and I struggle with it. But I figured that losing/failings gives you the opportunity to improve on your weak areas and to train and work hard. Don’t be afraid to lose just don’t make the same mistakes.

  • I think that’s great advice. When we go and play sports, we like to win, but the whole reason we play in the first place is to have fun. I run track for my school and I’m okay, but I have fun competing and trying to improve. I use my times to help motivate myself.

  • There are so many answers to this question. Good attitudes come from knowing who you are in Christ, coupled with being in scripture, coupled with being in a godly environment. I know this has been said a thousand times before, but while it isn’t as fun to lose as to win, someone has to lose and you shouldn’t let something that is obviously temporal change who you are.

    Thinking positive thoughts can sometimes be a form of mysticism. Our goal as Christians is to take whatever we are challenged with and learn to accept it. It may be Christ is trying to conform something in you into His likeness. It may be small or it may be big, but He is faithful to teach you and comfort you.

    Your attitude says a lot to others. Encourage others with God’s love. And don’t forget, we learn a lot by losing, much more than by winning.

    I wish you the best.

  • Might I suggest that you play to glorify God! Your ultimate goal should not be to win, but to glorify God. Losing is sometimes a better way bring glory to God. I know it’s frustrating to lose often. I’ve been there. Think of it as a test of character. This is the way I like to think of it: We play our best, we try our hardest, all glory to God, and if we win, it’s a bonus!

  • I understand what you’re saying completely. I’ve actually be struggling this past week with my softball team.
    We were in first place in the championship. During a game last Tuesday, we were tied til the fourth inning, when our star pitcher got benched for an awful attitude. This affected my entire team. No one had faith in our backup pitcher. We lost the game, and now we’re in third place.
    It made me so upset because I was the only one on the field encouraging our pitcher. No one believed in us anymore. I felt like my encouragement just blew away with the wind.
    But these past two games, I kept being as encouraging as possible, and my team has won both times. I even get to go on All Stars because my coach loved my confidence and encouragement.

    The truth is, we can be as encouraging as possible. But we cant change anyone. We cant make people have faith in our teams. The only thing we can do is play our hardest, keep encouraging, and pray that God will work through us.

  • It is incredible how connected our attitudes and actions really are. When we believe something is impossible, we can’t accomplish it. But when we believe we can do something that is almost physically impossible, wonders can be achieved. My advice: remember who you are playing for, remember it is just a game, and meant to be fun, and be sure to help your team develope a positive outlook. That’s all I have for you at the moment πŸ™‚ good luck!

  • Ohhhhh I struggle so much with this. I’m a tennis player and I’m not coordinated at all, so oftentimes I get really disappointed or I want to go do something else and I don’t try as hard as I should, even when I tell myself that I’m going to play my hardest.

    Maybe you could start a school spirit squad, or show your support by going to all of the games or something. Or, if you’re on a team or you play tennis or something, you could try really really hard and eventually you’ll win. Show that it IS possible. (An attitude will only get people so far. It’s the fruit of the attitude that counts.) Also, watch FACING THE GIANTS. It’s my favorite movie of all time.

    oh haha somebody already said that….well in that case, you really need to watch it!

  • I LOVE dodgeball! I do have to ask: What the blazes does DWYL mean?
    Dogs Walking Your Line
    Donkeys Wafting Yellow Limes

    @Brooklyn M.

    Sam, I really do want to know what it stands for!

  • First of all losing is not a bad thing. Even if it’s a streak. Losing is an opportunity to learn.
    If you have a friend in the basketball team might as well talk to him about this:
    Why are we losing?
    What do we need to improve?
    What are those areas?
    Who are we playing for?
    Just some questions to ask your friend or ask the team.
    I myself am part of a basketball team in our college. Ever since entering the main league since 2007 we never won a championship though we always make it to the Final Four. It’s just my second year in the team and some of my teammates are pessimist. Which is not a good thing. There’s only 2 Christians of us in the team. Mostly are Catholics. As Christians we have to have Christ-like attitudes. Seek God first in everything we do. Play for God. God is your audience. God can see us play. We do not have to please others. We have to please God. Is it pleasing in His eyes what’s ‘really’ happening in your school’s team?

    My sister always reminds me that. Play for God and not others. Please God and not others. Give your best for God and everything will follow. It starts with you.
    When there are trials, struggles and hardships. A great breakthrough will always come. Keep the faith.

    I am also injured and in need of prayer for fast recovery. I injured myself (left knee, knee sprain, mild lateral tear) last February 25 and I still can’t jog or run. Thank you!

  • Losing is something that no wants, but there always is a loser. I like to play table tennis with my uncle I lose part of the time you have just got to just take it as it comes. If you lose at something just don’t take it so badly that you don’t want to play again or that you don’t try. If you really want to win you have to try harder, like with all of your might. I use to always to lose to my uncle at table tennis but I kept trying and at last after mouths of trying I did win. Only because I kept trying and didn’t quit. So if your playing something you should be trying to win, but if you lose and you know that you done your best. You just need to know that person or team was better than you that time.

      • @MimeforJesus I’ve been on here for over a month now, like my brother said a few weeks ago you must be blind!!!!! I think you liked me on here before. Have a nice holiday with your Sister and kids.

        • Okay, I’m not going to welcome anybody else until I’m.around enough to see who’s been here and who’s new. I haven’t been on so much recently, so I look like I’m blind. And I knew you were on SOG and other blogs, but I didn’t remember seeing a Reb comment before. Sorry! I do enjoy seeing your comments!

          • It’s ok MineforJesus thanks for welcoming me even if it was a late one. One has ever welcome me before so thanks. Just be a bit more careful before you ever do it again. I enjoy seeing your comments too! Thanks for visiting our blog.

          • About your blog… I can’t seem to find it again. Can you find the link for me? I’m using godatthecentreofourlives.blogspot.com but I’m not coming up with anything. :/
            Thank you!

          • I just try the link it seems to work find. Daniel is sending you a pm on revive right now you might see his pm before this. I hope to get on revive sometime?

  • Do everything heartily, as to the Lord. Do all you do for the glory of God. Remember you are playing for a king. And not just a king, but THE King. You and your teammates can create a chant, reminding you all that you are playing for God Himself, not the school. If you do that, no matter what, you are winners. You are winners in God’s eyes anyway. And if you lose, lose with grace. Smile because you are God’s child. Tell the other team they are awesome. Be joyful always. Then others will see you and say they want to be like you.

  • “whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” if you work hard, it doesn’t matter if you won or lost, because you tried your best, that sounds kind of cleiche, but it is true.

  • Hi Mary, sorry I’m a little late to the game…I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but have you seen the movie Facing the Giants?? That movie is ALL about this EXACT subject! And it’s made by Christian people from an entirely Christian point of view! If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to watch it!! I’m sure it would be an encouragement to you!! And maybe you could even show it to your team..?

    • Ohmygoodness!!! My “late to the game” pun was COMPLETELY unintended..!! Sorry!! I hope that wasn’t offensive to you!!!! I meant it in no such way!

  • You can always play to the best of your abilities so that it might inspire others. Change your attitude first and others will hopefully follow πŸ™‚

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectationsβ€”a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More β†’