It was a tough weekend for many athletes. The reigning Super Bowl champs, the New Orleans Saints, lost to the Cleveland Browns; UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar took a beat down from Cain Velasquez; and the #1-ranked Oklahoma Sooners were defeated by Missouri. The following photos capture some of the "agony of defeat."
Many of us have experienced disappointment after a big loss. For an athlete, the question is, "how will you respond?" Here are 10 ways to overcome a difficult defeat.
- Don’t relive the memories – You can’t change the past. Playing something over and over again in your mind doesn’t help. Understand what went wrong so you can be ready for a similar problem next time, but do this through active consideration rather than replaying how disaster struck.
- Relegate the upset to the past – Now is the time to move on with your head held high, no matter how bad the situation was previously.
- Don’t play the blame game – Whether you blame yourself or a teammate, it’s not useful. By all means, learn from your mistakes, but don’t beat yourself up. If someone else caused the loss, it's too late to do anything about it, so your best bet is to understand that life is not always perfect and move on. None of us is immune to injustice and setback.
- Don’t mope around under your "comfort blanket" – There’s no time to feel sorry for yourself. It only wastes time and affects the rest of your life negatively. Come out from under your blanket and prepare for better times.
- Plan ahead – What you do next could shape a remarkable comeback or bring on more losses. By planning ahead, you set yourself up for the former.
- Don’t fret, ponder and dwell – Even if you aren’t reliving the memories, you may still be agonizing over the problems. Focus on positive actions rather than the upsetting issues.
- Stop looking for sympathy – It’s ever so nice to hear that others are thinking of you during your difficult time. Sympathy does have its place, but don’t get stuck there. Hearing too much sympathetic talk, you tend to get used to it and crave more. Remember, now is the time to move on!
- Write out your recovery plans – Put your actions in front of you. Note how you aim to crush everything in your path. List everything you will do to get back on top. Once you’ve written down your plans, you have a physical document to refer to. Stick it up on your wall and work toward it until you achieve the goals.
- Relax – Defeat stress, raise endorphins and breathe.
- Get Back to Work - Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.
Photos: Times-Picayune, fightlinker.com, AP Photo/Jeff Roberson