No athlete wants to experience the pain and disappointment of defeat, but it happens—in fact, it’s an inevitable part of competition. However, it’s important to remember that coming up short doesn’t make you a failure; instead, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. In fact, you can use any loss to put more "Champions Fuel" in your tank. Here's how:

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan

1. Accept - The first step is to accept the loss and move on. It can be hard to do this in the moment, but if you don’t allow yourself time to heal from the disappointment, it will only become harder to try again. Allow yourself some space then come back with a renewed sense of purpose.

2. Reflect - The next step is reflecting on your performance; take some time out and analyze where you went wrong. Take note of what strategies worked for you and which ones didn’t; this will help you identify areas where you need improvement going forward.

3. Learn - Think about what lessons you can learn from your mistakes so that in future competitions, those same mistakes are not repeated—learning from our mistakes is the only way we can truly grow as athletes.

4. Grow - Finally, take each loss as motivation rather than discouragement; use it as new information and fuel for your next performance! We all have bad days or games—but that doesn't mean there is no hope for success in the future. 

This is how you turn a loss into champion's fuel. Believe in yourself, keep learning and keep training towards excellence!

Coaches and athletes; becoming a champion in sports and life requires training. Follow Play Strong Sports Magazine to get and grow sports-inspired!