Yesterday we’ve lost our first game this season by only one point. If you have ever gone through a situation like this, then you know, how the mood was right after the game. Barely anyone had something to say. This game weighed in even more than other games, as our direct competitor now had an advantage for the runner-up spot to the next league. Until now, we both hadn’t lost any games.
Today, not even 24 hours later, I still feel down and unmotivated. Out of this situation I’d like to share with you a couple of thoughts on how I will try to cope with this loss. I personally think, that you learn a lot more from a loss than by a winning game. A loss lets you rethink your attitude, your concept … basically the way you play from the ground. It gives you the chance to see, on what you should be working in the next training sessions and whether you were outplayed or out-talented.
There are many reasons, why you can lose a game, but throughout the game you may find a sort of pattern, which may have caused the loss predominantly. In our case we were taken out of our usual set play and had to improvise a lot to get the necessary score. Then we were forced to play against a defensive Box-and-One set-up, which we haven’t played against, yet. Another vital part which caused the loss were the turnovers we had in this close game.
You get the point: Look at the top three problems and find a solution for this. Address it in the next practice immediately. By doing this you can learn from your opponent and maybe adapt what he has been doing successfully. Is this something you can use in your offensive and defensive arsenal?
Look at where you have been out-scored or in which areas you had a lot of problems. We mainly lost a lot of points in the paint and on the fast break. Analyze it clearly and use this information in the rematch.
Now, put up a list on where you need to improve for the next game. Put together a set of drills which reduce your weaknesses and mistakes you’ve made. If you have time, plan a lot of repetitions so the patterns will be internalize.
Basketball is one of the most complex ball games on earth and therefore needs a lot of practice to master. Every game is different, every offensive play is different! Remember that losing and winning go together.
How do you cope with a tough loss?
Update: As of today, our competitor for the runner-up spot lost a close away game, too, so this evens out the wins vs. losses. We still have a good chance to move into the next league.