Here’s a quote I heard this week at a conference.
“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you.
― T.H. White, The Once and Future King
Last week my daughter’s club team Avalanche was losing 3-0. The real reason we are playing in the Utah state P1 league is to train for the ECNL league, where we see the best teams from many states. The girls didn’t like losing 3-0, so I reminded them that the way to find value in the game was to focus on what they could learn from it. We still lost 3-0, but the focus turned from losing to identifying breakdowns, weaknesses, formations and counter-attacks. Another focus was mental toughness, as the other teams’ parents were terrible and trying to incite and distract my players. The whole attitude and dynamic changed and the girls left the field feeling some measure of success.