Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Art of Losing Gracefully

On Friday the U14 waterpolo team I manage played against the top waterpolo school in South Africa. The score was [this information has been withheld for the protection of the parties concerned]. Carnage!

Being my normal competitive self, this was hardly the start to the weekend that I would have chosen. But talking to the girls afterwards I found myself in the middle of an action packed tutorial (in which I was both the teacher and a student) on losing gracefully.Some of the modules follow:

Rule Number One: believe in your team till the bitter end
Rule Number Two: encourage each other, even when things are going badly
Rule Number Three: still believe in your team after the bitter end
Rule Number Four: give respect and honour to the opponents
Rule Number Five: don't blame the ref!

I could go on. But the tutorial isn't over yet (though I hope that next week's match provides a chance to learn the art of winning gracefully).

You may want to know what this post has to do with daydreaming in maths. The truth is that a similar state of mind is attached to losing in all spheres of life. And from my experience in the classroom, a lot of people feel like they're losing badly to Mathematics, one of the toughest opponents of their school career.

If you are one of those people: it isn't over until its over - you can still conquer Maths!

And once it's over, even if you lost - believe in yourself!

You aren't a failure because you lost. Take it from someone who knows.

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