A to Z Performance Coaching Tip of the Day: Long Term Success Requires Turning “Losses” into Victories


Being successful in fencing and outside of fencing all starts with how you think about things. Your mindsets and values.

One of the most critical mindsets I have always had was this idea that no matter what happened in a match (or life), win or lose, I was going to take a lesson from the situation to make myself stronger in the long run.

I have always felt that if I could take something positive out of every situation, no matter how dire, that it could still be considered a victory and thus there has never really been been a point where I “lose”.  My mindset is that if I can turn a defeat into a lesson that will ultimately help me in the long then that experience can be counted as a victory (even if it is a small one) on the road to my big goals.

Don’t get me wrong, losing a match or dealing with tough situations is never easy and I’m not saying those things aren’t painful in the moment.   Nor am I saying that you should be satisfied with not getting wins, but if you are going to go for big things, such as the Olympics, you are going to spend years experiencing both winning AND losing and if you don’t develop and build your ability to cope with the losing in a positive way then you are likely to get frustrated and give up.

I’ve seen it happen time and time again. When people lose they often don’t want to think about it but I’ve found one of the most important things I can do is figure out what I can take from a “loss” to get better. I can say honestly that I’ve learned some of my most valuable life and fencing lessons in the “down” times.

Tim Morehouse is an Olympic Silver Medalist in the Sport of Fencing, A to Z performance coach and Author of American Fencer: Modern Lessons from an Ancient Sport.  www.timmorehouse.com 

2 thoughts on “A to Z Performance Coaching Tip of the Day: Long Term Success Requires Turning “Losses” into Victories

  1. Thank you for the great post. I could not agree with you more. This is a life lesson that transcends sports, although competition teaches us many valuable life lessons. One of them is what you you enumerated in your post.

    We all love celebrating the victories of life, whether they be sports, careers, etc. Yet we can learn a lot from our defeats, as well as benefit from how they strengthen our resolve and our character.

    In life it is frequently the journey, and not that bauble at the end that defines us.

    Carry on!

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