Defeat is part of sport in the same way that tough times are part of life

The lesson: Build a broader kicking game.

3. Acknowledge defeat but do not dwell on it

I recently interviewed Jason Fox for my podcast. You may know him as ‘Foxy’ from the hit Channel 4 show SAS: Who Dares Wins. I asked him about how the special forces maximise learning from a setback, and how they are trained to deal with defeat:

“The first thing you want to do after an operation is have a wash and go to bed but you don’t. You hit it while the iron is hot. You get everyone together. Someone guides the discussion and you go around the room talking about what each individual did and why.

“It’s not a witch hunt. It’s just a grown up way of looking at how you do things better next time. In the military, we acknowledge defeat but we don’t dwell on it. You come back you lick your wounds. Then you bounce back and go again.

“Dwelling on that failure over and again puts you in a negative mindset. It’s about using that failure, picking yourself up, and making it a building block to being a better version of yourself.” 

Listening to Foxy, you realise that their review process is immediate, it’s direct and it’s raw. I have just watched a brilliant Amazon Prime series about the Aussie cricket team. It’s called The Test, and it charts their course from the international disgrace of ball tampering in South Africa to retaining the Ashes in England.