November 10, 2022

How to Power Through a Losing Season—and Make It a Win


Follow these tips to guarantee a fun flag football season, no matter what the scoreboard says.

Whether you’re the coach or parent, being on the losing end of a game—or every game—is undoubtedly tough. Here are a few ways you can guarantee a fun flag football season, no matter what the scoreboard says.

Let your athlete lead the emotions

As adults, we have more context over game situations—we clearly see when kids make bad plays, miss opportunities, etc. But from the kid’s point of view, especially younger children, they don’t always process the game this way. In other words, it might not be a big deal to them that they’re losing because they’re still having fun. That’s why it’s always best to let the kids lead the emotion. If they’re pumped after a game and in a good mood, roll with it.

Focus on small victories, not the score

When your team is losing and there’s no coming back in sight, it’s time to shift gears. The game is no longer about scoring or winning—it’s about realistic goals. This could look like your QB successfully making a pass, the WR running 5 yards, a defender pulling one flag in the next three plays, etc. As the coach and parent, you can decide what to focus on and remove the scoreboard from the spotlight.

Only worry about what you can control

When you’re facing a team that’s twice your size and speed, you may begin to feel helpless for your players. But remember, there are still aspects that are in your control. For example, as the coach, you can show your dedication to the team by mapping your plays out ahead of time and always being positive on the sideline. As a parent, you can continue to lead by example, supporting your coach, referee, and child. In other words, you may not be able to control what happens on the field, but you can control how you respond to it and conduct yourself.

Create a fun environment anyway

Win or lose, one of the biggest benefits of youth sports is being able to develop meaningful friendships and socialize. As the parent or coach, you can combat your team’s losses with letting the kids, well, be kids! Ask the team to go to ice cream after the game, or if the field is still available, let them run around and have fun before going home. Ending on a positive note always helps.