Lessons from Losing: Cody Parkey

bears kickerWe can sit in our comfortable chair watching our big screens but we have no idea the pressure in winning. There is value and lessons to be learned by losing. I am a Vikings fan and know a little about missed kicker opportunities. Parkey has he been an erratic kicker but has scored over 100 points this season. Yet he was booed out of his own stadium.

Losing is tough and a reality of sports. I was a kid and lost a few close basketball games and they sting. Regardless, they are part of the learning process.

Losing leads to frustration, disappointment, anger and if you are a true competitor, even heart break. When we lose we look for solutions and sometimes blame. But what can we learn from it?


It is extremely important in these moments to reflect on your own actions.

  • Did I work well with my teammates?
  • Do I need to eliminate errors and better my own play?
  • There is no such thing as perfection, but am I progressing in the right direction?
  • Am I making excuses or blaming?
  • Where do I need to focus my energy?
  • A loss is a good reminder that there is always work to be done
  • Parents, check your priorities before you talk with your kid
  • Athletes, know that your true identity is not tied to performance

While I acknowledge there are significant differences between youth athletes all the way up to the pros in learning lessons from a loss, the way you deal with losing is important. Young athletes show joy when things go well and can be devastated when faced with losing.  We all want and love winning, but not all cost. I want to develop athletes, yes of great skill and speed, but also of solid character, grace and class.

At the end of the day, can you say you worked hard, did your absolute best, didn’t give up, showed class? Then you are learning great lessons.

David is a father, husband, business owner, and ministry leader. He is Founder and Director of a Hope 2 Offer, an Iowa non-profit and The Orange Planet, a central Iowa based basketball instruction company started in 2008.

As always, thanks for reading Unmasked.

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