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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 8 months ago

Is it OK to cry after a loss?

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If you’re not affected, why play sports?
by: Ray Boone Sports Editor

Sometimes, when I walk into a locker room to interview a team after a crushing loss, I can hear it: the sniffles, the barely audible whimpering, the tears.

Sometimes, an athlete’s eyes are still puffy by the time I get to interview him or her. The tears haven’t completely dried up.

I saw it after Matanzas lost to Flagler Palm Coast in football. I saw it when each of the football teams I cover were bounced from the playoffs. More recently, I saw it when Atlantic’s boys basketball team lost to Mainland — twice.

And as long as I’m covering high school sports, I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever stop seeing.

But I don’t think that’s a bad thing, either.

I hear a variety of catchphrases from parents and coaches in these instances:

“Suck it up!”

“Stop crying!”

“Grow up!”

To that, I say: Why not “let it out”?

When I see athletes who are so affected by a crushing defeat, it tells me one thing: The game meant something to them. If you’re not affected by a loss in an important game, why even play sports?

I don’t expect kids to throw a public — or even private — hissy fit. But I do expect some kind of reaction.

On a few occasions after a loss, I’ve seen athletes smile and joke around with their teammates. As a former athlete and a passionate follower of sports, I’d rather see a passionate response.

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