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Your Best Behavior: Handling a Disappointment with Grace, Elegance & Style

Elizabeth Hamilton Guarino
Elizabeth Hamilton Guarino

Is your best ever you being demonstrated by your behavior and actions?

How do you handle a disappointment?

How do those around you handle it?

If you have children, what is the example you've set when faced with a disappointment?

What have you taught them?

How are they behaving when faced with a disappointing moment?

Let's focus on sports with kids. Really the information below can translate to just about any upsetting situation or disappointment or general behavior. It also means anything from a bad grade, to striking out, to an upset in a tournament, to a missed goal and with any sport or situation, child of any age, parent, grandparent or friend or anyone present.

There are many opportunities for teachable moments, for both kids and parents, when you lose or experience disappointment or in the moments before and after games, tests, interviews or other situations. In sports, in the moments before or directly after a loss or disappointment, look at yourself and others around you and become aware of the behavior around you. Pay attention. What is the energy like?

In my many years as a parent of four boys, who are now grown young men, I think we've played just about every sport at one point or another and one who plays baseball in college. It's safe to say, our family has all been witness to a lot of various behaviors and had some of our own to keep in check. Our kids have been cut from teams, not made all-stars, won championships, been the star playing, been the one striking out and on and on. Personally in my lifetime, I've not been chosen for things, not voted as the winner, not made a sports team and so forth also.

The other day I was at a game where I saw a child fighting with the umpire. Then I saw another toss his bat and get a warning. At another game later that night, I saw a team lose and complain and cry about the umpire. This isn't the first time I've seen or heard this and I'm sure it's not your first time or last time either. Whether a sports event, a concert, a report card, something you haven't been selected for or voted to win or whatever applies, think about this:

How is everyone behaving?

Is your energy positive or negative?

Is the energy of the situation positive or negative?

The Cringe Factor: Are you cringing with someone's terrible behavior?How are you behaving?

Are you too serious for the situation at hand?

Are children, tweens or teens crying or throwing things?

Are you aware?

Have you thrown or tossed a bat, helmet, ball or anything used in playing the game?Are you fighting or back-talked a referee or umpire?

Have you been thrown out of the game for conduct?

Do you blame others?

Are you accusing others of cheating or playing dirty or the referee or umpire of being unfair or making bad calls?

Are you telling other parents that kids suck?

Are you being sarcastic?

Are you withdrawn from the event?

Are you more upset than the kids that played?

Are you out of control or swearing?

Have you been a complete and total obnoxious fan in the stands?

Are you complaining to others around you about the coach, team or outcome?

Is your coach practicing good sportsmanship? (sportswomanship :)

Are you practicing good sportsmanship? (sportswomanship :)

Do you get mad?

Do you have an attitude?

Are you as a group of parents getting along?

Do the kids on the team get along?

Are siblings fighting?

Do you think about what you could have done differently?

Do the moments replay in your head over and over?

Do you go for ice cream and pizza and bury the feelings?

Are you thinking you could have coached it all better and won?

If you are coaching and it's your turn to say something and you've lost the game, do you come off as a sore loser?


Do you express gratitude?

Have you tried your best and realize that?

What does your heart say?

Have you taught your children to not throw things, cry, and/or fight with referees/umpires?

Have you helped your children follow their heart?

Do you have composure, elegance, grace and style?

Are you under control of yourself and your emotions?

Are you clapping for the team that won?

Have you thought about if your child really wants to be there or if you are pushing them to be there and living in your past rather than their present?

Did you put forth your best effort?

Did your team?

Do you thank everyone for coaching and being there?

Do you thank your team?

Do you step back and just be appreciative for the opportunity?

Are you cheering appropriately?

Do you work harder?

Do you think about how you could improve?

Do you thank your lucky stars you were there participating?

Do you see the blessings?Do you see all of the positive things that happened?

Are you showing compassion to the kids?

Howabout the last out or the kids who might be blaming themselves due to errors?Are you supportive?

Do you suggest taking the team out for a fun activity just for distraction and fun?

Are you remembering the kids are just kids? In many cases, they are under 18 and in some cases just 9, 10, 11 years old.

If you are coaching or a team member and you have lost, do you take a moment to say something positive about the other team sincerely and from your heart?

Do you take a moment to thank all of the parents and family that perhaps spent hundreds or thousands of dollars to attend and bring their child to the event?

It might be some combination or all of the above to get you through :) But to get through it think about this:

Do your kids give up?

Do you give up?

Do you try harder next time?

Do you practice a little more?

Do you maintain your positive, peaceful self?

Do you teach this to your children?

Do you become more aware?

How do you help yourself and others be their very best?

Do you accept responsibility?

What are you saying to your children and what are they saying to you?

What do you do if someone's behavior or conduct isn't on the side of percolating peace?

Consider positively contributing to make the experience better next time, minus blame and shame and coulda, woulda, shoulda. Perhaps the experience or sport actually isn't right for you or your child and instead of a "give up" attitude, it becomes a slight shift to doing something else more suitable. Consider if you are a leader or a follower. Either is ok, but understand who your role models are in either case or both and the example you are also setting.Think with your heart.Practice Gratitude, not Attitude.

It's disappointing when things don't go our way. I get it. You can't change the outcome no matter how many times you replay it. But your behavior in those losing and winning moments speaks volumes without you ever having to shout or utter a word. The same goes for how we all behave.

About Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino, Hay House author and founder and CEO of the Best Ever You Network, understands firsthand the challenges life can bring and has worked with thousands across the globe to illuminate their light within and help them live their best life. She has a degree in communications and broadcasting; is a life coach, food-allergy expert, and anaphylaxis survivor; and is the host of The Best Ever You Show. Elizabeth lives with her husband and four boys in Maine.

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