Have you ever seen a kid come off a wrestling mat, crying his eyes out because he lost?
Often, that kid will get told to be tough and stop crying.
I’m not opposed to teaching kids not to cry under most circumstances, but just after an intense competition, I love it. It’s the best possible sign that the kids was pouring his soul into winning. It means he was trying with everything he had.
It means he is–or will be–a winner.
When a kid, particularly a boy in a tough sport, is crying, you know he’s going to try harder and do better next time.
For all of the “tough guy” ability it takes to succeed as a wrestler, I’ve never seen another wrestler teasing the crier. They’ve all been there. Wrestling is a team sport, but you win or lose a match on your own. When you step out in front of hundreds of people and spend 3 to 6 minutes giving every ounce of everything you have to give, only to find it’s not good enough, you’ll often find you don’t have the final reserve necessary to control your emotions.
This is different than a kid crying because he lost a game, just because he lost. Some kids feel entitled to win anything they do, regardless of the effort they put it. That’s also wrong.
Crying at a loss is okay after putting in maximum effort and full energy, not because the dice went the wrong way.