🏆 The Losers Limp

In sport, there is often a weakness that lurks in the shadows. That weakness? The Loser's Limp.

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The Losers Limp

One of my biggest pet peeves!

In sports, we often see incredible displays of determination, perseverance, and mental toughness.

Athletes push their bodies to the limits, overcoming pain and exhaustion to win.

But there is a weakness that sometimes lurks in the shadows.

It threatens the values of sportsmanship, teamwork, mental toughness, and resilience.

The Loser's Limp.

What is the Loser’s Limp?

  1. The Loser's Limp can refer to an athlete faking or exaggerating an injury as they face defeat.

  2. It can also be the body language and poor energy level that a team displays as things do not go their way.

It is an easy way out, and both are tough for coaches to deal with.

It gives an athlete an excuse without confronting the reality of losing.

It gives teams a “pouty” feeling that is contagious and feeds into the culture of a team.

The Losers Limp is one of the topics I write about in one of my books. Culture WINS 2: 50 MORE Ways to Build a Winning Culture.

In my opinion, the “Loser’s Limp” reflects a weak-minded approach to mental toughness and can undermine the integrity of sports.

What are a couple of examples?

  • Imagine a football player who gets badly beaten on a play and suddenly falls to the ground, grasping their leg and limping, claiming a sudden injury.

  • Or a soccer player dramatically collapsing on the ground, clutching their ankle, just as their team is on the verge of conceding a goal.

  • Or a basketball team has just given up a run to another team. The team's body language goes south, and you can feel a “losing mindset” creeping in.

As parents and coaches, we must instill resilience and mental toughness in our kids.

In these examples above, team leaders and good coaching are incredibly important. They both need to step up big time in these situations.

This is one reason I believe sports are so important for our youth.

I believe that sports provide the Ulitmate Lab Setting for Life.

Sports have the ability to teach resilience, commitment, teamwork, grit, and mental toughness better than anything a young person can do.

They teach, at a young age, how to handle these times of adversity, how to be resilient, and how to finish what you start.

Resilience and determination are crucial for personal growth and achievement.

By nurturing resilience and grit in our kids, we empower them to confront challenges, learn from setbacks, and bounce back more vital than ever.


The Loser's Limp represents a misguided approach to mental toughness and sportsmanship.

True champions understand the importance of finishing what they started, even when the odds seem stacked against them.

Build resilience in your kids.

Talk to them about the “Loser’s Limp,” and ensure they finish what they start.

Good Luck!

Want More? Check out this video of Rhode Island Coach Archie Miller discussing the Loser’s Limp.


“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.”

Archie Griffin

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Michael Jordan


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