After the child has had a little down time, ask if he or she would like to talk about it. The parent should reinforce that winning and losing are all part of the competition process, there are no guarantees that if we compete we will win. Redirect the child from focusing on things that he or she cannot control onto things that the child may control. Emphasize that the child should focus instead on preparing for the next competition or testing, such as by training more and working on developing better techniques. Avoid over-analysis of the match, particularly right after the match is over. “Attacking” type questions, such as “Why didn’t you spin?” or “Why didn’t you kick faster?” should be avoided. It is okay to talk about the match with your child, but avoid details at this time. Your child’s coach or instructor will have ample opportunity to review necessary details with your child later when the child returns to training.
Frequently, it is necessary to provide your child with constructive criticism, particularly after a loss. However, it is best to temper constructive criticism with positive reinforcement. Criticism becomes more meaningful to the child if it is "sandwiched” between positive feedbacks. For instance, provide a positive comment about what the child did well, point out the areas that need improvement, and then follow-up with another positive comment. This helps prevent the child from being resentful of parental attempts to be corrective on the heels of defeat.
After a loss, some children may begin to experience a loss of self-confidence and self-esteem, especially if a child has lost to a particular opponent on a number of occasions. Parents may explain that children grow and develop at different rates and develop Taekwondo skills at different levels during the growth process. It is up to the child to ultimately determine how much effort he or she is willing to put forth to overcome whatever obstacles to achieving success. Above all, parents should make clear that all that is expected is that the child does his or her best. This is all that any parent should expect since it is all any child can give.
The outcome of the match or promotion cannot be controlled, but the amount of effort that one puts into preparing for the event may be controlled. Encourage your child to enjoy the competitive aspect of Taekwondo, win or lose. If your child does not enjoy it, he or she will eventually turn away from it. Daring to compete means daring to dream. Help keep your child’s dream alive by supporting him or her through all of their competitive efforts. Celebrate the victories, and deal with the losses constructively.