well you tell them that if they tried their hardest thats all they could do...and you could tell them that they will get them next time...but dont give them i am so sorry talk...you have got to just work a little harder in practices...GOODLUCK!!
Take the focus off of winning and place it where it belongs-on improving. There are just too many uncontrollable factors involved with winning. Set realistic goals, practice hard, and success will happen.
Losing is not OK... Do you go to work mess everything up and your boss tells you its ok> if he does let me know I want a job there.
As a coach you need to look at the problems - setup your practice to fix those specific problems. Tell me what is happening in the games and maybe I can give you some Ideas, Your practice should be constantly moving- no down time-yet fun- Make it simple- Basketball plays don't win games players playing basketball when the offense collapses wins games, great defense wins games. They need to be a team working together to achieve a goal.
Tell them the things they did well and the things the need to work on. My coaches had a contest this year. It was who ever did te most basketball skill drills that week got a treat. This could encourage them to do better.
I think it depends on why they lost. i have always told my teams that if they walk on the field or skate on the ice a winner, they will walk off a winner regardless of the score. By that i mean you have to give it all you've got and leave it all on the field. if they don't, then you have to focus on what needs to be fixed, but always leave them with a positive end note. You have to praise like you criticize.