Few coaches will admit it, but sometimes a loss can turn out to be a good thing.
Sometimes a loss in the middle of a pressure-packed conference season can be a positive, eye-opening experience.
The coaches for seventh-ranked Kentucky and No. 11 Tennessee are hoping their last losses will be proper motivators when the Southeastern Conference's top two teams face off on Monday night in Knoxville.
For UK, it will have been eight days since losing at unranked, undermanned Louisiana State.
For the Lady Vols, it was a bad loss to a bitter rival at Vanderbilt on Thursday night.
"We're both coming off losses, so it's just going to be about who wants it most," UK senior guard Keyla Snowden said.
Tennessee's also going to want a little bit of revenge for a last-second loss to the Cats in Lexington a month ago.
But the Cats' coaches and players don't want to focus on Tennessee.
They have spent the past week taking a long look at themselves as tournament time fast approaches.
Snowden said UK has learned that complacency does not equal wins.
"We haven't accomplished anything really," she said. "The goals we set, we haven't reached them yet. We're still working toward them."
Kentucky's goal of winning its first regular-season SEC title in 30 years could be just a few games away.
The Cats (21-3, 10-1) cling to a two-game edge over the Lady Vols (17-7, 8-3) in the standings with five games to go.
Kentucky has kept that in mind as it prepares this week to try to knock off the Vols for the first time ever at Thompson-Boling Arena. UK's last win in Knoxville was in 1985, when Tennessee still played at Stokely Athletics Center.
UK Coach Matthew Mitchell didn't spend this week harping on all of the things that went wrong in Baton Rouge. Instead he spent the extra practice time getting back to the basics.
That grassroots approach has been a good reminder for Kentucky, leading scorer A'dia Mathies said.
"If we do things right, the way we should, the way we know we can, then we should be able to beat anybody," Mathies said.
Mitchell also spent the time off reminding his players that even though many teams have started the downhill slide by this time in the season, his UK team could still have its best games ahead.
Mathies agrees with that.
"We've got so much to improve on," she said. "There are a lot of teams that are probably as good as they're going to get. But with our team, there's a lot of room for growth. If we ever get there, we'll be a hard team to beat."
Mathies said the focus this week has been on rebounding consistently, playing with more focus, playing aggressive defense and improving offensive execution.
"We are not operating at a real high level offensively right now," Mitchell said. "That is something that we can improve on. So, to be at this stage in the season, and be in the position we are in, and still have a chance of getting better is a real positive thing."
He pointed to the LSU loss, which snapped a 10-game win streak for the Cats, as a way to get his players' attention.
"It was a great game to watch to see exactly how much improvement we actually can make," he said.
The loss also was a good reminder that there will be no easy wins from now until the end of the season, whenever that might be.
"We are getting to that point in the season where everyone is desperate and hungry for wins," Mitchell said. "Everybody we play needs to win; we need to win. Coaches now have a larger volume of games to watch and figure out how to stop us. It was real positive for us right now that we had that challenge."
An even bigger challenge awaits Kentucky in Knoxville on Monday.
That's when the Cats will find out just how much they can learn from a loss.