Sport Psychology Tip of the Day: Coping With Mistakes Made During Athletic Performance
by Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Licensed Sport/Clinical Psychologist
One of the hardest tasks an athlete must do is to quickly let go of mistakes and move on. Unfortunately, in most athletic pursuits, the athlete makes a mistake, error or blunder and then hammers himself about it. Staying fixed on the mistake inevitably leads to more mistakes, because focus is left behind.
Athletes must learn to STAY IN THE NOW… letting go of the past and not worrying about the future outcome of their game. So, how does one do this?
- Be aware of your self-talk. Are you obsessing about the mistake, labeling yourself as a lousy player, or simply feeling embarrassed?
- Let it go and move on. Put the mistake aside and let it float away from your mind. Tell yourself that your next opportunity to perform well will come at any moment and you need to be focused and ready for it.
- Rehearse self-talk that you will use in the future, when you make another mistake. Tell yourself that once the mistake is made, to keep thinking about it trains your subconscious mind to feel awful, instead of to getting ready for great performance in the next situation. So, you will move on, quickly.
- The only thing to think about regarding the mistake is how it happened technically, so you can avoid it repeating. Only focus on how you will prevent the mistake the next time you are in the situation.
- Keep a positive performance notebook on your nightstand. Athletes so often re-hash mistakes after the game and when they are trying to fall asleep. NEVER DO THAT. Instead, every night before you shut the lights, record what you did in practice/games, etc. that day that you are pleased with and fall asleep re-playing those positive visualizations in your mind.
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About the Author:
Dr. Jack Singer is a professional speaker, trainer and psychologist. He has been speaking for and training Fortune 1000 companies, associations, CEO’s and elite athletes for 34 years. Among the association conventions which Dr. Jack has keynoted are those which serve financial planners.
Dr. Jack is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX SPORTS and countless radio talk shows across the U.S. and Canada. He is the author of “The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide,” and several series of hypnotic audio programs, some specifically for athletes and some for anyone wanting to raise their self-confidence and esteem. To learn more about Dr. Singer’s speaking and consulting services, please visit DrJackSinger.com and FunSpeaker.com or call him in the U.S. at (800) 497-9880.