How Athletes Can Hit the Reset Button
Athletes often ask, “I’m afraid my last bad game will be followed by other bad performances. How do I avoid following into a slump after a bad game?”
It’s often hard for athletes to get over tough performances. They think a bad game will lead to more. These athletes often see themselves as lacking ability, not being good enough, or feeling they can’t bounce back.
It’s important for these young athletes to understand that they can–and should–reset, wipe the slate clean and start anew, embracing new opportunities.
This may sound like it’s easier said than done. Kids often have a hard time letting go of the past and moving forward. Past performances can haunt your athletes.
Truth is, with the right mindset, kids can move forward after a bad performance and see the opportunities that await them.
Take golfer Rory McIlroy, who came from behind at the 2019 Tour Championship and won the Tour Championship and, along with it, the FedEx Cup.
McIlroy has the right attitude. He says he sees the start of each round of golf as a totally new competition.
“I try to treat it like any other event, try to pretend like everyone was starting at even,” he says. “And my goal this week was to just try to shoot the lowest score of the week, try to score the best score and if that wasn’t good enough then so be it.”
McIlroy understands that yesterday’s events won’t affect how he will perform today. With this attitude, he is able to let go of past performances.
Young athletes can learn from his attitude. They, too, can wipe the slate clean and begin anew. The key to achieving this mindset is for kids to avoid focusing on the past. Instead, they need to concentrate on how they can make things happen in the present.
They need to let go of their bad performance and mentally hit the reset button.
Many successful athletes know how to do this.
One method is the “Next Strategy.” All kids need is a notebook for evaluating their performances. In the notebook, they should make two columns on a page.
Ask young athletes to label the first column as “performance evaluation.” For each game or performance, here they should write a brief synopsis of how they performed, including the good and bad.
They should add their thoughts and feelings about the competition. That might include, “I was so excited I scored the last goal!” or “I was bummed when I missed that important shot.”
Kids should label the second column “Next.” In this column they should write what they want to focus on in practice to perform well during competition.
They should focus on growth for the future. For example, soccer players might write, “Block more shots on goal,” or “Move faster to block shots.”
Young athletes who invest the time, thought and commitment to this strategy will see just how much they can improve their mental game after a bad performance.
Soon enough, they’ll be hitting the reset button, bouncing back quickly and boosting their confidence.
Help Your Young Athletes Let go of Mistakes and Cope With Frustration!
Do you feel sick and tired of or even embarrassed about your athletes’ tantrums, crying, and lack of emotional control in competition? Do you scratch your head and wonder why your kids shut down or act like The Incredible Hulk after they make just one mistake that no one notices?
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