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confidence failures mental preparation self-esteem success Mar 13, 2024

The competition is over, and some athletes or teams are successful, but others still ruminate about the defeat and mistakes made. However, success in sports goes beyond losing and winning. Sometimes, the athlete and/or a team loses the contest, but the individual or the group may have performed successfully. Accordingly, every competition includes a series of failures and successes independent of skill level, and athletes should measure their performance based on improvements and efforts. If better effort and improvements are emphasized, athletes will associate winning with more practice, physical, and mental preparation. If athletes associate losing with poor ability, it will lead to low self-esteem, a sense of helplessness, and quitting.

 So, after experiencing defeat, the thoughts athletes have about themselves can significantly impact their future performance. Here is a picture of myself leaving the ocean and looking down after defeat. What do you think I was telling myself?

Reflecting back on my time as a professional athlete, I have found that the post-performance moments remain crucial, although sometimes ignored when athletes are told to “Suck it up!, Let it go! or “Put it behind!”

How to fix it?

Our explanation of good and bad life events impacts your confidence and future successes. And a good mental skill is to develop a post-performance/competition routine where coaches foster opportunities to fully benefit from the experience. In my role as your mental performance consultant, I can assist coaches in developing a mental and emotional cooldown where athletes can identify and express feelings and then truly let go of emotions such as sadness, frustration, and anger. Then, they move to a practical outlook of their current abilities and environmental circumstances that helped or hurt their past performance, which will lead to an optimistic explanatory style that preserves their confidence even after setbacks.

So, after every good or bad performance, you will be able to truly analyze it, work through emotions such as anger and sadness, focus on what can be improved, and set a plan for future games.

And if you are looking for someone to help you get your head back in the game? Schedule your free consultation!

If you want to learn more and thrive under pressure, schedule your FREE consultation