How Having a Short Memory Can Help You Stay Confident

Overcoming Mistakes In Sports

Overcoming mistakes quickly is part of a strong mental game.

Ruminating about mistakes can hurt your confidence and focus… But you will make mistakes in competitions no matter who you are.

Let’s discuss confidence for a minute… When you are performing well, you are not thinking or judging how you’re doing–you are just playing.

Confidence is high when you are able to accept the fact that you will make mistakes, let go of the last play and re-focus on what you need to do in the present.

Having a short memory or letting go of mistakes will help you maintain your confidence at peak levels.

Cornerback Darryl Roberts was drafted by the New England Patriots out of Marshall University with the 247th pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Despite being drafter late and not even being invited to the NFL Combine, Roberts entered minicamp with a high level of confidence. In fact, Roberts’ confidence helped him become successful at the collegiate level…

At Marshall, Roberts broke up 17 passes which was tied for the second-most in Division I football.

As a rookie in Patriots minicamp, Roberts’ confident play has earned him reps with the first team.

Chuck Heater, Roberts’ former-defensive coordinator, spoke highly of Roberts’ confidence and his ability to let go of mistakes.

HEATER: “He had a swag about him [Roberts] and was always confident… And you would like to have that personality in your corner because you’re going to make some plays but won’t make every one of them. You’ve got to be able to get back to the next play, and he had a real ability to forget about the play before and get right back to the next play. He made a lot of football plays for us. That was a great quality, the confidence that he played with.”

If you get down on yourself after a mistake, it can pull down your confidence and cause you to question your ability to make future plays.

In order to perform consistently, you need to be able to rebound and re-focus and not give into those negative voices inside your head.

If you focus on those negative voices, you are bound to continue to make those same mistakes over and over.

Being proactive with your confidence is the best defense against self-doubt.

Confidence gives you an edge over the competition by helping you move on from mistakes, putting things in perspective and get mentally ready to compete.

Tip for moving on from a mistake and playing confident:

You need to fully accept that you’re not perfect and will make mistakes.

Use a routine that you can perform after each play to regain your focus after a mistake (Slap your thigh, take a deep breath or say “no more”). Whatever your routine, make sure it has personal meaning to you.

Not dwelling on mistakes allows you to maintain your confidence to play to your potential.

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