Letting Go of Mistakes in Competition
Every athlete makes mistakes… It’s part of sports.
Think of how many times you have seen an elite figure skater trip over their own skate, under-rotate on an easy jump, or forget their program?
Or a veteran baseball player get caught taking a fastball right over the plate with the bases loaded, get picked off at first base, or forget how many outs there were in the middle of an inning?
Or an NBA player throw a ball in the stands on an easy pass, miss a dunk, or step out of bounds accidentally?
Every baseball player has committed an error… Every basketball player has turned the ball over.
You are not alone in making mistakes… and just because you make a mistake doesn’t mean you cannot be successful in another part of your game.
Take the following examples as evidence…
James Harden of the Houston Rockets has been tearing up the NBA in scoring, averaging 36.2 points per game… also averages 5.5 turnovers per game.
Catcher Yadier Molina who has earned nine MLB Gold Glove awards… also has allowed 82 passed balls in his career.
Nashville Predator goaltender Pekka Rinne won the 2017-18 Vezina trophy for best goaltender in the NHL but also gave up 17 goals in a four-game span in January of 2019.
The thing that separates top athletes from the rest of the pack is that top athletes don’t allow mistakes to take them out of the game mentally.
Top athletes are able to rebound quickly when competing.
Top athletes don’t relive their mistakes over and over.
Top athletes don’t verbally berate themselves.
Top athletes don’t focus on what has been done but what they can do now.
Let’s refer back to James Harden of the Houston Rockets and his view on making mistakes.
In a game where the Rockets almost gave away a game to the Toronto Raptors, the Rockets were able to overcome some mistakes and pull out a narrow 121-119 victory.
Houston allowed the Raptors back in the game after having an 11 point lead with 1:14 left in the game.
After the game, Harden talked about the team’s ability to overcome mistakes and get the win.
HARDEN: “Everyone is going to make mistakes, but your energy and your effort makes up for those mistakes. Tonight, I’m sure we made a lot of mistakes, but the way we rotated and boxed out and guarded the basketball made up for a lot of them.”
It’s true… Every athlete makes mistakes.
The sooner you can accept that fact, you can learn to refocus after a mistake instead of dwelling on the mistake.
The mental skill of refocusing will allow you to concentrate, rebound more quickly, and contribute to the next play.
Letting Go of Mistakes During Competition:
Develop a refocusing cue.
A refocusing cue is something that moves your attention away from the mistake and helps you focus on performing your best in the moment.
A refocusing cue can be as simple as a phrase, such as, “It’s in the past,” or fixing your equipment.
Try this for refocusing:
-Let it go.
-Focus on the next play.
-No one’s perfect. Move on.
-Only the next play matters.
With a refocusing statement in place, you will be more prepared to move past mistakes in competition.
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
If you’re a top performer during practice but find yourself under-performing in competition, the most likely culprit holding you back is your mental game. In fact, many athletes struggle with the same problem….
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
Meet with us via Skype, phone, FaceTime, or GoTo Meeting. With today’s video technology, we are able to connect with athletes and coaches all over the globe.
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What are our mental coaching students saying?
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Improve Concentration in Sports!
If you’re an athlete who is frequently distracted, loses focus in competition, or wants to learn more about how to focus better under pressure, The Focused Athlete is for you!
Concentration and the ability to focus under adversity is what championship athletes do best.
It only takes one distraction to enter your mind for you to lose a critical point, miss a putt, or lose a second off your lap time. You cannot afford to let distractions run wild in your mind and cause you to make errors at critical times in the game!
The Focused Athlete is a complete system to teach you how to focus like a champion and harness the power of a zone focus every tie you step on the playing field, court, track or course in practice and games!
This workbook and CD program consists of 2 audio CDs that include 14 days of focus boosting exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through each of the 14 days, helps you apply strategies, and customizes the exercises to your personal focus challenges.
- How to quickly identify distractions that sabotage your concentration and how to quickly refocus after distractions.
- How to use pre-shot routines before shots or serves to help you be more task-focused instead of worrying about results.
- How to use pregame routines to help you harness the power of zone concentration before competition.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
What are customers saying about our mental game programs?
“As a result of reading and implementing ‘The Confident Athlete Series,’ I am once again enjoying golf and letting bad shots roll off my shoulders and appreciating my good shots without attaching expectations. Thanks Dr. Cohn!”
~Stu Blasius, P.G.A. Golf Professional
“Your response to the throwing problem in front of the coach covers so many situations in life…that is the beauty of playing sports…the life learning experiences. Keep up the good work…you are the best mental coach.”
~Bill Brennan, sports parent