How to move on from mistakes or disappointments

Mistakes and losses happen every day in sport and in life. Taking that into account, it’s amazing that so many people don’t have the mental skills to process this appropriately and to make sure that past mistakes don’t harm their future. In some cases, these errors can create mental barriers which can affect performance to the point of shutting down in a competition scenario.

We’ve all been there. For whatever reason, you fluffed the pass, it was intercepted the other team scored off your mistake. Or you mistimed your run. Or your breathing wasn’t on point. Whatever it was, you lost your mental game as you spent the remainder of the event and perhaps even the rest of the day ruminating about this mistake. Part of the reason why this happens is that you probably have high expectations of yourself, and we are our own harshest critics. You can’t play in the present if you’re stuck in the past. It splits your focus and if you are not fully in the moment, more mistakes can and will happen. Before you know it, you’re in that downward spiral.  



The best athletes are those who aren’t afraid to make mistakes, and when they do, they learn from them and move on.

These are some easy tips to help you recover from errors:

·      The first step toward learning to let go is managing your own expectations of yourself and your team. Leave them at the gate. If you feel that your expectations are making you anxious or frustrated, use some relaxation techniques when play allows.

·      If you make a mistake, shake it off quickly and focus on the next thing. Stop that cycle of dwelling before it even has a chance to begin. You have plenty of time to analyse your performance after it’s all over. You may even have to talk to yourself, telling yourself that you need to move on.

·      Learn how to channel your frustrations. If you make an error, see it as an opportunity to regroup, refocus and get back into the present.