Focus on What’s Next and Performing Best
How long does a tough loss affect you? Some athletes can get over a loss quickly and shift their focus to the next competition.
Other athletes dwell on bad games or performances; “I can’t believe I choked,” “I let my team down again,” or “We should have easily won that game.”
Dwelling on a bad game will hurt your confidence and affect how you practice, train, and play in the near future.
Even worse, for some athletes, a tough loss or bad performance can cause them to lose sight of their goals.
For example, you and your coach set some challenging yet realistic seasonal goals in the preseason. You worked your butt off in practice, harder than you ever have in the past.
You saw some positive results early in the season and felt you were on the right path. You were focused and confident about achieving your goal. The season seemed to be unfolding as planned.
Unfortunately, at your mid season competition, you bombed. You started to question your talent, potential, and ability to achieve your goal. All the time and effort you put in seemed like a waste.
You thought, “I won’t be able to accomplish my goal now. Why even try?” You allowed one performance to shake your confidence and hurt future performances
To accomplish your goal, you need to keep moving forward after a loss. You may have to tweak your plan, but you should always focus forward and prepare for the next competition.
Apply the 24-hour rule. After a competition, give yourself 24 hours to assess what happened. When that period of time expires, focus forward.
Is there something you can change or adapt mentally or physically to grow or move your game forward? After you answer that question, ask yourself what you can do to prepare for the next competition?
Always keep your focus on what is next instead of what has happened.
- Mindset for Tough Conditions
- How to Overcome Anxiety During Soccer Games
- How to Overcome Mistakes in Soccer
- Subscribe to The Sport Psychology Podcast on iTunes
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